For over 10 years, 7 Numbers has been showing Toronto how to put, and keep, the “family” in family style. This southern Italian restaurant is serving its country’s version of soul food cooked up by the owning family’s matriarch, Rosa. Once a month, Mama Rosa opens her kitchen doors to teach others how to make
Ascari Enoteca has been a favourite in Leslieville for nearly a decade, serving select European wines and fresh handmade pastas in its trendy yet intimate 38-seater. Partners Erik Joyal and John Sinopoli have long been cooking up something on a much larger scale, though, and the new Ascari is now open at King West and
Named after Italian racecar legend Alberto Ascari, Ascari Enoteca 26 is a bit of a throwback to the ’50s. Aiming to provide an experience similar to a classic Italian enoteca, the restaurant creates a space and ambiance that speaks to the enthusiasm that Ascari had for food and wine. Opened by the team that brought
Billing itself as southern Italian magic with vibrant wine, Balena (meaning “whale” in Italian) looks to bring a taste of southern Italy to Mount Pleasant. Start with an apertivo of seared calamari or breaded eggplant or a salad, before moving on to a main course of pasta or a rotating list of daily specials. Balena is
Bar Altura is a remarkably modern and vibrant Italian restaurant that will impress even the toughest of nonnas. Executive chef Marco Zandona has created a menu that elevates classic dishes to new tasting heights, like the caprese antipasti, which is, instead of layered slices of mozz and tomatoes, house-cured tomatoes (that have been dehydrated then rehydrated with olive oil, achieving a firm yet silky texture) stuffed with pecorino and buffalo mozzarella.
Bar Biltmore is the historic Paradise Theatre’s upstairs cocktail bar. Conceptualized by bar director Robin Goodfellow, this cocktail haven is named after the Biltmore Theatre, where owner Moray Tawse spent his formative years. The bar is built around the cocktail program which Goodfellow has created on a schematic bitterness scale. Meant for guests with a
Buca and Buca Yorkville are two of the most luxurious restaurants in Toronto. Bar Buca, the company’s all-day bar and cafe, offers a wedge of that excellence for a fraction of the price. The soaring ceilings and wine list can entice you to spend more, but a schiacciata (focaccia sandwich) and a coffee is a
Jen Agg’s retro-styled Dundas West restaurant specializes in pasta and wine. Rather than recreating classic pasta dishes, chef and co-owner James Santon focuses on Italy’s culinary tradition of using local ingredients. The result is a menu of Italian-inspired dishes with Toronto flair, along with charcuterie platters that pay homage to the space’s previous life as
Bar Vendetta is the newest Dundas West installation from powerhouse restaurateur Jen Agg. In the space of former foodie haven The Black Hoof, Vendetta is a laid-back pasta and wine bar pouring unique bottles and serving creative and unpretentious dishes. Bar Vendetta is open from Sunday through Thursday, which is an admittedly ballsy move for
Bar Volo was one of Toronto’s first craft beer bars and has made a name for itself among the city’s ale aficionados. Opened in 1985, this bar was once an Italian restaurant. After relocating and opening a sister location, this bar is considered a stalwart amongst Toronto’s beer-loving community. Located at Yonge and Wellesly, Bar
Sister restaurant to the popular beer hall Bar Volo, this Little Italy hideout is the perfect place to have a beer and a bite. Birreria Volo is a rustic, Italian-style bar focusing on its constantly rotating list of wild ales, natural wine, ciders and snacks. The hideaway feeling is brought on by the historical alley
A couple blocks south of the Little Italy main drag on College Street lies this tiny, old-school, bare-bones pizzeria. It’s unlikely to remind you of dinners at your nonna’s house, unless your nonna served cheap pizza slices on paper plates and her dining room consisted of a few plastic tables and some orange plastic chairs,
Boccone Deli and Pizza Bar looks to bring a traditional European deli experience to Toronto. They offer a selection of fresh made focaccia sandwiches, pizzas, rotating pasta and dinner specials and a salad bar. Patrons can eat-in, take-out or take advantage of their catering service and have the food brought directly to you.
Toronto downtown favourite, Buca, has set up shop a little bit further north in the Yorkville Four Seasons Hotel with Buca Osteria & Bar. The concept for the menu is still very much rooted in the Italian tradition but made with Canadian ingredients, thus the menu changes somewhat often depending on the seasonality of ingredients.