What’s on the menu at Dova, Cabbagetown’s new Sicilian restaurant from the owners of Ardo

What’s on the menu at Dova, Cabbagetown’s new Sicilian restaurant from the owners of Ardo

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Name: Dova
Contact: 229 Carlton St., 416-901-3501, dovarestaurant.com, @dova.restaurant
Neighbourhood: Cabbagetown
Previously: Hey Lucy Cafe
Owners: Roberto Marotta and Jacqueline Nicosia (Ardo)
Chef: Roberto Marotta (Ardo)
Accessibility: One step at entrance; basement washroom and private dining lounge are down a flight of stairs; back patio is down a flight of stairs
Covid-19 safety measures: Hand sanitizer stations at entrance and doorways; tables are sanitized when guests finish their meal; masks are to be worn when leaving the table; plexiglass barriers between open kitchen and counter seating

The food

Named after Don Vale, the village that eventually became Cabbagetown, Dova serves contemporary Sicilian dishes. The dinner menu features fresh seafood, house-made artisanal pastas, ethically sourced meats and wood-fired pizzas finished with ingredients imported from Sicily. Weekend brunch brings things like fried organic eggs on braised Sicilian lentils, house-made sourdough pancakes with hazelnut maple praline sauce or Sicilian chocolate sauce, and a spinach-ricotta-potato frittata that can embellished with black truffle for a bit extra.

For this starter, whipped ricotta is topped with shaved tuna bottarga, lemon and a generous drizzle of Leonardo Marino extra-virgin olive oil. It’s served with grilled slices of Dova’s house-made sourdough bread. $17.


The Sardina features a single smoked Mediterranean sardine filet with roasted red bell pepper and mascarpone mousse. $13.


Semolina-breaded calamari and zucchini. $18.


This crudo dish finishes Nova Scotia scallops with wild fennel, chilies, orange wedges and Leonardo Marino extra virgin olive oil. $21.


Carpaccio comes covered in arugula, raw king oyster mushrooms and saffron pecorino Ennese cheese. $16.


Tender octopus with parsley, celery leaf and grilled lemon. $19.


The Ricotta and Pepe pasta dish tops spaghetti with fresh ricotta and cracked black pepper. $19.


Made from their house sourdough, the pizzas are baked at 400 degrees in the white oak–burning oven. The Fumo, pictured here, is topped with fior di latte, tomato sauce, house-cured guanciale, smoked scamorza and chilies. $19.


The Maialino features brined and slow-roasted suckling pig served with a juniper reduction and red wine-poached shallot. $29.


The Arancia is Dova’s take on tiramisu. It’s made with lady finger biscuits, orange mascarpone, Cointreau, candied orange and pistachio. $9.


And here’s a whole spread.
The drinks

Signature cocktails (in both boozy and zero-proof options) are made using Sicilian ingredients and house-made infusions. There’s also a selection of amaros, whiskeys, bourbons and grappas, as well as local craft beers and unique consignment wines—many of which are from Sicily, of course.

Here’s a selection of Sicilian wines currently available by the glass or bottle. From left to right, there’s Vigneti Zabu Chiantari (smooth and easy to drink), Possente Nero D’Avola, Gulfi Nerojbleo (bolder), Vigneti Vecchio Sciare Vive Rosso (made from 50- to 80-year-old vines), Tenuta delle terre Nere Etna Bianco (considered the new Burgundy of Sicily) and Possento Grillo (an alternative to chardonnay).


The Calice is a mix of bourbon, Chartreuse green, amaro, Dom Benedictine, lemon juice and a peperoncino and rosemary syrup. $15.


The Olio is made with gin infused with Sicilian olive oil, basil syrup, lime juice, egg white and Abbott’s bitters. $16 (or $12 for non-alcoholic).


The Dova Caesar combines vodka infused with horseradish and pickle juice, lime juice, pomodoro water, house-made Worcestershire sauce, balsamic reduction and celery bitters. $16 ($13 for non-alcoholic).


The space

Save for the wood-fired pizza oven, everything in the space was overhauled, filled with custom-made furniture and decorated with tiles and stoneware shipped in from Sicily. The main dining room is bright and airy with banquettes flanking one wall of the long room, with counter seating lining the bar and open kitchen. There’s also a covered back patio that can seat 39 guests and a private lounge downstairs that can be reserved for larger dining groups.

Hilditch Architect Inc. is behind Dova’s minimalist dining room.


There’s some seating at the bar.


A plexiglass barrier separates the open kitchen from four counter seats.


Marotta (front) and his team in the brand-new open kitchen.


Equipped with its own bar, air conditioning and sound system, the basement dining lounge is wrapped in plush drapes and can be reserved for larger parties.


There’s the pizza oven.


Dova’s entrance opens up to a pantry stocked with goods from Vivi Imports, Marotta’s other business.


Pantry goods include Sicilian olive oils, bars of Antica Dolceria Bonajuto chocolates (one of the region’s oldest chocolate makers), tomato sauce and peperoncino.


Here’s a closer look at those chocolate bars.


There’s a 39-seat covered patio tucked behind the restaurant.


Partners in business and in life, Jacqueline Nicosia and Roberto Marotta.