What’s on the menu at Ardo, the east end’s new Sicilian restaurant

What’s on the menu at Ardo, the east end’s new Sicilian restaurant

(Image: Renée Suen)

Our Review of Ardo

Name: Ardo
Neighbourhood: Corktown
Contact: 243 King St. E., 647-347-8930, ardorestaurant.com, @ardorestaurant
Owners: Roberto Marotta, Jacqueline Nicosia and Travis Farncombe
Chef: Roberto Marotta (Terra Nera, Maialino Enoteca)

The food

Italian favourites (house-made pastas and pizzas), as well as a few less-familiar Sicilian specialities, including a spicy seafood couscous and spaghetti tossed with sardines and raisins. The spuntini menu features small plates like arancini, carpaccio, savoury cannoli and grilled octopus. Coming soon: Sicilian brunch.

Sicilian anchovies on house-made crostini with roasted red peppers and herb butter. $9.

Grilled octopus with vegetable caponata and celery leaf. $13.

Handmade gnocchi with local mushrooms, stracchino cheese, heirloom carrots and shaved black truffle. $19.

A play on cacio e pepe pasta, the “Cacio and Pizza” flatbread is topped with fior di latte, aged pecorino, mascarpone and black pepper. $18.

Mylae: fior di latte, mascarpone, cantaloupe and speck. $18.

Both the pizza dough and the house bread are made with the kitchen’s proprietary sourdough starter.

The traditional Sicilian cannoli comes from a family recipe. They’re filled with sweet fresh ricotta and topped with candied orange and roasted pistachios. $8.

The drinks

A rotating selection of European wines, and classic cocktails that incorporate Sicilian flavours like blood orange and vincotto.

Ardo Sour: whiskey, Cointreau, lemon juice, blood orange bitters, egg whites and thyme. $13.

Sicilian Spritz: Averna, dry prosecco, star anise–infused blood orange juice and soda. $12.

The space

Farncombe designed the 54-seat restaurant. It’s named after Marotta and Nicosia’s son, Leonardo (who, at age two, gave himself the nickname “Ardo”). A retractable garage door will open during warmer weather, and they plan to start selling imported pantry goods like Sicilian capers, flour and olive oil.

Chef Marotta.

A nod to the restaurant’s inspiration: Leonardo, pictured here in Sicily.

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