Thursday, January 9, 2014

Destingo: Casual Italian on Queen West

Opened six months ago in July, Destingo currently occupies the former Pavillion space on 741 Queen St. W. (FYI the furniture store has now been relocated to 42 Gladstone Ave). Open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, this new Italian eatery means business! For breakfast expect to find homemade muffins, eggs, bacon, pancakes, omelettes, eggs benny, etc. whereas for lunch and dinner the menu turns casual Italian with salads, pastas, pizzas and meat and seafood mains. 

The shades of grey, deep brown, rustic green and the overall decor at Destingo (Twitter: @destingoTO, Facebook: Destingo) reminds me of an Italian villa 

I like Destingo's large and roomy bar but definitely not a fan of those flatscreens.

At the back of the restaurant is a large open kitchen.

Bringing the outside in, the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front allows maximum light and a feeling of openness. I can just imagine how lovely it would be to have lunch / brunch here. The Italian restaurant also has a 1,500 sq ft. patio at the front (ugh summer can't come fast enough!).

My friend Cindy and I shared the following dishes:

VERDE ($9.95)
Arugula, Ontario granny smith apples, toasted walnuts, parmesan, champagne-pear vinaigrette
This was a great light start to the meal. The crunchiness from the apples and toasted walnuts paired very nicely with the crisp, fresh arugula and the sharp, savoury parmesan.

Lemon infused herb oil, capers, shaved asiago, arugula
A great classic Italian starter with thin slices of delicate beef topped with an arugula salad and shaved buttery asiago.

Sautéed field mushrooms, garlic marsala wine sauce
I adore pappardelle with mushrooms. There's just something very delicious when it comes to pairing this large, flat pasta with sauteed mushrooms. Toasted in an aromatic garlic marsala wine sauce, this luscious pasta was one of my favourite dishes that evening. 

Grilled jumbo tiger shrimp, squid, wild salmon and scallops in a lemon white wine sauce
A properly grilled plate of seafood with plump prawns, snappy squid, and tender salmon. Everything was nicely seared and not over cooked. Another highlight of the evening.

Veal scaloppine with baby scallops, cremini mushrooms and sundried tomatoes in a rose sauce
Classic veal scaloppine done in a killer rose sauce. The tender and soft veal cutlets alongside a medley of baby scallops, cremini mushrooms and sundried tomatoes was fantastic. This was (unexpectedly) another favourite dish.

Herb-breaded tiger shrimp in a lemon vinaigrette
These lightly breaded and firm tiger shrimps finished with a restrained drizzle of lemon vinaigrette were delicious.

TIRAMISU ($7.95)
I'm not a fan of tiramisu (I don't like cream / whipped cream) but with that aside I can say that this tiramsu was featherlight and not at all mushy. 

I prefer this rich and decadent chocolate cake over the tiramisu :)

Destingo serves classic Italian staples in a casual environment - great service and friendly staff too. Some of the mains I ordered may seem a bit pricey (i.e. close to $30) but keep in mind that I was served top quality seafood with generous portions. 

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

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