What’s on the menu at Gia, Trinity Bellwoods’ new spot for plant-forward Italian
Contact: 1214 Dundas St. W., giarestaurant.ca, @giatoronto
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Owners: Jenny Coburn (Ufficio) and 5D Capital
Chef: Michal Prajs
Seating: 40 indoors, 28 outdoors
Covid-19 safety measures: Frequent sanitization, indoor mask policy, physically distanced tables, contact tracing
Accessibility: Not fully accessible
Gia’s plant-forward menu is not entirely free of animal products, but it leans hard in that direction. With hearty, creative takes on Italian cooking, the food is accessible whether or not you’re familiar with the many uses of nutritional yeast. Vegetables and house-made pasta are the stars of the show in dishes like porcini agnolotti, crispy charred Brussels sprouts and oyster mushroom “calamari,” all of which minimize the use of meat substitutes. Parmigiano Reggiano and burrata are among the restaurant’s sparing use of animal by-products, though you can always opt for vegan parm.
Cocktails infused with fresh juices and seasonal fruit, like the spritely bourbon-based Pesca Fresca made with Ontario peach purée. Natural and sustainable options feature on the wine list, which is entirely Old World. The beer, meanwhile, is all local—brews from Elora Brewing Company are the main attraction, alongside other great options from Woodhouse and GLB.
Dusty rose upholstery, minimalistic wall décor, and a beautiful herringbone floor give the space a soft, welcoming feel. A walnut-topped bar, complete with a portrait of model Gia Carangi (the restaurant’s namesake), is the centrepiece of the dining room. And for summery days, there’s a sun-drenched patio.