Sixteen restaurants sign on to cook regional Italian food for 2nd Giro d'Italia
Pork sausage, fava bean paste and braised radicchio combined to create loads of savoury depth for one of the pasta options at Oretta
Image: David Ort
This weekend is the kickoff for the second installment of Giro d'Italia, Toronto's now semi-annual Italian Restaurant Week. This is a sort of thematic, focused Summerlicious that involves 16 local establishments each producing a prix fixe menu based on the cuisine from a specific Italian region.
The list of participants spans from Ardo doing Tuscan to Zucca featuring Sardinian food. Interestingly, each of the chefs has decided to push themselves outside their usual jurisdiction. So, for instance, that means that Oretta's chef Christian Fontolan called his dad up for a crash-course refresher on the recipes from the Veneto.
Menus vary based on the time of day with the four-course dinner ones going for $49 or $29 for three courses at lunch. (Some restaurants are signed up for lunch only.) Based on my experience at Oretta on launch night, even a generous appetite will be satisfied by their dinner offering. Also, flavours and techniques were advanced enough that I didn't feel like the kitchen was holding back to satisfy the masses.
Giro is the brainchild of the Consorzio di Ristoranti Italiani. They've put together a website with all of the menus and are featuring photos of the food on their Instagram account. The promotion runs until July 30. Call the restaurants directly to book a table.