Umberto Menghi brings Tuscan Italian cuisine back to the city
Umberto Menghi’s classic, signature Tuscan and Mediterranean cuisine makes a highly anticipated return as Giardino Restaurant is officially open at 1328 Hornby Street, just steps away from the original Il Giardino.
“Giardino is a continuation of my passion for the food born in my home country,” explains Menghi, who closed his venerable Il Giardino two years ago. “From farmer to the kitchen, and then to the table, everyone can do fresh, and everyone can do local, but it is all in how you execute the clean flavours, especially with Italian cooking. I have put together my dream team to really echo the memories of my beloved Il Giardino and carve out new celebrations at Giardino. I’m glad to also see the return of some of my old loyal staff.”
With vaulted ceilings, wooden beams, Tuscan tiles, and hand-painted artwork, the space was designed to symbolize the granaries of old and how they represent the storage of food, where every grain is sacred and protected. The main dining area leads into a lounge and then the open kitchen. The restaurant seats about 160, with an additional 80 outside.
“When guests dine at Giardino, I really want them to feel transported into another world and for them to feel like family,” adds Menghi. “There is an air of the Renaissance in the room, very open and inviting.”
A Menghi restaurant would not be complete without a garden patio. Situated at the back is a cortile (courtyard). Diners are transported to Tuscany with its red-tiled roof, stones, and lush garden. The tiles hold further significance, as they are 150 years old, from an old granary. There is also a small front patio by the entrance.
Giardino Restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday for dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Lunch service will follow a few weeks later.