Introducing: Rione XI, a Roman-Jewish kitchen on St. Clair West

Introducing: Rione XI, a Roman-Jewish kitchen on St. Clair West

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Name: Rione XI
Neighbourhood: Humewood
Contact: 672 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-748-7884, rionexi.com
Previously Pizza e Pazzi
Owners: Danilo and Sandrelle Scimo
Chef: Pina Iellimo (Pizza e Pazzi)

The food

Danilo Scimo grew up in Rome, and when he and his wife Sandrelle visit, they always stop into Sant’Angelo, a historically Jewish neighbourhood colloquially called Ghetto di Roma. The menu at Rione XI is a one-pager of their favourite “ghetto” dishes—familiar trattoria faves with Jewish tweaks like carbonara made with bresaola instead of pancetta. They don’t strictly adhere to kosher laws, though—a ravioli special features lobster, and many of the pizzas mix meat and cheese.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Radicchio, apple and walnut salad topped with gorgonzola and balsamic reduction. $12.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Bresaola and curls of parmesan. The meat and cheese are both imported from Italy. $17.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Carciofi alla giudia: these oversize California-grown artichokes are braised in white wine and lemon for 45 minutes before hitting the fryer. $12.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

The pizzas are made in the traditional Roman style, so instead of being tossed, the dough is rolled out and then baked over a wood fire at 400°F for two-and-a-half minutes. The resulting crust is super thin and cracker-like. This one’s a Margherita made with fior di latte. $12.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Bresaola pizza topped with fior di latte, arugula, parm, lemon and olive oil. $17.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Sedanini carbonara made with egg, pecorino and (more) bresaola. $13.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Lobster ravioli in a sage-butter sauce. $19.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Polenta topped with six-hour-braised beef cheek. $22.

The drinks

A short, exclusively Italian wine card with bottles that run from $18 to $99.

The space

The 41-seat room features three murals: the Great Synagogue of Rome, a map of the Jewish quarter and Saint Angelo (from the Roman neighbourhood’s historic coat of arms). In the summer, a roll-up garage window will open onto St. Clair.

(Images: Caroline Aksich) (Images: Caroline Aksich)