Gia is an Italian restaurant serving pasta made in-house and plant-based dishes.
Formerly Ufficio, restaurant owners and couple Jenny Coburn and Stacey Patterson have transitioned from pescatarian Italian to a menu that leans heavily on plant proteins.
While not entirely free of animal products, the majority of the dishes here are vegetarian, with a number of vegan options.
Coburn and Patterson love animals (the couple has five pets) and have noticed the uptick in Toronto diners leaning into meat-free dining over the years, thanks to the proliferation of Beyond Meat and deep dives into global industries through documentaries like Seaspiracy.
During lockdown in 2020, the couple introduced Stefano's Sandwiches out of Ufficio, a weekly sandwich pop-up serving vegan Filet O Fish and Corn'd Beef.
Stefano's still runs every Sunday out of Gia while serving regular menu items like grilled baby artichokes ($15).
The vegan panko-crusted meatballs ($16) made with non-GMO plant protein mixed with a little Impossible Beef are a must order.
The creamy almond dressing in the baby gem salad ($17) goes well with pickled honey mushrooms, pangrattato, avocado, and crispy shallots.
Crab cakes ($24) are made from okara, or organic soy pulp, ground flax, organic tofu, shallots, and quinoa, then deep-fried and served with a tart citrus aioli.
Right now, the seasonal menu is showcasing pastas made fresh downstairs. The porcini tortelli ($25) is a standout, with a nut-based ricotta, roasted shiitake and porcini, tuscan kale, and truffle butter.
Gia collaborated with New Pie Co. to make a totally vegan pie. The custom creation ended up being a take on the Filipino pastry dessert, hopia, with a veggie oil-based crust, coconut pudding and dark chocolate made with vanilla and aquafaba.
The winelist here is all natural and biodynamic. Boozy cocktails include La Famiglia ($17), made with organic mezcal, cold-pressed ginger and turmeric.
The Crowd Pleaser ($16) is a cooling beverage with watermelon syrup, vodka, and topped with San Tome Prosecco. If simple H20 is more your vibe, the water here comes from Lark Drink Food & Flora.