Ascari Enoteca: Italian Restaurant on Queen Street East in Toronto

Ascari Enoteca is considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Toronto. The casual Italian enoteca concept is located on Queen Street East in the city’s Leslieville neighbourhood.

The restaurant is open every day of the week for dinner service and specializes in antipasti, Italian seafood dishes and house made pasta.

Fresh Italian bread at Ascari Enoteca.
Fresh Italian bread at Ascari Enoteca.

Ascari Enoteca Toronto

John Sinopoli and Erik Joyal are the owners of Ascari Enoteca. In 2008 the duo opened Table 17 in Riverside where John’s menu was comfortable yet sophisticated with dishes inspired by regional product.

In 2011, John and Erik opened Table 17’s sister restaurant Ascari Enoteca, just down the street in Leslieville. They set out to reveal their passion for Formula One racing and Italian wine with the launch of their second east end eatery.

Step Inside Ascari Enoteca

The popular Italian restaurant in Toronto is named after famed Italian race car driver Alberto Ascari. The celebrity racer was as famous for his appetite for food and wine as he was for his talent behind the wheel, earning him the nickname “ciccio” ‘ Italian for ‘chubby’.

One can certainly get comfortably chubby feasting at this friendly neighbourhood restaurant in Leslieville. Fill up on cured meats, plates of pasta and sip your way through endless bottles of fine wine. 

The restaurant’s interior offers a clear throwback to the 1950s. Eating alone or dropping by with a friend for a casual mid-week meal? We suggest hopping up at the bar, it’s the perfect perch for people watching. You’ll find a slick Ducale espresso maker surroudned by a choir of wine and aperitif bottles.

The bar at Ascari Enoteca in Leslieville.
The bar at Ascari Enoteca in Leslieville.

Bar at Ascari Enoteca

The restaurant’s wine list is always changing in order to maintain seasonality.

The owners add, “Our aim is to try to provide you with a list of wines that are authentic, pure expressions and delicious. We believe in wines that are the result of the labours of people and their conversation with nature, people who believe their winemaking is done in the vineyards and practice low-intervention in the cellar.”

You’ll also find Italian-inspired craft cocktails and draught beer by Estrella Damm, Godspeed Brewery, and Burdock Beer.

  • Tiziano: prosecco and fresh Ontario coronation grape juice
  • Paper Plane: Bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, lemon juice
  • Americano Pompelmo: Campari, Guerra Rosso Vermouth, Grapefruit, Prosecco
  • Negroni: Campari, Gin, Casa di Mariol Vermut Negre

Ascari Enoteca Menu

Ascari’s menu is comprised of inventive Italian dishes focusing on John’s love for handmade pasta. We suggest ordering 4-5 dishes between two people.

Ascari Enoteca: Small Bites

  • Pane: mixed sourdough bread from Forno Cultura bakery
  • Olives: Italian olives marinated with spices & citrus
  • Crostini alla Toscana: chicken liver mousse, soft onions, capers, sage
  • Spiducci d’Agnello: charcoal grilled lamb, lemon, Maldon salt
  • Arancini Cacio e Pepe: rice balls, pecorino cheese, pepper, fonduta
Crostini alla Toscana at Ascari Enoteca Italian restaurant.
Crostini alla Toscana.

Ascari Enoteca: Things To Share

  • Rapini con Baccala: charcoal grilled rapini, poached salt cod, lemon, almonds, chili flakes
  • Cavoletti di Bruxelles: shaved brussels sprouts, guanciale, garlic chips, toasted walnuts
  • Broccolini Fritti: lightly battered broccolini, pecorino cheese,  lemon zest

Ascari Enoteca: Antipasti

  • Salumi: mixed cured meats
  • Gamberi con Salse Verde: grilled white shrimp, clerey and cucumber salad, salsa verde, apple vinaigrette
  • Carpaccio di Manzo con Bagna Cauda: seared beef, warm olive oil infused with juniper, rosemary, garlic, anchovy paste, fennel salad, pecorino sardo
  • Insalata Finocchio: Treviso radicchio, grilled fennel, grainy mustard aioli, caperberries, speck
A salad of celery, mozzarella, almonds and anchovies at Ascari Enoteca in Toronto.
A salad of celery, mozzarella, almonds and anchovies at Leslieville’s best Italian restaurant.

Ascari Enoteca: Pasta

  • Spaghetti alla Chitarra: tomato sauce, pecorino di Sardegna, baby basil
  • Caramelle di Zucca: kabocha squash & mascarpone filling, sage, brown butter, capers, lemon
  • Pappardelle all Guancia di Manzo: braised beef cheeks, black pepper, fried shallot, marjoram, grana padano
  • Trofie ai Funghi: hen of the woods mushrooms, chicory,  preserved lemon, grana padano
  • Linguine alla Puttanesca: cherry tomato, anchovy, capers, garlic, gaeta olives, smoked cod
  • Spaghetti alla Carbonara: guanciale, charred corn, pecorino cheese, egg yolk, cracked black pepper
Enjoy delicious Italian seafood dishes at Ascari Enoteca.
Enjoy delicious Italian seafood dishes at Ascari Enoteca.

Ascari Enoteca Desserts

  • Torta al Cioccolato: dark chocolate, house made almond cookie, amaretto chantilly cream
  • Bomboloni: nutmeg pastry cream, chocolate ganache, cocoa nibs
  • Budino di Limone: steamed lemon pudding, whipped cream, vanilla syrup

Other Popular Restaurants in Leslieville…

Torta al Cioccolato a popular dessert at Ascari Enoteca.
Torta al Cioccolato a popular dessert at Ascari Enoteca.

Ascari Enoteca Hours

Everyday 5:30-10pm

Ascari Enoteca Reservations

1111 Queen Street East, 416-792-4157

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