Your first look at King West's new Italian restaurant: Ascari (PHOTOS)

Jun 24 2019, 9:13 pm

King Street West is having a moment.

From Israeli cuisine to perfect pizza to the promise of bright, beautiful brunch, the neighbourhood is getting more delicious by the day.

And newly-opened Ascari adds indulgent and soulful Italian eats to the growing roster of fresh food.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

The Queen East import’s mouthwatering menu is now available at 620 King Street West. And alongside drool-worthy ingredients, the new spot is serving a vibe, too.

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Inspired by Alberto Ascari — the Italian racer who was¬†twice the World Champion of Formula One — the interior of the space is decked out with vintage photos and natural tones.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

On a warm day, you’ll likely opt for the sun-filled patio that overlooks King West. But if the breeze is swirling, the rain is falling, or you’d prefer to tuck into a cooler space for a while, the interior of the restaurant is the ideal escape from the bustling street.

The west side of the restaurant is flooded with natural light, stemming from sky-high windows and cavernous ceilings.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

And the east side of the restaurant escapes the windows, opting instead for a darker and cozier, intimate vibe. It’s the perfect space to enjoy a date night or a birthday gathering.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

The bar divides the space, serving as a warm and welcoming place to convene in the centre of the eatery.

From cocktails (ahem – the Quattro E Venti and Dolce Bacio are showstoppers) to beers to wines imported from Europe, this place is stocked with all you need to wind down after a long day at work.

And if after-dinner espresso is your speed, they’ve got you covered on that, too.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

In addition to the long list of cocktail and wine options, the menu is riddled with indulgent share plates, mains, and desserts.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

While you don’t want to totally fill up on a starter, you’ve got to choose a couple of bold flavours to begin. The Carpaccio di Manzo takes thin slices of seared beef fillet and tops them with fresh greens and beef fat mayo.

The scent alone will have you salivating as soon as the plate hits your table.

And the Crostini Alla Toscana — that’s chicken liver mousse with soft onions and capers — is bursting with brilliant smooth and salty flavours.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

When it comes to mains, everyone knows you’ve got to go big or go home. And so, we recommend the Agnello.

Rich yet modest, indulgent yet fresh, this smoked Australian lamb rack is served alongside mint crusted lamb neck, spring peas, king oyster mushroom, and farro.

Ensure you’ve got equal parts veg and meat on every bite, to really make the most of the combination of flavours.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

And to balance a meat-heavy main, you’ll want something smooth and of-the-sea, perhaps, to go alongside it.

The Baccala Alla Vicentina Con Polenta features soft bramata polenta, salt cod braised in milk, parsley, parm, and crispy shallot. It’s as soft, creamy and creative as a dish can be, and it’s sure to pull you over to the salt-cod-lovers team.

And a meal isn’t over until something sweet closes the show.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

While any of the dessert options are sure to offer what you’re looking for, the Crostata Al Limone Con Pinoli will blow your mind.

Not your average lemon tart, this baby is topped with pine nut tuile and chocolate mint, serving as a fresh end to your meal.

Kayla Gladysz / Daily Hive

The eatery is open from 11:30 until 10 pm Monday through Wednesday, from 11:30 until 11 pm on Thursday and Friday, and from 10 am until 11 pm and 10 pm on Saturday and Sunday, consecutively.

So don’t sleep on getting your Italian eats on.

Because, Mama Mia… this spot is finger-kissing good.

Ascari King Street

Address: 620 King Street West
Phone: 416-366-3673


Kayla GladyszKayla Gladysz

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