Walking up and down Spadina, through the heart of Chinatown, you’ll find no shortage of culture-consistent staples.
If you’re in the mood for Bao, dumplings, Dim sum, duck or a few afternoon sips of bubble tea and a few late-night gulps of cold tea, the red-tinted track of Chinatown has you covered. As of last week though, you’ll be happy to know that if your cravings happen to take the shape of a boot, you needn’t hoof it any further.
Wedged between two knick-knack merchants, at 382 Spadina Street, Levetto has just opened its 3rd Toronto location (6th across the province). While the storefront blends in rather inconspicuously, the food and drink, as usual for the brand, is a distinct splash of panache for the area.
The space covers about 1200 square feet, with room for about 30, split between bench seats near the venue’s front window and a cozy brick-walled back room with family-style seating. The long, roomy kitchen runs through the centre of the layout with 400 square feet of folding, flipping, slicing, shaving and saucing.
On the Chinatown menu you’ll find the Levetto classics like the smoked prosciutto pizza, with sweet medjool date sauce, fresh arugula and Fior de latte.
The Rigatoni with slow-braised beef ragu, grana padano and chive
The Pomodoro pasta, with fresh basil and garlic-infused olive oil.
The Carbonara, with smoked bacon, cracked black pepper and grana Padano.
Their insane coconut cake, covered in pistachios.
But you know what they say about “When in Rome” – especially when “Rome” is “China”. The latest Levetto is offering one delicious dish exclusive to the Chinatown location; a Peking Duck Pizza, generously drenched in duck, duck crackling, cucumber, scallion and hoisin sauce.
To wash it all down, you can snag one of several bottles of Italian wines the restaurant brings in through consignment, including any high-end specialty bottles they decide to stock and store in their nitro-tap preservation units.
“I grew up down the street and have seen the drastic change of Chinatown,” says Nicolas Wen Shea, one of the location co-owners alongside James Liu. “It has become very diverse but has kept its excellent tourism appeal. We believe Levetto’s simple and fresh dishes cater to the mix of local residence, students, tourists and busy professionals in the area that like to treat themselves to a quick and fresh meal at great prices.”
There are probably a lot of people pretty excited to have an Italian page in the Chinatown menu. If the flowers of congratulations left behind are any indication, that certainly includes the townies.