Surprise, surprise: it’s another Italian restaurant. I just can’t seem to resist them, can I? But even a picky Italian aficionado such as myself has to give Carisma the credit it deserves as one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. Yes, it’s that good.

What originally attracted me to Carisma out of all the other places to go was that the owners used to run El Molino on Eglinton — one of my favourite restaurants. When I stepped into Carisma, I could immediately see that they’d worked their magic again.

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Carisma business cards

Carisma’s atmosphere is singularly sleek with great energy. The whole place is painted black, with a modern circle bar and big purple chandelier in the middle of the space. The waiters contribute to the glossy air with their knowledgeable and attentive nature. But sophisticated as the restaurant as a whole is, the food far surpasses the decor.

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Insalata di funghi

Going to Carisma is a true culinary experience. The food presentation is fantastic, and the dishes managed to taste even better than they looked — which is no small feat. Their Pappardelle a Cinghiale (pappardelle and wild boar ragout) was amazing, the cheese plate was fantastic, their wine list was great, and my dad just keeps coming back for their liver dish.

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Carisma exterior

They also bookend their meals wonderfully. When you sit down, you’re given some incredible warmed bread with oil drizzled over it, and to end your meal, they offer a stunning dessert menu. Although the food is pricy, the good serving size and exemplary quality make it worth the expense.

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Chandelier at the restaurant

I’m searching for something to find fault with at Carisma, but I just can’t seem to think of anything. The closest thing I can come up with is that they’re quite busy, but that’s an easy problem to solve with a simple reservation. That said, I suppose my final verdict has to be a gushing one, so here it is: Carisma is an exemplary restaurant for a celebratory night out, and everyone who enjoys Italian food should give it a try.

Carisma on Urbanspoon

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