It’s unfortunately not uncommon to hear of local restaurants closing as a result of the financial pressures of the pandemic. That’s why it was refreshing to hear of the opening of Zitto Zitto Taverna in Little Italy by husband-and-wife Alan and Anita Thomson, co-owners of longstanding Sotto Voce.
Zitto Zitto’s menu is curated by Sicilian chef Alessandro Militello, who previously worked at EVOO in Yorkville. The menu heavily focuses on the grill.
We had the pleasure of dining in the middle room, which is elegantly appointed with a gorgeous round oak table at the center of the room. An attention-seeking light fixture, and a wine fridge of vintages from around the world extends across the width of one wall. Sliding doors completely close the room for privacy and an added bonus is each dining room has its own sound system so you won’t hear the music from the neighbouring dining room. This room seats a maximum of 30 so it would be ideal for family gatherings.
The main dining room has a modern vibe with bold, gemstone colours and funky chairs and tables, and faces the patio. Be sure to check out the photos of the owners’ families, which adorn the walls and give this room a warm feeling.
We were offered cocktails to start. My dining partner requested a gin cocktail and was pleased with the bartender’s tailor-made result: a delicious concoction of gin, lavender syrup, lemon, and Prosecco. She found the drink particularly refreshing on this hot day!
If you’re following the Keto diet like I am, you will love Zitto Zitto Taverna’s menu of meat and seafood options! Of course, there are pasta dishes in keeping with an Italian restaurant. For an appetizer, I chose Grilled Octopus with saffron potatoes while my dining partner selected Mixed Mushrooms in a truffle-infused Gorgonzola cream sauce. My octopus was perfectly grilled while the saffron potatoes were light and fragrant. The selection of mushrooms was earthy and flavourful in a cheese sauce that was satiny smooth.
For our second plates, I ordered Insalata Zitto Zitto with arugula, roasted beet carpaccio, strawberries, goat cheese and Balsamic vinaigrette while my dining partner chose La Siciliana: a salad of sliced orange, fennel, black olives, mint, red onions in a citronette vinaigrette.ette at Zitto Zitto Taverna
I loved the presentation of my arugula salad…the salad was piled high and so artistic that I didn’t want to disassemble it! The arugula and beet combination succeeded. I really enjoyed the roasted beet carpaccio – the texture was similar to sliced ham, but the flavour was delicate and any slight bitterness was reduced by its pairing with goat cheese.
The fennel and orange salad was inspired: sweet orange slices bring the taste of fennel to a new level while the olives and onions provided the necessary salty/spicy flavours to complete this dish.
My main course was the Mixed Seafood Grill with grilled calamari, shrimp, scallop and lobster tail. This is my dream dish as I am a seafood lover! All of the seafood was grilled to perfection! Delicious!
My dining partner selected the Grilled Pork Chop with pear chutney. While she enjoyed the flavour of the pork chop, she found there was a bit too much fat on the chop for her liking. The pear chutney was a brilliant choice as its delicate sweetness attenuated the sharp flavour of the pork.
My dining partner and I shared the house Tiramisu for dessert. We found the Italian specialty light, sweet and satisfying.
It’s been a long year-and-a-half. Celebrate our gradual reopening by visiting Zitto Zitto Taverna for an experience of superior cuisine and service – it will remind you of good times past and those to come!