What’s on the menu at Sugo, a new Italian-American spot that makes spaghetti sandwiches
Contact: 1281 Bloor St. W., 416-535-1717, sugotoronto.com, @sugotoronto
Owners: Alex Wallen, Conor Joerin and Scott Pennock (The Emerson)
Chef: Conor Joerin (The Emerson)
A menu of red-sauce classics: pasta, sandwiches, salads and some deep-fried apps like mozzarella sticks and calamari. “I wanted to open up a neighbourhood joint with big portions at cheap prices—a place where my friends could watch the game and eat the food we loved as kids,” says Joerin, who grew up eating at Bitondo’s and Tony & Nick’s Place.
The five-item cocktail list includes classics (martini, manhattan) and a few no-frills innovations. The Benny Bianco, for instance, is an easy-sipping mix of Martini Bianco and muddled lime. Although there isn’t a negroni on the menu, Wallen will make you one if you ask nicely. Bottled beers are strictly Italian (Peroni, Birra Moretti), while the Coke is strictly Mexican and the coffee (Rufino) hails from Concord.
Alex Wallen is big into boxing. Not only are the walls plastered with old Ring magazine covers, but they’ve hired young boxers from local gyms to man the kitchen. “The learning curve’s been tough,” says Joerin. “Some of these kids didn’t even know how to hold a knife, but it’s great to teach them another skills and their work ethic is amazing. They show up early, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.” The three-table room is done up like a classic red sauce joint: checkered table clothes, a couple of TVs and a well-loved foosball table stabilized with empty tomato boxes.