Don Alfonso 1890 an internationally recognized brand, has finally arrived, courtesy of hospitality icon Nick Di Donato of the Liberty Entertainment Group. This is a first for North America – world-renowned Michelin star Chef Ernesto Iaccarino’s Don Alfonso 1890 can be found in Italy, New Zealand, Macau and now Toronto. It took Nick Di Donato 4 years to find the right chef partnership to bring to Canada and it was well worth the wait.
The cuisine is true to its origins on the Amalfi coast. This modern Mediterranean fare is crafted using only the finest quality ingredients available. The restaurant is overseen by Chef Saverio Macri, who spent several months in Italy with Chef Ernesto Iaccarino in preparation for the opening.
Everything about this establishment screams sophisticated elegance. From the open concept marble kitchen and finely crafted furniture to the unique plating service used to highlight each masterpiece, all imported from Italy and carefully curated by interior designer Nadia Di Donato. There’s an impressive glass-enclosed wine cellar with 650 labels.
Floating above the incredible dining room is the mezzanine lounge where you can try one of the craft cocktails or fine wines paired by Oliver Stern (from Toronto Temperance Society fame) and head sommelier, Alexander Powell. You can also order from the dining menu there as well.
The location is prime, in the heart of St Lawrence Neighbourhood in downtown Toronto, in the spot formerly housing the headquarters of the Consumers’ Gas Company of Toronto. This neighborhood is filled with restaurants, bars and tons of character. It’s easy to see why everyone, including myself, is so excited about this restaurant joining Toronto’s culinary scene.
What can you expect to see on the menu?
In the dining room, you can sample the amazing array of food with the 8-course tasting menu. Wet your palate with delectable canapes and follow with proceeding courses that include ice-creamed eel with Sturgeon caviar, seared Muscovy duck breast, organic Manitoba bison tenderloin in a rustic bread crust. In case you haven’t had enough, finish your extraordinary meal with a Neapolitan Sfogliatelle. This Italian classic is perfected by Chef Macri with layers of phyllo dough, cinnamon-infused pastry cream and topped with an Amarena cherry glaze.
For those herbivores in the bunch, the tasting menu is also available with vegetarian options, proving that this is truly a dining experience for every palate. The vegetarian dishes include a rendition of the Slow Cooked Egg Yolk, Burrata Foam, Baby French Green Beans, Black Truffle Caviar.
Signature dish Rigatoni Vesuvius a visually pleasing tower of rigatoni with organic peas and ricotta di bufala covered by a sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes.
To complement Chef Ernesto Iaccarino’s signature and unique dishes, wine pairings have been carefully selected not only to intrigue the palate but to combine the harmonious union that is food and wine.
At Don Alfonso 1890, only the freshest, seasonal ingredients that are locally procured are used. These help craft delectable contemporary dishes that will keep foodies coming back for more.
Don Alfonso 1890
Contact: 19 Toronto St., 416-214-5888, www.donalfonsotoronto.com
Tasting Menu: Starts at $150 and Sommelier-led wine pairing with both Old and New World wines $100.
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Feature photo courtesy of Don Alfonso 1890
Disclosure: I was hosted by Don Alfonso 1890 for the media tasting, but note all opinions expressed in this article are my own.