THIS NEWEST, third restaurant from David Minicucci and Rob Rossi has much in common with their previous two. Built on the site of their first collaboration, l’Unità, it was designed by the same architect (Guido Costantino) as their ever-popular second outing, Giulietta. And, as with the latter, this new place was named after a classic Alfa Romeo. But settle in at the front bar or a table in its cool, pale, handsomely minimalist dining room, pick up a menu and you should quickly discern one major departure. No pizza. Rossi’s new culinary preoccupation is instead with the cuisine of Liguria. The birthplace of pesto and focaccia di recco (a thin, crisp bread stuffed with soft, oozing stracchino cheese) also enjoys 350 km of coastline, so its culinary focus is piscine. Here, the trofie al pesto is superb, and the focaccia di recco addictively so. But it’s the beautifully executed simplicity of the seafood dishes that sets the place apart. Do not miss the umami-rich Cetara anchovies draped over whipped butter and grilled sourdough. Follow with any of the exquisitely textured fresh pastas. Next, maybe a grilled array of seafood, or halibut with mussels, fennel and tomato. The cocktails are excellent, the wine list deep, and the service highly professional. But be cautioned: the dining room can be as raucously noisy as its namesake 1960s Alfa — muffler removed and tuned for the track.
Chef Rob Rossi has taken Italian food to another level.”
Photography: Rick O’Brien
A modern, elegant, softly lit culinary oasis tucked away on the third floor of a Spadina Avenue warehouse...