Modern Italian cuisine and fine wines are bountiful at the King West, cantina-inspired, Ovest restaurant. This cozy 120-seat space offers high ceilings, an illuminated bar, wine display, industrial flair, dimmed-hanging lighting and an intensive food and drink menu to take your palette on a tantalizing journey. The menu is categorized into antipasto, salumi e formaggi, pizza, pasta, main dishes, sides and desserts.
Executive Chef, Danylo Mielnik, creates authentic Italian dishes with innovative twists using local and seasonal ingredients. He has added some excellent additions to the already vast menu and I recently attended a media preview dinner to try some of it out.
Tartar di Manzo - raw beef, caper, olive, shallot, arugula, egg, parmigiano
Fragola e Basilico - strawberry, baby spinach, basil, local ricotta di bufala, pistachio
Caprese di Tonno - raw albacore tuna, local mozzarella di bufala, basil pesto, crispy caper
Cavatelli - hand cranked semolina pasta, n'duja, rapini, garlic, pecorino
Gnocchi al Pomodoro - hand rolled potato gnocchi, Barese cherry tomato sauce with local ricotta di bufala
Giardino - San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, basil, spinach, roasted red pepper, ricotta salata
Merluzzo - B.C. black cod, sweet pea puree, confit cherry tomato, squid ink
Porchettina - 24-hour sous vide Niagara pork shoulder, porchetta spices, beet and fennel purée
Crème brûlée,Tiramisu, Sicilian cannoli filling, Nutella mousse and Amarena cherries with puff pastry twists
The highlights for me were the caprese di tonno, cavatelli, gnocchi, and tiramisu. The caprese was an interesting take on the regular caprese salad. The fresh tuna with basil pesto really made this dish refreshing and light. It was easy to eat and a perfect start before the main dishes.
The cavatelli and gnocchi were both really well-done pasta dishes. The fresh pasta and sauces were evident in texture and flavour and every ingredient came together fabulously. I really loved the spice in the cavatellii thanks to the n'duja.
The dessert we had was quite extravagant! The pastry chefs went all out and decided to create the dessert items right on the table. The live dessert making was impressively entertaining and beautifully orchestrated. It was almost too pretty to eat but I really mowed down on the fresh and creamy tiramisu.
My least favourite dish was the black cod. Maybe I’m spoiled because I have had many amazing buttery black cod dishes before but unfortunately this one seemed a bit overcooked and lacked flavour.
All of our dishes were paired with some fantastic vintage wines which really made the whole dining experience come together perfectly.
I had a wonderful time at Ovest and am really glad I discovered this Italian gem. Ovest makes the perfect dining experience for those looking for a cozy ambiance with absolutely fresh and flavourful Italian cuisine and an array of exclusive wines.
, by Natalie G