Just steps away from Hotel Victoria (walk south on Yonge Street then east on Wellington Street East) the pretty, newly opened Cantina Mercatto is perfect for a romantic meal, a quick snack or a reviving brunch.

This is the fifth Mercatto venture and the owners have other culinary interests too, including a partnership with Craig Harding, who once cooked at the original Mercatto. The food at Cantina is Italian through and through, though head chef Doug Neigel is not. About half of the menu consists of classics that are served at all Mercatto locations (tortiglioni bolognese, orecchiette pugliese, a silken carbonara, pizzas) and half are new creations, including a selection of after-work snacks and good array of vegetarian plates. Or you can try the spectacular 18-ounce, 40-day dry-aged ribeye served with shishito peppers, artichokes, a shallot agrodolce and French fries.

Cantina means cellar, so there is a distinct focus on wine here, with the compelling list broken down nicely into categories like Light Bright Zippy Reds, Crisp Mineral Mouthwatering Whites and Fruity Spicy Floral Reds.

Hit up the Cantino Mercatto for a date night, an after-work gathering, a family celebration or a meal before or after the theatre. You’ll find something there to suit every taste and dietary restriction.

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