Don Alfonso 1890

Don Alfonso 1890

My two top reasons to go to this first North American outpost of an Amalfi Coast–based deluxe restaurant group: to behold the rooms of marble, white leather, crystal and brass, featuring a skull sculpture grinning from a plinth—the opulence second only to Donatella Versace’s closet; and to marvel at the fantastically elaborate tasting menus, one focused on vegetables and the other on meat and seafood. Together, they are a showcase for edible sleights of hand (what looks like a baked egg is actually a yolk surrounded by burrata foam), emulsions and unusual sauces (charred veg, capers and garlic, cinnamon and borage). The fanciful philosophy is summed up by a quenelle of eel-flavoured ice cream, its fishiness enhanced by sturgeon caviar, and a fast-drying parsley sauce painted across the plate like Japanese calligraphy. All this gilding comes at a price: at $150 a person for one of the tasting menus, a date night will cost you $400 with tax and tip, plus however much you’d like to drop on a bottle from the copious cellar.

Don Alfonso 1890, 19 Toronto St., 416-214-5888, donalfonsotoronto.com

Don Alfonso 1890
A slow-cooked egg surrounded by burrata foam and black truffles
Don Alfonso 1890
Bison tenderloin is wrapped with layers of Swiss chard and mozzarella in a rustic bread crust, and dressed with dollops of salsa verde, San Marzano tomato and red chili reduction
Don Alfonso 1890
Chef Saverio Macri
Don Alfonso 1890
A quenelle of eel-flavoured ice cream
Don Alfonso 1890
The Affumicato, made with cognac, Cuban rum, house vermouth and cacao liqueur, is infused with applewood smoke and poured tableside over a giant ice cube. It’s garnished with a dark chocolate cigar 
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