Toronto’s Bar Prima goes all out on vintage glamour

A playful fine-dining experience

Future Studio is bringing back the romance of eating with its low-lit, gold-leafed interiors for Toronto restaurant Bar Prima.

No time or expense has been spared on the Queen Street West space, which is the brainchild of chef-owners Craig Harding and Julian D’Ippolito. Future Studio enlisted an artisanal gilder to painstakingly cover the restaurant’s inset ceiling in gold leaf and recreate a 1960s marble floor pattern originally chosen by artist Cy Twombly for his Rome apartment.

The nostalgia doesn’t end there, with Future Studio adding bright blue dining chairs, wood and mirror panelling, and velvet drapes to add to Bar Prima’s vintage glam aesthetic. Servers, meanwhile, are clad in crisp white uniforms and deliver the bill via antique cigarette cases, harking back to a bygone era of fine dining – but with a playful edge.


Harding and D’Ippolito’s menu echoes the Bar Prima’s retro atmosphere, with classic Italian (and Italian-American) dishes given a modern twist.

There are traditional antipasto and pasta mains, as well as cocktails and digestivo – all with a seasonal rethink. For example, diners can tuck into beet caprese, grilled swordfish piccata and savoury zeppole.

1136 Queen St W. Toronto, Ontario M6J 1J3 Canada

Photography: Rick O’brien
Photography: Rick O’brien

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