There’s no better reason to enjoy a fancy feast than when your sister’s visiting from Vancouver. It was on a chilly evening in October when I peddled along Harbord Street in search of the floral splashed mural which adorns the pretty facade of Piano Piano.
My family arrived shortly after, skipping through a spacious dinning room to offer big bear hugs before plopping down in their seats. We snaked our fingers down the menu, regularly distracted as we peered into the open concept kitchen as bowls of pasta and plates topped with perfectly scorched pizza danced around the room.
The address, formerly occupied by much loved Spendido, recently transformed into a new culinary concept so owner and executive chef Victor Barry could make life a bit easier for him and his family. Piano Piano (short for “piano piano va lontano” – Italian for slowly, slowly one goes further) is less fussy, more playful and just as delicious.
The restaurant’s whimsical interior was designed by Tiffany Pratt, who worked closely with Chef Victor to create a space that felt like a second home. Hop up on a stool at the bar and you’ll find dangling golden chandeliers and a massive mirror covered in vibrant foliage. In the dinning room splashes of pink and black can be found in a collection of paintings, original artwork produced by Victor’s wee daughter Charlotte (how cute!)
The Canadian-Italian dinner menu features old-school favourites (carbonara, veal parm, wood-fired pizza) all made from scratch as well as a short but sweet cocktail menu and on-point wine list. Highlights from our fine feast include spicy nduja Pork Gnocchi Fritti, creamy Smoked Burrata, soft as a pillow Pumpkin Agnolotti, humorously titled “Winter is Coming” pizza topped with gorgonzola, apple and walnut, and fillet of Rainbow Trout perched over white bean ragu.
Pork Gnocchi Fritti | Spicy Pork Nduja, Fennel Salad
Smoked Burrata | Garlic Bread, Dates, Espresso, Sweet Garlic Oil, Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Agnolotti | Sage, Brown Butter, Parmigiano, Amaretti
“Winter Is Coming” Pizza | Grilled Radicchio, Endive, Apple, Walnut, Gorgonzola
Roasted Rainbow Trout | White Bean, Garlic, Tomato, Zucchini, Ragu