We love food. We love wine. We love racing. So we named Ascari Enoteca after one of our heroes, 1950’s Italian racing legend, Alberto Ascari. He was as famous for his appetite for food and wine as he was for his talent for racing, earning him the nickname “ciccio” ‘ Italian for ‘chubby’.

Ascari Enoteca is a neighborhood locale where people come to linger over a simple, delicious meal washed down by a superb bottle of wine (or two). Here you’ll find homemade pastas made fresh in house every single day, plus a wine list featuring well-known varietals from across the globe and more than a few undiscovered gems.

John Sinopoli

After graduation from McGill and a year abroad in Japan, John was drawn to life in the kitchen and landed at The French Culinary Institute in New York City. He remained in NYC for 3 years to work at the historic La Caravelle and then at Tom Colicchio's award winning Craft. In 2003 John returned to Toronto for a position at Splendido under David Lee, and was proud to be part of the team that won the restaurant many accolades.

In 2005 John helped open lzakaya as Executive Chef and partner with Erik Joyal. He headed the kitchen for 3 years executing modern Japanese pub food in this award winning space in the heart of the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood. In 2008 John and Erik changed gears and opened Table 17 in Riverside where John's menu is comfortable yet sophisticated with dishes inspired by regional product. In 2011, John and Erik opened Table 17's sister restaurant Ascari Enoteca down the street in Leslieville where they reveal their passion for Formula One racing and Italian wine. Ascari’s menu is comprised of inventive Italian enoteca dishes focusing on John’s love for handmade pasta. In 2013 Erik and John cemented their commitment to the east side of downtown Toronto when they opened Hi Lo bar in Riverside with Gavin Holmes.

Erik Joyal

In 2001, after a 4 year stint in the UK working for a small sports/racing car manufacturer Erik switched gears and attended New York University where he enrolled in the Masters program for Food and Hospitality Management. During his two years studying in New York he also worked on a number of restaurant related projects developing new marketing strategies for a post 9/11 marketplace.

In 2003 Erik returned to Toronto and began developing a concept and raising funds for what would become Izakaya. Shortly thereafter he teamed up with John Sinopoli and in the spring of 2005 together they opened their modern Japanese pub, one of the first of its kind in Toronto.

2008 saw the opening of Table 17 with John heading up the kitchen and Erik running the day to day business operations. Three years later, inspired by the continuing evolution of Toronto’s East end, Italian food, wine and motor racing Ascari Enoteca was brought to life in December 2011. In 2013 opportunity knocked once again. Erik and John partnered with long-time member of the Izakaya Table 17 fraternity, Gavin Holmes to open Hi-Lo Bar, just a few steps away from Table 17. Erik continues to oversee the business and financial side of the three locations.


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