What’s on the menu at Danny’s Pizza Tavern in Little Italy, an ode to classic American pizzerias
Name: Danny’s Pizza Tavern
Contact: 611 College St., dannyspizzatavern.com, @dannyspizzatavern
Neighbourhood: Little Italy
Owners: Danny Barna, Anna Hopkins and some silent partners
Chefs: Jonathan Pde
Seating: 38 inside, 24 on the patio
Accessibility: Fully accessible
Co-owners Danny Barna and Anna Hopkins both have full-time jobs—he’s an editor, she’s an actor. Yet, as if they weren’t busy enough, the couple decided to open a restaurant. “We wanted to create a friendly neighbourhood-tavern vibe. It’s welcoming to everyone, serviceable for all occasions,” says Barna. “You can come here with your family to crush a pie. Or, if you want to come for a fancy date, you can do that too.”
Danny’s does classic American dining. The signature dish is tavern pie, a thin crust–style pizza cut into small squares, popular in midwestern cities like Chicago and St. Louis. And a lot of the other menu items have a distinct American sensibility: burgers, french fries, caesar salad, mozzarella sticks. To execute the menu, Barna and Hopkins connected with chef Jonathan Pde, who most recently worked in the kitchens at Piano Piano and the Park Hyatt. Here’s a look at what he’s sending out of the kitchen.
For beverage options, Danny’s offers local beer (plus Moretti) on tap, an interesting wine list that ranges from spendy bottles to chuggable by-the-glass options, and classic cocktails (including what may be the city’s biggest Aperol spritz).
Back in May, Barna and Hopkins took out a five-year lease on the space formerly occupied by Virtuous Pizza, which came with a pizza oven. Most of the 1,400-square-foot interior needed an overhaul, so they got to work, adding wood-panel walls and finger-flute banquettes. For the decor, Barna and Hopkins borrowed inspiration from classic American taverns: candles, stained glass, paintings, family photos.
“We’re trying to create something that feels warm, cozy and lived in, not austere and frigid,” says Barna. “We made sure that most of the pieces on the wall had some sort of personal significance to us. It would have felt disingenuous to go on Amazon for a week and stuff this place with crap.”