Now Open: Ascari

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TORONTO — Ascari Hospitality has opened a new location of its Italian restaurant and wine bar, Ascari, in Toronto’s King West neighbourhood (620 King St. W.).

Offering modern interpretations of familiar Italian shared plates and fresh handmade pastas diners can expect the same atmosphere and service as Ascari Enoteca. 

The fourth restaurant to join the group’s current portfolio in Toronto, including Gare de l’Est Brasserie and Hi-Lo Bar, this is the company’s first foray into the city’s west-end. Named after Italy’s favourite motor-racing son, Alberto Ascari, who was also known for his deep love of food and wine, the original Ascari Enoteca has been a long-time neighbourhood locale in Leslieville since launching in 2011.

“With the decade mark in sight for Ascari Enoteca in Leslieville, we’re excited to get to know everyone’s name on King West,” says owner and executive chef John Sinopoli. “The new Ascari expands on Enoteca, featuring the same familiar Italian menu and signature dishes we’ve become known for, while making new introductions that befit King Street West. We’re very proud of the design and are looking forward to bringing a true aperitivo hour to the neighbourhood in the very near future.” 

Dishes include broccolini fritti, a dish that has been on the menu since day one, and Orata Crudo, with Mediterranean Sea bream, compressed rhubarb, pistachio vinaigrette and Sicilian olive oil. Made fresh in house daily, favourite pasta dishes include Spaghetti alla Chitarra, a traditional Abruzzese noodle cut on guitar strings, with tomato sauce; and Agnolotti di Zucchini — a stuffed pasta with ricotta and mascarpone filling, zucchini flowers and brown-butter zabaglione.

The wine program for Ascari King Street West is built around the mountain ranges — the Alps, the Dolomites, the Apennines and the Volcanic islands — which offer wines of unique character, expression and winemakers of purpose based on biodynamic and organic vision. Ascari’s cocktail menu takes its influence from classic Italian drinks and culture, such as Elena’s Eyes, named after Princess Elena of Montenegro. The ingredients — cantaloupe, lemon, mint and Amaro Montenegro — are all native to Bologna and the surrounding area.

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