Food: Italian comfort food.
Vibe: Unassuming neighbourhood restaurant with a pinch of rustic charm.
Order this: The Italian Job, a chef’s choice three-course feast of an appetizer, entree and dessert.
Know this: A $16 wine-and-pasta special is offered Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 5 to 6 p.m.
Average Price: $25 per pasta.
Naples-born chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro built his reputation as a fine-dining chef for more than 20 years at his fondly remembered restaurant Capo (and others). At Cotto he ably demonstrates that when the white tablecloths are removed his food still shines. Tucked behind a Bohemian piazza in the Kensington district, Cotto’s soft light and dark-wooded dining rooms feel miles away from the trend-focused restaurants typical of urban centres. Instead, the mandate here is flawlessly executed classics. Any of the menu’s negroni variations pair wonderfully with crisp-on-the-outside, delicate-and-silky-on-the-inside arancini. When the time comes for an entree, choosing between the substantial Roman flatbreads and timeless pastas will break your heart. Thankfully, the all-are-welcome atmosphere and genuine hospitable service make Cotto a place worth visiting often.
314D 10 St. N.W., 587-356-4088, cottoyyc.com