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Ascari

After completing an honours degree at McGill and a year of travels in Japan, John attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC in 2000. He worked at the venerable La Caravelle and then moved on to Craft, Tom Colicchio’s flagship, where he was part of the team that won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the United States.

Upon John’s return to Toronto, he joined the acclaimed Splendido under Chef/Owner David Lee.

In 2005, John opened Izakaya with owner and partner Erik Joyal, where he developed a style of Japanese food that spoke to his experience in Japan with a modern Canadian approach.

June of 2008 saw a shift back to John and Erik’s European roots with the opening of Table 17 in Riverside, where their unique style of warm, comforting, and professional hospitality was fully formed.

In 2011, John and Erik opened Ascari Enoteca, an Italian wine and hand made pasta bar with a focus on “off the beaten path” wines as well as Italian classics. This was closely followed by the birth of Hi-Lo Bar, a fun neighbourhood bar featuring great beers, cocktails, and good times.

In 2015, Sinopoli and Joyal were asked to develop the food and beverage program for The Broadview Hotel as well as assisting with design and facility planning for the project. This 58-room boutique hotel opened in 2017 and is home to 3 different food venues, as well as a 4000 square foot event venue

2017 also saw the opening of another passion project for John and Erik that is Gare de l’Est Brasserie. This modern Parisian style brasserie has quickly become a neighbourhood favourite in Leslieville.

After moving on from The Broadview Hotel, John and Erik formed the Ascari Hospitality Group. Their first project outside the east end of Toronto, Ascari King West, opened in June of 2019 to much acclaim, and kept to the familiar warm hospitality of its Queen Street East sibling while adding a sophistication to the menu befitting the rich restaurant scene that is King Street West.

As 2020 saw the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, Sinopoli with other industry partners created the coalition of independent restaurants across the country called SaveHospitality.Ca. SHCA advocates to all levels of government for the policies and government programs that will aid in the survival of the hospitality industry.

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