What’s the vibe

Parcheggio is the latest restaurant from Oliver & Bonacini, a veteran restaurant and event group with more than 20 dining venues across Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Saskatoon – including local legends Canoe and Auberge du Pommier.

Set in the parking lot of the Bayview Village Shopping Centre, Parcheggio focuses on simple, well-executed Italian fare. Its name, Parcheggio, means “parking lot” in Italian, a playful riff on the restaurant’s location. The tongue-and-cheek parking lot references extend to the restaurant’s decor, which features banquettes modelled after vintage Italian car upholstery and painted parking lot- inspired graphics on the floor and walls.

The restaurant’s location is sure to make it a hit with hungry shoppers looking for a convenient yet quality meal. The 208-space includes private and semi-private dining areas that can accommodate up to 75 guests, so we see this being a popular venue for event bookings, too.

What to drink

The Negroni is the star of the drinks menu, which features five different variations of the iconic Italian cocktail, ranging from a classic gin mix to versions made with bourbon, rum or tequila bases.

Italian influences are also sprinkled throughout the rest of the drinks menu, with beer options including Peroni and Birra Moretti, in addition to local stalwarts like Lost Craft and Brickworks.

There are a handful of white, red, rosé and sparkling wines available by the glass – again most from the Bel Paese – along with a lengthier by-the-bottle menu.

What to eat

Chef Andrew Piccinin draws on his Italian heritage (and his nonna’s cooking) for Parcheggio’s thoughtful, traditional menu. We started with the Big, Saucy Veal & Bacon Meatballs, which lived up to their name – three hearty, well-seasoned meatballs covered in a rich tomato-based sauce and sprinkled with parmesan. We followed up with the Housemade Stracciatella Cheese, a soft, stringy cheese served with sweet dates, refreshing mint verde and crispy grilled focaccia.

We split our mains between one of the restaurant’s housemade pasta dishes and a classic meat entree. The Conchiglie pasta featured perfectly al dente shell pasta and clams doused in charred tomatoes and ‘nduja (a spicy sausage pate) and topped with fresh basil leaves. The Pork Shank Osso Buco was another saucy masterpiece, with its savoury, fall-off-the-bone tender pork shank.

Nonna’s Ten Layer Lasagna is already becoming a bestseller on the pasta menu, with just 12 orders of the multi-tiered dish available daily. While the dinner menu focuses on heartier fare, Parcheggio also does a quicker-serve lunch menu, which includes Italian sandwiches like Chicken Parm and Muffaletta.

Dinner and drinks for two: $80

Bayview Village, South Parking Lot, 2901 Bayview Ave #300, North York, 647-943-6780, parcheggio.ca