Our Story

Our StoryWe are in the home stretch to 20 YEARS here at the former Grand Trunk Railway Station!

When we opened in 1997, there were no condos nearby – not many other restaurants to draw people down to Ontario Street – and certainly not even the limited foot traffic we enjoy now. We were a “destination”.  Tough to get started in that environment, but I had a dream to create a space for my fellow Kingstonians that truly reminded me of my families’ native country; Italy. I wanted the decor  to whisk our clients into the backyard garden of a Napoli grandmother or offer the feel of a charming alleyway somewhere in Sicily or Venice. Around the restaurant you’ll also see some playful paintings commissioned by a dear friend, now departed; David Brown a talented local artist with a gentle spirit and a wry sense of humour. My goal? I wanted customers to come in and feel transported – even if it was just for an hour or two.

The Food: Over the years, I have aimed to offer a menu that reflects the true rustic flavour of the various regions of Italy. Wherever possible I have drawn on old family recipes, sourced local ingredients, and produced the various elements in-house and by hand. Why? Because I believe that the difference between what comes from a jar and what gets made step-by-step in our kitchen is Passion and Love – two irreplaceable elements that are the key to good food. They are certainly also the characteristics I have looked for in every talented chef we’ve been blessed to work with over the years, as well!

The Service: The service at Frankie Pestos is something I hope has always set us a little bit apart from other places. The many committed and enthusiastic young people who have come to work with us over the years are an integral part of the fabric of this restaurant. Their dedication and desire for excellence has made them feel like family to us. They are the faces of Frankie Pestos, and I feel huge gratitude for the level of care they take in every aspect of table service and teamwork.

Our Customers: Without you we never could have made it this far, and it is FOR YOU that we continually strive to change, grow, raise the bar just a little bit each day. Faithful regulars, first-timers, every one of you. We cannot thank you enough.

We feel truly honoured that you’ve chosen to join us. We hope you see the heart and soul we strive to put into your dining experience every time you honour us by taking a seat at our table. Benvenuto and buon appetito!

*Photo by Sophie Dudley