Church Aperitivo Bar gives a fresh perspective on the age-old pull between classic and contemporary. Located at 1090 Queen Street West, the Italian restaurant and bar pairs classy establishment with gourmet food and beverage. Church Aperitivo boasts not only a thorough menu of authentic Italian delights, but also a select list of creative cocktails to quench your thirst.

Deriving its name from the building it’s situated within, Church Aperitivo was originally a church. Now it’s been reinvented in a stylishly modern fashion, and its new look holds true to its initial status. The original flooring and raised ceiling structure, alongside the elevated kitchen (fittingly installed where the altar once stood), gives an air of historic polish. There is exposed brick throughout the entire left side, directly contrasting with the modern bar on the opposite side.

Spanning a lengthy wall, lit up by candle, the bar stands primed and ready to serve. The blend between classic and modern is effortless. Despite quaint nuances, Church Aperitivo remains a modern establishment. The restaurant doesn’t feel inherently ‘Italian’ upon entering, but perhaps removing oneself from those stereotypical expectations lends to a better overall atmosphere and experience.

The menu features an extensive collection of fine Italian cuisine, with a select list of cocktails to match. ‘The Saint” ($14), a signature cocktail, features a delightful blend of vanilla vodka and Italian white. The drink not only goes down smoothly, but the mixture of flavoured vodka and wine makes for a sweet lingering aftertaste. The spicy “Holy Cesar” ($13) differs from the traditional Cesar. It intermixes a flavourful brine taste, perking you up for an array of delicious appetizers. The basil creates a fresh tasting palette whereas the pickle juice helps neutralize the tomato flavour.

With an entire menu cooked to perfection, it’s hard to choose which dishes to delight your taste buds with. Our favourites are the Arancini (Rice Balls, $12), Tuna Tartar ($16) and Fried Cauliflower ($8) appetizers. The Arancini provide the perfect amount of crisp on the exterior, before its gooey insides envelopes your mouth with a luxurious creamy taste of its four cheeses. Balance that out with the fresh taste from the Tuna Tartar and simplicity of the Fried Cauliflower. Next come thick, melt-in-the-mouth meatballs ($9), amongst numerous other delicacies catered to you with attentive service.

No Italian restaurant is complete without its pasta, and again, Church Aperitivo delivers. Created entirely from scratch, the Tagliatelle ($17) with mushrooms and light truffle sauce is rich and creamy, while the Gnocchi ($15) is served in tomato sauce with burrata and basil pesto. All served fresh, the pastas are to die for, made with rich ingredients, fine cheeses and served with steaming vegetable sides.

Overall, Church Aperitivo Bar delivers a fundamentally fulfilling Italian experience. The atmosphere is hip and cultivates a fresh vibe to accompany an equally filling meal. The food and drink are exquisite, unquestionably authentic Italian, and delicious. Church Aperitivo is an absolute recommendation for satisfaction in dining.

For the full and more information on Church Aperitivo Bar, visit their website. Keep up with Church Aperitivo by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.