Gio Rana’s really really nice restaurant – four stars
My first thought – what a stoooopid name… so I was already negative on the place – man I was wrong! The place is really really funky and cool. Everything from the entrance, to the interior design, to the ambiance looks like it is minimalistic, but you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into the place to make it actually work. There is a fine line between trashy and funky-chic, and Gio Rana found the chic side.
Located in the one of Toronto’s new up and coming trendy areas, Leslieville, the building, a converted bank, looks closed from from the outside. Famous for the nose sculpture above the entrance door (yup, a real looking human nose…), there is no sign for the name, or any sign saying if the place is even open for that matter. When you enter, it looks almost like an old diner, with torn up linonium, bare walls, and cheap paintings. But the atmosphere is great. Funky break beats drum in the background but not so loud to interfere with conversation, the waitstaff friendly and helpful (although I was abit surprised to see one of them wearing a T-shirt with a large confederate flag on it), and the best part – the food was amazing. It’s basically Italian with a slight neauveau twist, although it is not one of those places where the presentation of the food is more important than the actual food itself – four of us dined, and were all very impressed with the food – from the appies to the main course. We were too full to touch desserts…
And for the price point, you can’t beat this place – about $25/person including drinks and tip. not bad for a Friday night out… check it out for yourself — four stars