The cupid is loose on Carlton. DOVA Restaurant, the sibling spot of nearby ARDO, is unleashing a Valentine’s proposal that is beyond tempting.

Both restaurants offer modern takes on classic Sicilian dishes. And the owners have a passion for importing hard-to-get ingredients. Just ask Jacqueline Nicosia. She met her partner in business and life Chef Roberto Marotta in Italy, eventually bringing him back to Toronto. ARDO is from their firstborn’s name. Talk about couple goals!


dova- calamari

Dedicated to a distinct Mediterranean meets Sicily menu, DOVA is downright sexy. A Chef’s bar offers a chance encounter with Marotta’s team, humming in the modern space. There’s also a private dining room downstairs. And a secluded back patio for sunnier skies.

Nestled between Parliament and Jarvis, DOVA’s east-end presence is equal parts neighbourhood hangout and dining destination. Our adjacent diners remarked how lucky they were to have this spot in their pocket. I was instantly jealous.


Taking a cue from these lovers turned restauranteurs, DOVA’s menu for Valentine’s features some of the Chef’s favourites. Bridging these seaside escapades into each dish, Chef Roberto is dedicated to the details.

Served next to his baked in-house bread, Chef is proud to offer Magnus Siculus extra virgin olive oil. He sources this himself and even founded Vivi Imports with Jacqueline. Quite a few of Chef’s favourite ingredients are available at DOVA.

Second to his dedication to the goods, the Chef exerts his expertise on the entire menu. Each plate is a rich display of the team’s approach, from seafood to meats and more.

dova lobster risotto valentines


The menu is designed to be shared. Is there anything sexier? Pasta, meats and mains all mingle well and pair beautifully with DOVA’s deep wine menu. Their cocktails are on point too, like the Olio, above, (made with Gin infused Sicilian olive oil) or a classic Negroni.

Whether you love seafood, meat or mainly veg, the team at DOVA will excite the palate and maybe even more.

The energy of the space and DOVA‘s servers is special. It’s eclectic and exciting, a meal to embrace.

Book your table for the Valentine’s Day menu here.

dova chef roberto marotta

DOVA Restaurant is located at 229 Carlton Street.

All images by Libby Roach.