Patio Pick: Gusto 101

Photo credit: Henrieta Hansikova

Perhaps you can’t escape to the fine dining experiences of fresh pasta and stunning wines in Italy this summer, but don’t fret because Gusto 101, founded by Janet Zuccarini (owner of Trattoria Nervosa in Yorkville), brings the mouth-watering flavours of Italian cuisine to the hub of Toronto.

Born in Spilimbergo, Friuli, Italy, Chef Danel Mezzolo offers his traditional Italian experiences. Focused on the fresh ingredients, Mezzolo has prepared a Nonna’s Family Style sharing menu available to large groups all summer.

His favourite motto is “In the kitchen, as in life, itʼs the simple things that matter.” His menu of Arancini, Carpaccio, Margherita Pizza, Polpette Pizza (made on their wood-fire grill), Insalta Cavolo Nero and Rigatoni ai Funghi are prepared with simple, fresh ingredients that do not leave you feeling uncomfortably full but supremely satisfied. Guests can experience sharing a great meal with family and friends, sampling a bit of everything Gusto has to offer and enjoy a night out without the stress and mess of having company over.

Described by many as the Skydome of patios, Gusto’s outdoor space can accommodate in rain or shine due to its retractable rooftop – perfect for Toronto’s unpredictable summer weather and better yet, year round – one point for patio-lovers.

But the garage-to-Gusto design is what impresses most. Keeping to the building’s roots – a 1900s auto body shop – the space is uniquely decorated with accouterments reminiscent of what the area was originally used for and yet is very warm and inviting. The design work of Zuccarini with architect Giancarlo Garfolo and designer Munge Leung has not gone unnoticed internationally: Gusto was given the 2013 Hospitality Design Award in the casual restaurant category.

The retractable roof and award-wining design are not the only cutting-edge features Gusto has to offer. It has adopted a trend common in the United States – wine on tap. The house wine, overlooked by sommelier and manager Matteo Floris, born in Nocafeltria, Italy, is from their basement winery and is perfect for those who like variety. Gone are the days of committing to one bottle!

Click here to view menu options.