*This post was sponsored by Market & Co., meaning we received compensation and/or products/services in exchange for our honest review. View our Disclosure for more information*
With the first week of school and hockey season down, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate fresh starts as a family than heading to the Grand Opening of the highly anticipated Market & Co. – an urban food market comprising of premium food eateries and merchants in one of our favourite malls in the GTA – Upper Canada! Our family frequents this shopping centre regularly for all our clothing essentials and we’ve been waiting for Market & Co.’s launch for months. It was such a treat to be welcomed by them to immerse in an unforgettable family experience.
Our first stop was to feed our gang’s hungry bellies at MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company – the first Canadian location of the eatery chain originating in Cali. We don’t eat out much at restaurants these days still having a very busy toddler in tow, so being greeted with smiles by the serving staff and seated at the harvest table the restaurant calls the “family table” made us feel welcome and at ease.
The wait staff helped us make some crowd-pleasing selections from the family-friendly, reasonably priced menu – comprised of a nice collection of Antipastos (small & shared appetizer plates), Insalata (salads) and of course their authentic Neapolitan Pizza selections for which the restaurant is well-known for which our pizza-obsessed crew couldn’t wait to try.
While we waited, we didn’t have a hard time keeping curious minds occupied with a visit to their freestyle soda machine (with over 400 flavours of bubbly), watching the food being prepped in their open-concept kitchen, salivating over the pizzas cooking in their glistening, hand-built wood-fired ovens, and strolling through their il Mio Mercato where you can grab some of the high-quality, Italian ingredients they use in their cuisine – most non-GMO.
Our gang started with the House Meat & Cheese sampler, Prosciutto & Melon Burrata & Garlic Knots. Andrew and I also tried The Midici & Signature Caesar salads. For zah, we sampled & shared the classic Margherita, the Doppio Pepperoni (double pepperoni), The Devil’s (Diavola), and Secondo Prosciutto (Tartufo).
With Italian roots, my standards for authentic Italian pizza are high, but MidiCi’s passed the test and then some as if plucked from the Pizzerias in Italy to your plate. From the sauce made from peeled, crushed Italian tomatoes to the fresh mozzarella cheese atop the crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside Neopolitan crust the resto promises!
While more than gastro-satisfied with our multi-course dinner, we were pleasantly surprised by the staff with MidiCi’s not to be missed Dolce – the Signature Nutella ® Calzone! A baked pizza-dough dessert encapsulating fresh baked strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, then drizzled with balsamic reduction and Nutella ®…YUM-azing and gobbled up in no time by our brood!
We will certainly be making a return appearance (or 10) to MidiCi, and are so thankful to the staff who so graciously welcomed our large (and rambunctious) crew! They truly lived up to their desire to create an atmosphere to “bring friends and family together” and encourage us to put our gadgets away and enjoy face-to-face interaction. “MidiCi” means “you tell me”, after all. And pssst…we can’t wait to take a parenting time-out and full advantage of their Date night Thursdays on now through November! Spend $60 get $10 to spend on your next visit…that’s amore!
After dinner, we walked off our full bellies with a stroll through the market to check out some of the other merchants. The multi-generational crowd was bustling, reflective of how much the community has been keen to check out all this space has to offer – an impressive collection of 20 first-to-Canadian market food/premium goods vendors you can check out HERE.
The atmosphere was one of European-market flare with the charming, modern-day elements you`d expect of this unique, carefully thought out concept. And there was so much to feast your senses on. The kids loved watching the chips being made at Ray Woodey’s Craft Chippery, peering at the live homemade pasta making through the window of Amano, the Oyster shucking demo by a World Record holding “shucker”, and watching Chef Julian Pancer guide families through an interactive Ravioli-making experience inside Kitchen & Co.
We can’t wait to sign up for some of the interactive classes and culinary experiences the kitchen be offering this season and beyond. The kids were also mesmerized and googly-eyed over the candy fantasy land of Sugar King, and loved watching the grammable ice cream tower creations being doled out at Sweet Jesus – WOW!
After chasing littles through the market, Andrew and I appreciated the wine-samplings happening at The Wine Shop & Tasting Room, and can’t wait to try date nights & family meals at the other two full-service restos Union Chicken and Amano opened by acclaimed Chef Michael Angeloni.
We finished our family night at Bake Three Fifty an award-winning dessert concept from the food truck scene now with its first retail location, where you can build your own milkshakes, cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches. Ice cream flavours are plentiful and the variety of toppings will have the kiddos giddy.
Our gang tried the chocolate chip, cookie dough and vanilla ice cream flavours with the chocolate chip cookie surround. Topping choices were crushed M&M’s and cotton candy clusters. The kids thought the colour-changing spoons were the coolest, and I loved the bright, colourful atmosphere with the large see-through window where you can watch the bakers in action!
I can’t sign off without saying how much moms will appreciate the one-stop shop the market offers – high quality groceries from Vince’s and their fresh meat/fish Markets plus prepared meals to go to feed your fam, fresh blooms from FloralEscence to liven up your home & celebrations, delectable desserts from local fave Amadeus Patisserie, fresh baked goodies from Our Farm Organic Bakery and premium java from coffee haven Starbucks to keep you fueled while you tick off all your to-dos and mom life things smack dab in the middle of one of the best retail shopping centres in the GTA! One of the best things to hit this side of Suburbia, I tell ya! I can’t wait to return with my girlfriend this week for lunch & retail therapy.
Not that you really need more incentive to visit beyond its stand-alone appeal, but many of the merchants are offering fabulous promotions this month to welcome the community and family & friends near and far. Our gang is bagel-lovers, so we’ll be jumping on Our Farm Organic’s buck-a-bagel offer, and while the weather begins to chill, the friends & family deal at Sweet Jesus will make it hard to pass on cool treats!
Market & Co. is so much more than a diverse collection of merchants, it offers a sensory-pleasing family experience – a place to gather, connect, learn, interact and indulge with loved ones, has become our new favourite family hang-out, and no doubt will become many others’ also. This foodie fam of ours will certainly be back many times over. Check out their blog for food trends, entertaining tips, event listings, and other enticing tidbits!
If you have the opportunity to experience Market & Co., we’d love to hear all about it, including your fave things about it!
Love & light,