After 6 months of pent-up demand for a much-needed authentic Italian dining hotspot in the area, renovations were finally completed for the Gooderham family mansion at 504 Jarvis Street. The summer patio, scheduled to open at the end of May, will seat 200 people and will feature music, authentic Italian barbecue and true European cocktails.
Toronto’s well-known Keg mansion is just across the street but Ganzi doesn’t directly compete against it, as they both offer different experiences at different price points.
Ganzi was restored with the help of the Metropolis Living Team preserving the mansion’s original handcrafted wood detail, soaring arches, stain glassed windows and brassed fixtures. Italian themed murals and paintings are done by local Toronto artist Hajar Moradi and her team. Materials from a 170 year old barn were sourced including the bar area’s wall rack and the chandelier is made from the barn’s door tracks.
“Osteria Dei Ganzi is a tribute to Italian wine, food & culture”, says Danny Gunam, Partner, Osteria dei Ganzi. “We’re using DOP certified ingredients imported straight from Italy as well as privately imported regional Italian wines which we are proud to offer by the glass. Ganzi is about creating a uniquely European atmosphere that doesn’t cost a fortune”. The wine list is revolving and flexible featuring a high-end selection of Amarone, Barolo, Brunelo that will constantly change. All the wines on the list will always be available by the glass.
I was lucky to be invited to the intimate preview opening dinner and it was such a treat. I sampled cocktails and especially enjoyed the gin martini with vermouth featuring caper berries (yes, instead of olives), each carefully hand-stuffed with goat cheese using a straw, Ganzi’s mixologist, Joao Machado, tells us. Sipping on this martini while also enjoying the stuffed caper berries was quite a delectably flavourful experience that I can still remember.
During the seated dinner I was lucky to be seated next to one of the Ganzi partners, Danny Gunam. I learned there was a great deal of effort in sourcing just the right location and going through all the details in the renovations, and the importance of sourcing authentic Italian ingredients that are DOP (Denominazione di Orgine Protetta– Denomination of Protected Origin) certified ingredients. All of this to create the authentic Italian experience. And it was also was interesting that being an authentic Italian eating experience, Gunam pointed out that the cuisine must be affordable . In fact, Gunam pointed out that the entire menu is all under $20. This is meant to encourage sharing and allow for repeat, casual visits 2-3 times a week. Guests should feel comfortable to hang out and have a cocktail or two paired with complimentary tapas at the bar and then casually stroll over to the dining area for dinner. Such is the way of the authentic “apertivo” experience true to the Milanese lifestyle.
Notable dishes on the dinner menu that make a revisit worthwhile include swordfish carpaccio for only $15. I definitely look forward to returning for more of the the Italian apertivo experience. Be sure to check it out as well!
ABOUT OSTERIA DEI GANZI
Osteria Dei Ganzi is a destination eating experience and social hangout offering a uniquely European atmosphere and authentic Italian cuisine. Set in a 120 year old historical mansion, Ganzi’s modern-vintage decor is the perfect backdrop for a quick lunch, an after work Aperitivo (the Milanese answer to “happy hour”) featuring complimentary “Italian Tapas” served alongside refreshing cocktails or a lively dinner with friends. For more information or to make a reservation at Ganzi, please log on to www.ganzi.ca