Cresta opens its doors in the heart of Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market offering a menu that brings together traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine. Inside the décor is refined, offering an open dining concept with floor to ceiling windows on both floors, and two European-style patios which seat up to 150 guests.
What I find most unique about this spot is that it’s partnered with Cresta Ridge Vineyard of Thomas George, one of California’s most iconic vineyards located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County California. The wines are superb on their own and pair delicately with the menu. The circular bar has a temperature controlled surface that wraps around a 35 foot wine chandelier displaying 500 bottles of the vineyards wines. Today we sampled the 2010 estate chardonnay and the 2012 barrel selection Pinot Noir – each of these wines has a complex palette of fruit, balanced by fresh acidity.
Cresta also offers a variety of fun cocktails,
here are a couple shots:
We sampled the Negroni (Bombay Gin, campari, dry vermouth, sparkling Brut, grapefruit juice) and the Amaro Express (Amaro Avera, Frangelico, espresso, Aztec chocolate bitters), perfect for a liquid dessert.
Executive Chef Tri Tran focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients infused with rich wines resulting in almost flawless pairings.
Available at the bar all night, frites rubbed with harissa are EXTREMELY addicting served alongside chicken liver pate, Cresta ketchup and AN amazingly RICH lobster gravy – so good it’s drinkable. Served on shells, scallop crudo is picture perfect with citrus, coriander and garlic chips.
Bite sized mushroom risotto is passed around heavy with truffle oil and shaved Parmesan. Beets roasted in a lemon/thyme marinate along sautéed green beans for an awesomely earthy sweet crunch.
Pizza is a must order – the secret is the crust! Heirloom tomato pizza has a sweet tomato reduction base, red onion, olives, shaved parm and basil. I would definitely order the mixed funghi pizza with peppery arugula, Fontana, truffle and olive oil,
or the crispy brussel sprouts in a balsamic glaze.
The black tiger shrimp are super interesting. Instead of being stuffed inside the ravioli the pasta is deconstructed – shrimp, red onion and tomato salsa are served on the outside. Finally, tenderloin steak, roasted garlic, potatoes and cherry tomatoes are skewered and drizzled with beef jus.
This is a destination spot for wine lovers – perfect for first dates and PATIO SEASON!