Inside Toronto's vibrant new Sicilian-inspired restaurant (PHOTOS)

Aug 23 2021, 3:28 pm

There are many reasons Torontonians love the corner of College and Clinton. A hub of beloved spots like Birreria Volo, the corner is also home to the legendary Cafe Diplomatico, Rudy, and Pompette.

And Zitto Zitto Taverna fits in perfectly.

While it may be new to this bustling intersection, it really isn’t. It is located next door to Sotto Voce Wine & Pasta Bar and is run by husband and wife team Anita and Alan Thomson, who have been there for over 20 years.

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And that long history of hospitality shows. From the moment you walk into Zitto Zitto Taverna, you are greeted by (what feels like) family. It’s that feeling Torontonians go to College Street for.

The Thomsons have described Zitto Zitto like Sotto’s “big sister,” taking a more elevated approach to the menu and the decor throughout the large space.

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The space is large, spanning four different areas, each with a theme designed to make you feel at home — particularly the restaurant’s main room. Looking around, the walls are covered with family photos – real family photos of Anita and Alan’s families. Each picture tells a story, and together they create that feeling of being at home.

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Of course, one of the spaces is the renovated patio that is reminiscent of Italy, all while fully connected to that beloved intersection of College and Clinton.

One thing that Sotto Voce has done well for years is their menu, and this big sister will soon be known for the same thing.

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From its grilled Sardines starters to the Tiramisu dessert, dishes are influenced by Sicilian chef Alessandro Militello.

The menu is simple, with a heavy emphasis on the grill. Salads include an Arugula roasted beet carpaccio dish, and a very refreshing La Siciliana, with sliced oranges, fennel, mint and a citronette vinaigrette.

Speaking of refreshing, the cocktails are creations from their experienced bartenders and take on the classics, along with must-try Zitto Zitto originals.

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The dishes are just as appealing to the sense of sight as to the sense of smell and taste.

Mushroom lovers can’t go wrong with the Pappardelle ai Funghi, but the pasta menu also includes a Spaghetti alle Vongele for those who enjoy seafood.

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The Branzino alla Griglia is a must-try dish at Zitto Zitto. This fresh grilled sea bass is seasoned with herbs and olive oil and will melt in your mouth.

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Cap off the evening at this new Taverna with some dessert as you watch the night go by from the patio. Knowing how involved Alan and Anita are with their restaurants, they may pop by your table to check on you just as your family would.

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“Our real business is in building memories,” Anita is known to say.

And this is one more reason to love the corner of College and Clinton.

Zitto Zitto Taverna

Where: 593 College Street


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