Ovest Italian Restaurant’s Executive Chef Danylo Mielnik has launched a new menu using classic Italian recipes with some creative twists. Seasonal ingredients and local elements are combined with authentic Italian techniques to craft dishes like homemade pasta and Roman-style pizzas.
A short flight of stairs down from the entrance leads to a rustic open space with a welcoming atmosphere. In the centre of the room is a bar where diners can order up some classic Italian cocktails and aperitifs before enjoying their meals. Passing the bar is a corner of tables that will make guests feel like they’ve been invited to an Italian family’s home for dinner. Surrounding the dining tables are walls of Ovest’s extensive wine collections waiting to pair with food.
The antipasti we tried:
Tartar di Manzo: beef tartare is nicely mixed with caper, olive, shallot, and topped with arugula, soft boiled quail egg, radish slices, and flakes of parmigiano reggiano.
Caprese di Tonno: Ovest’s own take on the classic Italian caprese salad. Instead of using tomatoes, Chef Danylo uses slices of raw albacore tuna with local buffalo mozzarella and drizzles them with basil pesto, adding a few crispy caper leaves on top.
Fragola e Basilico: baby spinach mixed with basil and olive oil is decorated with slices of strawberry, topped with local buffalo ricotta and sprinkled with pistachio bits.
The pastas we tried:
Gnocchi al Pomodoro: hand rolled potato gnocchi with a soft texture are mixed with homemade Barese cherry tomato sauce with big chunks of local buffalo ricotta cheese, garnished with a few basil leaves.
Cavatelli: hand cranked semolina pasta with a firm and chewy texture is mixed with garlic and chopped rapini with a little bit of n’duja spread and topped with shaved pecorino cheese.
The pizzas we tried:
Giardino Pizza is prepared with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, spinach, roasted red pepper and ricotta.
Funghi Pizza is topped with mozzarella and Grana Padano cheese, garlic, wild forest mushrooms, forest herbs, and drizzled with truffle oil.
The mains we tried:
Porchettina: 24-hour sous vide Niagara pork shoulder is prepared with porchetta spices and presented on a plate of splash art created with beet and fennel purée and a few drops of sea buckthorn reduction. The pork is complemented with refreshing shaved fennel.
Merluzzo: seared wild black cod from British Columbia prepared with squid ink and chili oil is cut into pieces and served with confit cherry tomatoes on top of a bed of sweet pea and basil puree. Each piece of cod is cooked to a juicy perfection.
The desserts we tried:
For dessert Chef Danylo surprised us with tiramisu made fresh on the spot accompanied by Sicilian cannoli filling, Nutella mousse with Amarena cherries, puff pastry twists and a spoon of crème brûlée. They were the perfect ending to this culinary adventure.
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