DOVA, located at 229 Carlton Street, is a Sicilian and Mediterranean restaurant by Chef Roberto Marotta and Jacqueline Nicosia. (Our sister establishment, ARDO, has become a mainstay in Corktown.) We pay homage to Sicily’s exciting terroir and culinary traditions—though we traverse other regions in the Mediterranean basin. Handmade artisanal pastas, fresh-caught fish and ethically sourced meats are the tipping point for our cuisine.
Our restaurant features an intimate private cellar, a lush main floor dining space and a hidden patio oasis. We can accommodate any style of celebration—intimate dinners, cocktail receptions, weddings—and offer event design services for seamless execution.
DOVA [dohva] — is a portmanteau for Don Vale — the 19th century village that grew up to become modern-day Cabbagetown. We hope to become as much a part of the area’s history as the original hamlet on which it stands.
Chef Roberto Marotta met Jacqueline Nicosia in his hometown of Milazzo, a port city on the northeast coast of Sicily. He was a chef at his restaurant. She was enjoying the volcanic island while visiting family. They spent 2 years together in Sicily before coming back to Canada to start a family and their own business.
Their first restaurant, ARDO, was named after their son—who had a particularly difficult time pronouncing his full name, Leonardo. After the birth of their daughter Vivienne, they launched Vivi Imports to bring the finest ingredients from Sicily’s shores to Canada. And now, they evolve their hospitality group with DOVA.
Chef Roberto Marotta grew up seeing his mother prepare classic Sicilian dishes for family and friends—creating in him a deep connection to food and cooking. He’s become seasoned in kitchens from the Mediterranean to North America, having opened his first restaurant in his hometown of Milazzo before moving to Toronto and running the kitchens of some of the city’s finest Italian establishments. And now, his trademark cooking style and reverence for the art of Sicilian cuisine adds vibrancy to Toronto’s restaurant scene at ARDO and DOVA.
Jacqueline has built an impressive career in events and hospitality. Her focus was always ambiance and experience, which led to her being commissioned by large corporate clients to craft unique experiences for their annual marquee events - as a private consultant and owner at ARDO, DOVA and Vivi. Her aesthetic finesse and unyielding passion for hospitality continue to delight patrons at both ARDO and DOVA. She is an expert in the art of attention to the smallest details, from the dining space design to the service and creating alluring cocktail programs, ensuring an unforgettable experience for each and every guest.