Cano is a Toronto destination for casual but elegant Italian fare and cocktails. The menu features a selection of pizza and pastas along with small plates like crudo, designed to be easy to share.
There’s no nonna here: the food seeks to reinvent and elevate Italian basics. Brunch service features tequila cocktails.
The space is outfitted in a dark palette with a long marble bar and lots of nooks and crannies to snuggle into. It used to be home to epic brunch spot Emma’s Country Kitchen.
A pesce crudo ($16) presses thick hunks of Azores bigeye tuna into a fat cylinder, dressed simply with lemon and extra virgin olive oil to highlight the sweet, juicy flavours and served with salty, crunchy taro chips that put a bit of a twist on typical crostini or potato chips.
Don’t sleep on zesty little sauces lining the plate.
Pizza pescatore ($22) layers herby arugula pesto, tomato concasse and light mozzarella with juicy, plump shrimp, clams and calamari.
Gnudi con funghi ($19) is made in-house out of ricotta and sunflower seeds for a pillowy pasta that more fully absorbs the flavours of truffle cream sauce and wild mushrooms.
For dessert, a wobbly and creamy passion fruit panna cotta is served in just the right small portion with fresh berries.
Juices like guava and passionfruit in a guava sour ($13) are made everyday in house. Virginia Black whiskey is the base of this tart, layered drink finished off with lime, egg white and Angostura bitters.
The tuono tropicale ($13) uses fresh passionfruit and lime juice with Mount Gay rum and Angostura bitters, topped off with club soda. This one’s similary refreshing but less sour and viscous with soda and without egg white.
They’re experimenting with reinventing martinis, too, trying out a tequila martini for brunch made with more lightly flavoured white Cazadores tequila, vermouth. A cardamom syrup is intended to kill the potent flavour, though I still find it relatively strong. Other martini ideas include lychee and espresso.
At the back of the space there’s a window into the kitchen where pasta is being made fresh and pizza is being fired. Cano adds something new to the already full roster of Italian restaurants serving the St. Clair West and Corso Italia neighbourhoods.