Introducing: Mr. Ciao, a new Italian restaurant on Gerrard from the owners of AAA Bar

Introducing: Mr. Ciao, a new Italian restaurant on Gerrard from the owners of AAA Bar

Introducing: Mr. CiaoClick to view gallery
 

Name: Mr. Ciao
Neighbourhood: Riverdale
Contact Info: 598 Gerrard St. E.,  416-901-8711,  mrciao.ca, @MrCiaoTo
Owners/Chefs: Racquel Youtzy and Tiziano Pivetta, who also own AAA Bar on Adelaide

The Food: Situated smack in the middle of Chinatown East, the pizza-pasta joint offers a handful of homey Italian dishes—deep-fried olives, seafood linguini—as well as less conventional items, like mozzarella-stuffed “egg rolls” and Peking-duck pizza topped with wasabi peas. The restaurant’s specialty is pizza fritta, a Neapolitan street snack that takes all the gooey decadence of regular pizza and adds a crunchy, deep-fried crust (the Mr. Ciao version is hand-stretched, flash-fried and finished in a stone oven). For dessert, there’s an Italian take on churros: sticks of fried pizza dough rolled in cinnamon sugar and topped with scoops of maple ice cream.

The Drinks: There are two wines on tap, including a Mike Weir Cabernet-Merlot and a Stoney Ridge Chardonnay.

The Place: The casual room has a long copper bar up front and a surprisingly large dining area in the back. The enormous raised patio, which curls around the entire west side of the building, is a great people-watching perch.