Daily bite: Oliver & Bonacini opens Parcheggio in Toronto's North York neighbourhood

The newest addition to the neighbourhood promises hearty and simple Italian fare

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photos by Cindy La.

Did you know parcheggio means “parking lot” in Italian? Well, it’s also the name for North York’s latest addition to the GTA culinary scene.

Parcheggio Ristorante, the newest venture from Toronto-based restaurant group Oliver & Bonacini promises to satisfy your deepest seafood, pasta and steak cravings with a menu inspired by executive chef Andrew Piccinin’s Northern Italian roots.

“Italian food is in my bones. It’s my heritage. I feel a joy cooking Italian food that’s unlike anything else,” says Piccinin, whose paternal grandparents are from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in northeast Italy. His own food memories, he recalls, bring feelings of happiness, safety and contentment.

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There’s definitely a focus on comfort at the restaurant, where leather chairs and banquettes are inspired by vintage Italian upholstery. Antique street lights and hand-painted parking lot graphics add to the modern whimsy of the décor–everything keeps with the ‘parking lot’ theme.

There is a method to the madness: the new restaurant can be found in the south parking lot of Bayview Village shopping Centre. It was built into the former Origin restaurant space, which was owned by Bonacini's fellow MasterChef Canada judge, Claudio Aprile.

In terms of dining, expect to be treated like one of the family, with simple, well-cooked Italian antipasti, salads, sandwiches, handmade pastas, meat and seafood, including the arancini Caprese salad, Nonna’s Ten Layer Lasagna or the hearty, veal and bacon meatballs,

There’s a patio too, perfect for sipping one of five versions of the classic Negroni. For your designated driver, try an Italian craft soda or creative mocktail.

Parcheggio is starting out today serving lunch and dinner (Tuesday to Sunday), with a weekend brunch in the not-too-distant future.