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Collaborative cafe and shop Barocco X Nino is launching a new series of apperitivo nights. All summer long, you can get your hands on some authentic Italian snacks and small eats, perfect for those warm summer evenings.
Opening just months before the pandemic began in 2020, the spot is a partnership between the Barocco Coffee Company and the Nino D’Aversa Bakery. With a full coffee bar and pastries from Nino D’Aversa, Barocco X Nino has also become known for its authentic Roman-style pizza a taglio, as well as carrying prepared foods and a range of retail products that come both locally curated and imported from Italy.
Now, they’ve turned their knowing eyes towards aperitivo, the Italian custom of drinks and light food between work hours and the late evening meal.
“It’s quite common in Italy,” explains Bruno Colozza, owner of Barocco Coffee Company. “People step into their local coffee shop for their morning coffee and a pastry. They might pop in for an espresso in the afternoon and stop in for a drink on their way home. Maybe some snacks before dinner.”
The menus for the Aperitivo Nights feature both Italian and American classic cocktails, as well as a signature Barocco Espresso Martini. Barocco X Nino carries an array of wines from Ontario, Italy, Spain and Argentina, with rotating features served by the glass for Aperitivo Nights. A selection of spirits, ciders, imported Italian beer, and Ontario beer from Spearhead Brewery in Kingston rounds out the drinks menu.
For bar snacks, Barocco X Nino offers a short list of quality bites, including a bite-sized version of their famous pizza a taglio, eggplant romesco, and of course, no Mediterranean snack spread would be complete without marinated olives, served here with homemade focaccia. Colozza said their salumi e formaggi cheese board has been their most popular aperitivo bar snack item, with both local and imported meats and cheeses.
“It’s very authentic that way,” Colozza said. “It gives them a taste of how they do it in Italy… that same spirit, that spirit of offering local flair with fresh, quality ingredients.”
Colozza has other plans to show off the meeting of local flavour and Italian traditions, including a partnership with chef Massimo Bruno in the fall. Until then, all summer long, you can come for a relaxing evening of drinks and light fare the traditional Italian way, at Barocco X Nino at 974 College Street, with Aperitivo Nights running from 5-9 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays.