PERFECT Family Style Dinner @ Pizzeria Defina (Roncesvalles Village)

I have held several events at Italian restaurants in the past, and they all fell short. Yes, most of my guests seemed to love the pizza, but I am just too particular I guess. Though I do love Pizzeria Libretto – but they can’t be the only restaurant (chain) in Toronto that serves delicious pizza? The kind of pizza that when you take a bite, you can savor each individual ingredient…. How is it that I like to put it? Mmm… oh, “when the ingredients sing in perfect harmony..” Ick! So cheesy! No pun intended. HAHA I know, I am a riot!

Anywho, so after a great deal of research, and a lot of back-and-forth, I contacted Pizzeria Defina, and OMG, Roksolana (owner) patiently put up with my million questions (poor soul), and agreed (shocking!) to give us a family style experience. Oh yeah, we are dining like one would in Nona’s house in Italia—pass those plates around and mangia!

The days before this dinner were stressful! The fact was that I had no idea what we were going to be eating. Roksalana had said that my group would get to sample a few appetizers, and each person would get a couple of slices of pizza, and a dessert. This sounded fine to me when she and I initially discussed the menu, however, the week before this dinner I had gone out for brunch with friends, and the restaurant and I had agreed upon a similar deal (family style—but in this case brunch, not dinner), and that experience did not go well at all! So I guess you could say that I was panicking and maybe even traumatized. “What if this dinner is a complete bust like the last one? I will feel incredibly guilty for dragging 10 friends to another disastrous meal.” But I took a deep breath, and decided to take the plunge and trust Roksalana.

We arrived for our dinner at 7pm, and our table was ready for us. Shortly after our arrival, our waiter came over to our table and asked if I was there (“is Itanni here?”). So I introduced myself, and asked if we could wait a couple more minutes before the first course came out. At 10 after 7pm we received our first course, and let me tell you, I blew out a huge sigh of relief. Unlike my last family style experience, the portions we received at Pizzeria Defina were plentiful, and the staff was relaxed and knowledgeable. I also did not have to worry about timing, or having my guests leave hungry.

I normally review each individual dish, but in this case, I don’t see the point. The review for each dish would read the same: “wow, delicious, amazing, fresh..” We were all blown away by the food. This was a meal of my dreams that I did not think anyone would be able to make a reality, and somehow Roksolana and her team did. We dined on dishes that were made with fresh ingredients, perfect ingredient combinations, on-the-money seasoning, vegetables grilled to perfection, perfect pizzas…. I died and went to food heaven.

Am I being too generous? This is what some of my guests said about our meal (these comments were posted on my event page, so they are verbatim)….

Georgia: “AMAZING: causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing.

Synonyms: astonishing, astounding, surprising, stunning, staggering, shocking, startling, stupefying, breathtaking; startlingly impressive.

I don’t know what else to say about this place that others have not already said. Itanni, you outdid yourself this time. I truly appreciate all the effort you put into these events and finding all the great gems in the city for us to enjoy. I seem to luck out each and every time with such enjoyable events.”

Lesley: “Excellent! Everything was amazing.”

Hilman: “Beyond expectations…”

Eric: “Thank you Itanni for inviting us along to have an awesome dining experience at Defina. I’m very happy that I was able to come. I really like the soothing ambiance in the dining area and the chique, earthy decor. And on to the food. I really liked every bite of what I had, and the taste of each dish felt light in the mouth and there was no overwhelming taste of oil or grease on the roasted vegetable dishes and the pizzas. Everything the group had looked and tasted healthy… at least I think so 🙂 And the pizzas especially were incredible x 8! The service was also carried out professionally from start to finish, and each course arrived at the table in a timely manner, and that’s a huge PLUS on the dining experience scale. Best of all I had a good laugh during the conversations at our table and with the number of people tonight it was easier to say properly hi and goodnight to each person who came. It was definitely a wonderful evening. Thanks again for organizing this!”

Craig: “Itanni used 2 words in her comment/feedback below re. this Event that I was going to use too: Wow and amazing. 11 from the Group attended and it seemed that just about everyone was amazed (and rightfully so) at the quantity and quality of the food and the prompt and friendly service we received. The wide variety of toppings and food greatly contributed in making this an unforgettable experience and to top it all off, it was a greater deal than I and probably anyone else who attended was expecting. Itanni’s huge effort beforehand to pull this Event off flawlessly certainly paid off last night. I took a few photos which I’ll be posting either later today or on Wed. And I’m certainly looking forward to my next food adventure with this Group.”

Abi: “Great company and great food!!!!”


From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU Pizzeria Defina for accommodating my request, and for giving me one of the best dining experiences of my life. The food was phenomenal and I can’t wait to return!


Pizzeria Defina on Urbanspoon


2 thoughts on “PERFECT Family Style Dinner @ Pizzeria Defina (Roncesvalles Village)

  1. Pingback: Dinner @ Mangia & Bevi (King East Toronto) | Playing Chef

  2. Pingback: Lunch @ Pizzeria Libretto – University Location (Financial District) | Playing Chef

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