TORONTO — Gusto 54 Restaurant Group has opened Gusto 501 in Toronto’s Corktown neighbourhood.
The new restaurant offers a new take on traditional Italian dishes and are the result of a collaboration between Gusto 54 executive chef Elio Zannoni and chef Michael Magliano of the company’s upcoming L.A.-based concept, Gusto Green (opening spring 2020).
“Gusto 501 is taking the roots from Trattoria Nervosa, the innovation from Gusto 101 and using them to propel a transporting dining experience in a very special neighbourhood, all the while delivering the passionate, soulful Italian hospitality we’re intrinsically known for,” says Janet Zuccarini, CEO and Owner, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group.
Designed by award-winning architecture firm PARTISANS, the newly constructed restaurant pays homage to Zuccarini’s portfolio of character-rich properties, her deep Italian roots and her passion for making celebrated Italian food. The restaurant’s design features warm materials, including terracotta bricks and tiles, which form a multi-storey sculpture. Employing computer modelling, PARTISANS cut the bricks to create spectacular undulating walls with embedded LEDs to invoke the glowing embers of a pizza oven.
The five-storey restaurant offers a range of dining experiences, including ground-level bar and dining room, mezzanine lounge, an upstairs cocktail bar and spuntini bar, as well as a panoramic rooftop patio, which is set to open for service in spring 2020.
The cocktail bar serves a curated selection of wine, amari and craft cocktails designed to be enjoyed with the thoughtful shared plates and snacks served in the in-house spuntini bar, Attico. Attico also features the chef’s table, where guests will have a front-row view of the active kitchen. The space will be the site of intimate “guest-chef” dinners featuring renowned international and local chefs offering exclusive “one-night-only” culinary experiences.
In the ground-level dining room and in the mezzanine’s Amari lounge, guests will enjoy fare from the Trattoria menu. Paying homage to the traditional and familial style of trattoria dining, the menu features a selection of antipasti, pizza, pasta, insalata and principale.
Gusto 501’s Trattoria menu will integrate some of the much-loved favourites from Trattoria Nervosa and Gusto 101 — including Cavolo Nero and Mafalde ai Funghi — as well as fresh takes on contemporary Southern Italian fare. Offerings include chickpea-flour-based Calamari Fritti served with lemon aioli ($16); tagliata with prime striploin, cauliflower mash, arugula and garlic ($40); and Risotto Verde with hen-of-the-woods mushroom, garlic and chlorophyll ($20).
To accompany the dining experience, bar manager and mixologist Jorge Yarce created a cocktail menu ranging from traditional to forward-thinking concoctions and an expansive list of Italian wine and amari was curated by sommelier Mariano Gonzalez.
During the day, Gusto 501 will feature a neighbourhood caffè, offering house-made Italian pastries and hand-poured espresso and cappuccino.
The restaurant will also offer a signature weekend brunch featuring a variety of evolved breakfast and lunch favourites, including Eggs in Purgatorio, with tomato, chili, scarmoza, N’duja and crusty sourdough ($15); the Gusto ‘Americano’ Burger, topped with egg, fresh-herb remoulade, caramelized onions and cheddar, served with Tuscan fries ($20); and a selection of Pizzette.