Introducing: Porzia, a new Italian restaurant in Parkdale
Contact info: 1314 Queen St. W., 647-342-5776, porzia.ca, @porziaparkdale
Owners: Basilio Pesce (formerly of Biff’s, Canoe and Bymark) and Marco Petrucci (99 Sudbury, El Mocambo)
Chef: Basilio Pesce. His first solo project
The food: Home-style Southern Italian cooking based on recipes from Pesce’s childhood (the restaurant is named after his mother). The kitchen makes breads, pastas and salumi in-house, and also butchers its own meat. Expect a rotating list of sharing-friendly plates like citrus salad ($11), capicola cotto with pear mostarda ($14) and chicken liver–filled agnolotti served with yellow foot mushrooms ($16). House mortadella and nduja made from horse meat are coming soon.
The drinks: The heavily southern Italian wine list tops out at around $100 with Italian beers on tap and rotating cocktails like True Romance ($12), made of Aperol, tequila, Fernet Branca, ginger and Cava.
The place: The long, thin room is filled with vintages pieces like faded orange Eames chairs, antique light fixtures and reclaimed pews from Palmerston United Church, along with a few steampunk touches, like a custom-built hostess stand. The 21-foot bar and the tall chef’s table are both made of repurposed barn board, breaking up the cool industrial feel.
By the numbers:
• 68 seats, including four at the kitchen bar and 16 along the L-shaped bar
• 40 orange Eames molded plastic chairs
• 30 vintage flashlights that have been restored and converted to LED. The entire bar can run off about 60 watts of power
• 3 Bartenders: Adrian Bishop, Chanel Wood and Aja Sax
• $3–20, the menu’s price range
• 2 kitchens