Constantine is Craig Harding’s AlterEgo, quite literally- AlterEgo is the restaurant group that brings team Mercatto (brothers Jack and Domenic Scarangella and partner Steven Christian) with Campagnolo and La Palma’s aforementioned Craig and partner Alexandra Hutchison. Housed in the sleek and sexy The Anndore House Hotel, Constantine is shaping up to be the hot spot in the centre of the city.
Reworking Italian with Middle Eastern influences, Chef Craig Harding with cohorts Rob LeClair & Morgan Bellis explore the marriage of classic Italian dishes with Middle Eastern spices and ingredients; think gnoccchi with ricotta and eggplant, or pappardelle with green olives. Dishes are executed perfectly, assisted by the wood burning oven, a feature that completes almost every single dish on the menu.
Mezze Plates with flatbread ($12) are very much mandatory, and pair well with the Grilled Halloumi ($11). While it seems novice to sing the praises of yet another kale salad, you would be remiss to not seek this salad out- the Kale + Rutabaga + Feta ($12) combo works brilliantly here, with nice kick from the jalapeño and pops of pomegranate seeds. More carnal choices include the meaty Lamb Ribs ($19), sticky and slightly sweet meat slides off the bone here, sprinkled with dukkah, an aromatic Egyptian spice blend made in house with toasted nuts and dried herbs.
Pastas are part and parcel of the Italian side of the business, here with Cavatelli “alla Milanese” ($23), studded with saffron and braised beef short ribs. It showcases how seamlessly these two cuisines pair up and play off each other. The influences stretch over to the stunning bar area as well, with cocktails created to blend ingredients like calvados with Morooccan syrup in the Barakah ($16), or branca menta and orgeat acting as a liquid marzipan in the Tropicália ($16).
Studio Munge is responsible for the swoon-worthy design, with a generous open seating configuration allowing diners to view all the action of the kitchen, or opt for one of the adjacent dining rooms for more intimate meetups. The space is trendy, but still welcoming, and sure to be insanely packed for upcoming Pride celebrations.
Thanks for the invite Constantine!