Torontonicity was invited to taste the menu at Destingo Kitchen and Bar (formerly home decor store, Pavilion) on a trendy strip of Queen Street West near Tecumseth. Destingo was decked out for the holidays with festive wreaths and lights and the ultra modern interior with lovely distressed wood tables was lowly lit, which put us in a holiday mood. We were greeted by Molson, our delightful server, who suggested we try a glass of Prosecco before we started our meal. Being a teetotaler, I abstained; however, my dinner partner enjoyed the glass of sparkling wine. We put our total faith in Molson to choose the items on the menu for us and he did not disappoint. Our first appetizer was bruschetta ($3.95), chopped vine-ripe tomatoes with fresh basil on thinly sliced, bite-sized bread. The virgin olive oil marinade was divine.
Molson then brought us two plates of salad. The first was the Caprese salad ($11.95) with fresh spring greens, tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, squid and balsamic reduction.
The second salad, the Verde ($9.95) was a delight to the taste buds. A lighter version of the Waldorf salad, the Verde came with arugula, sliced green apples, walnuts and slivered parmesan. The flavours all meshed beautifully.
Our main course consisted of filet mignon with Portobello mushroom truffle sauce ($29.95) served with lightly grilled broccoli, red pepper and potato. The perfectly cooked cut of beef was so tender and tasted wonderful in the slightly sweet and not too rich Portobello mushroom sauce, which did not overwhelm the beef.
Our second main course was the Vitello Destingo ($21.95), veal scalloppine, typically served with baby scallops, but served instead with two butterfly shrimp due to an allergy, cremini mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes in a rose sauce. This house specialty was satisfying on all levels since both the shrimp and veal were complemented by the tomato wine sauce.
The chef insisted (and I’m glad he did) on serving us two of his pasta specialties: pappardelle with Marsala sauce ($15.95) and gnocchi ($14.95). I preferred the former dish because of the Marsala-soaked mushrooms and tender noodles while my dining partner loved the creamy potato gnocchi with an I-must-hit-the-gym-tomorrow four cheese cream sauce.
We barely had room for dessert, but Molson advised us that the ice cream was made in-house so our willpower was greatly weakened by this fact. I was truly surprised by the nutty yet sweet flavour of the pistachio ice cream ($9.95) , especially since I’m not a fan of pistachio nuts. Go ahead and try it; you won’t regret it.
The crème brulée was the dish I was really anticipating. Its crispy, carmel topping provided a lovely contrast to the the silky custard that lay beneath.
I would definitely return to Destingo Kitchen and Bar, not only for the fresh take on Italian food, but the warm and welcoming hospitality.
Destingo Kitchen and Bar, 741 Queen Street West (just west of Tecumseth), Toronto, 647-748-3113