Il Covo

NOW Magazine - - COVER STORY -

A new Ital­ian place in Little Italy? Ma no! It feels al­most quaint — but then again, old-school charm sat­u­rates this small-plates-ori­ented restau­rant, the first solo out­ing from Buca alumni Ryan Camp­bell and Giuseppe March­esini, like espresso sat­u­rates a tiramisu. Start­ing with the dun­geon-like front door, Il Covo is all old-world romance, and the menu sticks close enough to tra­di­tion to sat­isfy purists while mak­ing cal­cu­lated over­tures to­ward moder­nity. The most wood­en­spoon-happy nonna in the land couldn’t find fault with Camp­bell’s in­cred­i­ble seafood lin­guini, which piles the fresh­est of clams, cala­mari, mus­sels and scal­lops onto pasta sourced from Abruzzo. And while it’s not Ital­ian tra­di­tion to stuff a tramezzino sand­wich with scal­lop and shrimp, add a mossy coat of chopped chives, glob some smoked-lemon aioli on there for dip­ping and maybe slap an ex­tra spoon­ful of caviar on top for kicks — it prob­a­bly damn well should be. 585 Col­lege, at Clin­ton, 416-530-7585, il­covo.ca

Oys­ters with lemon­saf­fron pearls and chopped fen­nel at Il Covo.

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