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Photos by Jennifer Roberts for The Globe and Mail. Read Chris Nuttall-Smith's review of Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Italian here.

The chef

Jamie Oliver’s image is ever-present here, in the pictures on the walls and on the cooking shows that play above the bar. The restaurant’s menus are all signed “Big Love. Jamie x,” and “Cheers! Jamie O x,” like billets-doux that also happen to be bills of fare.

The actual chef

Toronto’s King Street Food Company hold the Canadian rights to the Jamie's Italian franchise. Pasta here is made from scratch each day by real chefs, like head chef Frank Venditti, who came from the company’s Bar Buca.

The room

A friendly, two-storey casual Italian spot filled with frenzied shoppers, extended families and Jamie Oliver devotees.

The food

Jamie's Italian is a rare chain restaurant that doesn’t feel cynical. It’s not all excellent, but some of what they do there is exceedingly good. The kids menu shines.

Sonya Grasselli, 4.
Matthew McQueen, 7, and Ethan McQueen, 4
The happy chicken lollipop kids meal with shake-me salad.
The meat plank for two.
The burger Italiano with pickled hot peppers, pickled cucumbers, fried onions, red pepper-based salsa rosso, fontina cheese and cured meat.
The Bolognese with fresh tagliatelle.
Gulf prawn linguine with fish stock, saffron, arugula and cherry tomatoes.
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