In a city as diverse as Toronto, it is easy to overlook certain “classic” cuisines in favour of something new and exotic. Italian is one of those cuisines that gets a bad rep- red sauce spots with heaps of overcooked spaghetti and candles in Chianti bottles are terribly out of fashion. Enter Stelvio- here to flip the script.
Stelvio is a welcome addition to the Queen Street West food landscape. They serve Italian- but none of that clichéd stuff. This is Northern Italian food, focused on the region bordering Switzerland. Expect loads of delicious buckwheat fritters filled with cheese, called Sciatt, rich pasta tossed with zucchini and mint, polenta with sausage and tomatoes, and- best of all- the Zigeuner- thin, grilled beef rolled around a wooden skewer with pancetta and rosemary. It’s also the most Instagrammable dish on the menu- just imagine your friend gnawing their way through what looks to be a rolling pin covered in meat.
The restaurant is simple in design- clean white and black, nothing kitschy. The service is good, and knowledgeable about what you’re going to eat. This is pretty new territory for most diners. And naturally, what Italian restaurant would be complete without a great wine list? Try to pick something regional to match perfectly with the food. Stelvio is well located near a lot of the Queen Street shopping, so think about dropping in for lunch in between stores. Buon appetito!