The Reveal – Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto

Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto Stephanie Dickison.JPG

Don Alfonso1890, nestled in the Italian village of Sant’Agata on the Amalfi Coast, boasts two Michelin stars and Relais & Châteaux designation.

The fine dining restaurant by Chefs Alfonso and Ernesto Iaccarino has since expanded worldwide with locations in Italy (Basilicata), New Zealand, Macau, and now here in the 6ix.

Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto is the first North American location of the esteemed fine dining Italian restaurant, created in partnership with Nick Di Donato of Liberty Entertainment Group (Liberty Grand, Rosewater, BlueBlood Steakhouse, Cibo Wine Bar, Arcane, Xango).

Provisions & Tipples

Not able to hop on a plane to experience Chef Ernesto Iaccarino’s flavours of the Amalfi coast? Executive Chef Saverio Macri and Chef de Cuisine Daniele Corona want to deliver that experience here in Toronto.

While the menu is steeped in tradition, you may be surprised how modern dishes are, and that there’s a choice of dining experiences:

The la carte menu ($12-$48) in the Mezzanine Lounge and bar area upstairs offers a more casual vibe (think: post-work drinks, chill meal with friends and fam), while the expansive white and grey dining room on the main floor is reserved for finer dining - choose from the classic (including meat and seafood selections) or contemporary (vegetarian) eight-course tasting menu ($150 each), with optional sommelier-led wine pairing ($100).

There are also five-course pre-theatre classic and contemporary menus available ($75) with optional sommelier-led wine pairing ($50) offered daily Tuesday-Sunday, to be enjoyed in the dining room or on the mezzanine.

Drinks are next level with a robust wine and champagne list (part of the cellar is located on the main floor, behind the glass-enclosed wall of champagne near the entrance).  One of the sommeliers can lead you through the thick 23-page tome, listing the extensive collection of just over 800 different selections ($65-$6,500). By the glass ($15-$85) and half bottles ($75 - $325) are also available. 

Choose from Aperitif libations ($16-$24, including a MP Martini) and innovative molecular cocktails ($26-$36) mixed tableside (hence, the dry ice clouds billowing over the table).

Food diary

Choice of bread served with seasoned whipped butter.

Collection of Canapés

Inspired by the fallen leaves at the end of autumn, it’s recommended eating these colourful bites from left to right - Japanese uni on squid ink cracker, Tuna tartare on parsley cracker, Bison on chive cracker, and Rockfish on turmeric cracker. 

Ice Creamed Eel

The second course - a signature dish from the original restaurant in Sant’Agata - might not have the most appetizing title, but the mélange of Canadian sturgeon caviar, wild rosewater scented tagliatelle, savoury notes from finely minced wild herbs, and pulverized egg yolk, is captivating.

Seared Muscovy Duck Breast

Four slices of seared duck are set atop baby spinach mid-plate in between two lines of anise demi glace. Above, two elongated ovals of balsamic reduction; below a swath of royal gala puree. A light sprinkling of cinnamon and borage dust borders the marbled grey dish.

Vermicelli Di Gragnano Mackerel in Carpione Style 

A rippled, multi-tiered white vessel is a dramatic backdrop for the tangle of al dente housemade pasta with mackerel in white wine vinegar tucked in smartly at each side. A thin line of green alalunga tuna purée sauce sits at the base, while Sicilian pine nuts and caramelized onions top the toothsome pasta.

Meluzzo Nero

An aquamarine glass plate with rough hewn edges and wavy texture delivers a dreamy, floating-in-a-pristine-pool feel to the meal. Floating on top, a dollop of cauliflower puree studded with organic black oyster mushroom, guanciale, and thinly sliced black truffle for a decadent “poolside” nosh.

Bison in Rustic Bread Crust

If the name of the dish makes you think of meat in a bread bowl, think again. An ebony plate is set with a solar system of dots of varying sizes – center stage: seared organic bison tenderloin from Manitoba encased in thin layer of swiss chard, mozzarella, and rustic Italian bread, baked fresh in house daily. At the plate’s top and bottom, one small and one large dollop of salsa verde; discs of spicy San Marzano puree frame the meat on either side, with a delicate line of red chili reduction joining the outer circles. 

Chef Selection of House Made Petit Four 

The dry ice unfurling from the glass vessel makes for a dramatic dessert plate.

Neapolitan Sfogliatella 

The more traditionally plated lobster tail-shaped pastry from Campania, wows with its depth of flavours and juxtaposition of textures : delicate, intricate phyllo cone filled with a rosette of cinnamon-scented cream, sidling next to a swath of amarena cherry glaze across the plate, topped with luscious amarena cherries.

Backdrop

Set in the historic Consumer’s Gas Building of 1852, the old bones of the building can still be seen, but the space is mostly dazzling white, accented with pale wood, silvery leather, and metal finishes.

Clusters of oversize white metal floral cutouts and two original works by Toronto-born artist, Daniel Mazzone, are the only decorative touches in the dining room, save the white skull covered in butterflies - “Crane” by renowned artist Philippe Pasqua – found in every Liberty establishment, that adds a rock ‘n roll vibe to the space.

The white marble open kitchen with walk-through path built in (guests can tour the space post-meal) and glassed-in pastry room is the real showstopper.

Names

Higher ups
Nick Di Donato, Liberty Entertainment Group
Chef Alfonso Iaccarino
Chef Ernesto Iaccarino
Saverio Macri, Executive Chef
Daniele Corona, Chef de Cuisine
Paul Cowlishaw, General Manager
Oliver Stern, Bar Director and Mixologist

Numbers

Drop a pin
19 Toronto St.

Ring, ring
(416) 214-5888

Come on in
Tues-Sun 5pm-11pm

Please be seated
The restaurant can accommodate the following number of guests:
Private Dining Room - 16 Seated
Supper Club - 110 Seated | Standing 160
White Room - 20 Seated | 50 Standing

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