Pioneering Italians were not only the first to put tomatoes in cuisine, they were also the first people to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian fare and drinks (or $35 worth if redeemed Sunday through Thursday) at Gio's Italian Ristorante on Anne Street North.
The fine dining atmosphere of Gio's Italian Ristorante marries worldly wines and traditionally styled Italian fare in an intimate setting. The menu varies based on seasonal ingredients, recently showcasing soul warmers such as warm goat cheese crusted in winter-resistant pistachio and fruit ($9) and a feat of homemade gnocchi with caramelized onion, sun-dried tomato, and gorgonzola crema ($11). Diners soak up pages of gastro-history with a variety of pasta options lovingly tossed in a choice of traditional sauces such as basil pesto, bolognese, or the engagement of parmesan and mushroom in the funghi senza freno alfredo ($16–$17). For an oceanic spell, basil-and-citrus marinated scallops and shrimp tangle up in spaghetti and white-wine sauce, much like one's dreams after considering pi for the first time ($27).
A recent list of red wines and white wines woo palates with the foreign affections of the Italian 2007 Amarone delle Valplicella, the more local 2008 riesling from Cave Spring Cellars in Niagara, and more (from $7.50). Gourmet-gobbling guests wine and dine overlooked by warm yellow walls and swaddled in dark wrought-iron chairs, but those who prefer the thrilling judgment of wine-critic wrens can enjoy the umbrella-shaded wooden patio.
36 Anne St. N
Barrie, Ontario L4N 2B6Get Directions