Queen Street West is not known for its offerings of Italian fare. However, restauranteur Monika Vacca decided to go forth and change that. With a prime location (including 1,500 square feet) including large beautiful windows draping the restaurant with tons of natural sunlight and a casual stroll away from Trinity Bellwoods, Destingo was born.
The restaurant while vast also oozes of old world charm and rustic feel. The fare is much of the same, sticking to traditional classics. Case in point, one of the appetizers they have on the menu, Prosciutto di Buffala ($13.95). With a dish this simple, it could be so easy to mess up but all flavours complimented each other with just the slightest bit of olive oil. Our next appetizers was the Grilled Calamari ($14.50). My issue with Calamari a lot of times is: restaurants do not get it right. But Destingo got this dish so right. It was probably one of my favourite dishes of the evening. All across the huge pieces were grill marks. It kept me wishes there were more plates to come. Finally, we launched into the Beef Capriccio ($12.95) which was tender and melt in your mouth goodness.
Main courses are handled with intense care over at Destingo and you have many selections, even if you are gluten-free (just ask your waiter for specifics). We launched into the Funghi Risotto ($18.95), which could always be a make or break situation for a restaurant. In this case, this dish was not one of my favourites. This risotto was a bit heavy handed on the saffron and too al-dente for my liking. Perhaps a personal preference? For meat options, we checked out the Veal Scaloppine with oregano in a basil tomato sauce ($18.95), which was super old school Italian and so delicious. Finally, we ended off our meal with Gnocchi four Destingo ($14.95), which was probably my favourite dish of the evening. Pillow-like gnocchi in a creamy and cheesy sauce which was not at all overpowering. It was good until the last bite and then some.
Like any good Italian restaurant, Destingo offers up traditional espressos, cappuccinos and other coffees with Creme Brûlée and Tiramisu. This will help finish up and encapsulate any meal. Alas, I decided not to partake in any of these goodies while I was there, as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth myself.
As the Queen West neighborhood continues to develop, as does it need for more contemporary and casual date spots or family oriented & unpretentious supper houses, Destingo becomes the spot to go. Since my original visit, I have been back once more for lunch and I was still impressed with all the offerings and what they had. From good food to good prices and staff whom are willing to help you in making great choices (from food to wine), Destingo has you covered.