TORONTO — Hospitality icon Nick Di Donato of the Liberty Entertainment Group and celebrated chef Claudio Aprile (MasterChef Canada) are opening Xango in Toronto’s King West neighbourhood this week. The new concept will feature fresh bright flavours in a contemporary and eclectic setting.
Xango’s menu is a fusion of Latin and Asian flavours that encompass both authentic dishes and inspired new favourites. Inspired by the authentic taste of Nikkei cuisine — an evolution of Japanese-Peruvian cuisines — the menu will showcase a culmination of dishes highlighting various techniques, including fresh ceviches, handmade sushi and robatayaki. Dishes on the menu include tempura shishito peppers, chifacroquettes, Yellowtail sushi with jalapeño, halibut ceviche and whole fried branzino.
Chef de cuisine Ivan Bailey will play an integral role in the kitchen, having spent several months working closely with chef Aprile to create the menu for Xango and its bold flavours inspired by their shared heritage and commitment to fresh raw ingredients. Both are of Latin-American decent and have strong personal knowledge of authentic Latin cuisine.
Liberty Group’s corporate bar manager and mixologist, Oliver Stern, has created an expansive list of signature cocktails for Xango. Drinks include Everything Nice, a fresh and fiery cocktail made with Tromba, jalapeño, cilantro, lime and agave; and Smoke & Sunshine, which mixes tequila, mezcal, lime, falernum and spiced pineapple. The bar menu is a mix of spirits and signature cocktails, with a focus on tequila, mescal and pisco.
Like the food, the space itself is both bold and vibrant and an eclectic mix of cultures. The visionary behind the space is Liberty Entertainment Group VP and creative director, Nadia Di Donato, who has been instrumental in creating individually unique design approaches for each of the Liberty Group properties.
The restaurant boasts several uniquely designed spaces: the main dining room, which seats 70; the lounge, which seats 40; and the private dining room, which seats 18. The main dining room features expansive, colourful artwork and custom lighting fixtures. Xango fuses natural raw materials, such as wood beams and exposed brick walls, with contemporary art inspired by urban culture. The table settings feature hand-painted Tromba tequila bottles with original artwork by Toronto-born artist, Daniel Mazzone.
Xango is the final phase of the redevelopment of the space at 461 King St West, which also houses Arcane — a nightlife and private event-hosting space.