What’s on the menu at Bar Altura, Queen West’s newest Italian eatery

What’s on the menu at Bar Altura, Queen West’s newest Italian eatery

Name: Bar Altura
Contact: 571 Queen St. W., 416-361-3434, baraltura.com, @baraltura
Neighbourhood: Queen West
Previously: Lo Zingaro
Owners: Ricardo Chico (Kay Pacha), Marcello Tomarelli (Cibo Wine Bar) and Marco Zandona (Via Allegro)
Chef: Marco Zandona

The food

Modern takes on traditional Italian dishes, like Zandona’s signature porchetta, finished with olive oil-cured grapes and a cloud of crispy pig skin. Most everything is done in-house, including pasta-making and meat-curing. (Fun fact: Back in 2009, Zandona was the first featured chef for the secret supper club Charlie’s Burgers.)

Zandona’s interpretation of the caprese salad features peeled heirloom tomatoes stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and pecorino. $18.


For the arancini, three arborio risotto balls are stuffed with scamorza and topped with confit tomato purée. $8.


The prosciutto e melon features aged Parma ham and compressed cantaloupe. $12.


The “ceviche” is essentially a branzino crudo served on sous vide octopus carpaccio, cucumber, radish, kiwi, and a “leche de tigre” that’s made with Italian peppers, fennel, celery, coriander and extra virgin olive oil. $19.


The spring lamb carpaccio is made with lamb saddle and paired with pickled mushrooms and bitter herbs. $18.


Agnolotti dal plin are pockets of porcini-inflected ricotta agnolotti prepared with asparagus in a thyme-butter sauce, $22


Zandona’s take on porchetta features his family’s recipe of slow-roasted pork shoulder with grilled rapini and dried grapes cured with extra virgin olive oil and thyme. It’s topped with puffed crispy pig skin. $28.


Orata: a whole grilled and deboned sea bream and orange-braised fennel. $35.


The zabaglione terrine features house-made sponge cake with fresh custard, passion fruit, poached apricots, compressed fresh strawberries and fennel pollen. $12.


Owners (from left to right) Marcello Tomarelli, Ricardo Chico and Marco Zandona.


The drinks

Head bartender Will Publow is behind the signature cocktails that incorporate different Italian liqueurs and vermouths. There’s also a mainly Italian wine list, including a decent selection of atypical (Fiano, Pecorino) by-the-glass options.

The fruity Palmarola is made with Beefeater gin, Amaro Nonino, dry sherry, grapefruit oleo, lemon juice and peach bitters. $14.


The Mecca Mecca, which Publow describes as “a sort of fun Italian tiki drink” is made with tequila, Amaro Lucano, pineapple, cold brew coffee, agave syrup and lime juice. $15.


Pasquale’s Daughter: butterfly pea-infused vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice, muddled cucumber, ginger and Aperol spheres. $16.


Publow puts the finishing touches on a cocktail.


The space

Bright pops of colour scattered throughout are meant to mirror the colourful food and cocktails. Besides an airy, street-facing front dining room and bar, there’s a rear dining room with a large open kitchen and pizza oven.