Last weekend, my friend and I were aimlessly walking around Queen Street West, when we stumbled past a restaurant with an amazingly spacious patio. We took a step back and then realized it was the newly restaurant Destingo (@destingoTO), opened by owner Monika Vacca.
Destingo, meaning destined to go, opened its doors to the public with the vision of serving contemporary and casual Italian foods and wine at moderate prices. Monika brought along Vaticano’s former sous-chef Arshad Uwais – together, making some of their favourite dishes.
The restaurant itself gives off a complete relaxing and laid back feel. Lots of natural lighting shining through the clear windows. My friend and I spent quite some time enjoying the surroundings at this new eatery.
The service here was quite attentive but not entirely intrusive. Our waitress thoroughly went through the menu with us and gave us some recommendations knowing that we were a bit indecisive. Our dishes came out of the kitchen at a moderate pace. Throughout the course of the meal, my friend and I took our time to savour the food – but by no means were we rushed out.
Pimms Cup ($10.00)
- pimms No.1, fresh mint, cucumber wheels, lemon, 7 up. 2 oz.
- Pimms Cup is my all time favourite cocktail! The combination of fresh mint, cucumbers and lemon makes it so tasty and refreshing.
Complimentary Bread to start. The bread was served with my favourite type of sweet butter!
P.E.I. Mussels ($12.95)
- choice of house made spiced tomato sauce or white wine broth
- We opted for the white wine broth. The warm plate of mussels tasted great and its presence wasn’t out shined by the broth.
- Though this was a great start to our meal, we felt that the mussels were quite tiny.
Shrimp Burger ($11.50)
- lettuce, local tomato, seafood aioli, red onion, pretzel bun
- Its one of the few times I’ve seen “burgers” listed on a Italian cuisine menu but nonetheless, the section caught my attention and was quite tempted and ended up going with the shrimp burger
- The side of truffled frites were already well-flavoured from a spot of salt – these frites were pretty crispy and addicting throughout the meal.
- The batter covering the soft bit and pieces of shrimp was delicately crispy, and together with the toasted pretzel buns, provided a nice crunch.
- An explosion of flavours arose from the slightly spicy seafood aioli sauce blending through the fresh pieces of lettuce
Pappardelle alla Marsala ($15.95)
- sautéed field mushrooms, garlic marsala wine sauce
- The pappardelle was cooked well. The sauteed field mushrooms were bursting with a rich, earthy mushroom flavour
- Though the mushrooms and pappardelle paired well, I couldn’t help but notice that this dish was slightly leaning towards the salty side.
There’s no shortage of Italian venues in Toronto, and I’ve had more than my fair share of great dinner experiences. But with that delectable shrimp burger and tasty mushroom pappardelle, and given the price point, I would love to come back and try a few other items on the menu – hopefully the pizza next time. The items on Destingo’s menu are not all expensive and actually quite affordable. Although there were a few minor hiccups here and there, I overall enjoyed the meal, the atmosphere and the patio.