Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pizzeria Libretto Review

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Restaurant: Pizzeria Libretto

Neighbourhood: Portuguese Village
Address: 221 Ossington (just south of Dundas on the east side of Ossington)
Price: $$ / $$$$$
Website: http://www.pizzerialibretto.com/

ATMOSPHERE: ♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥
Pizzeria Libretto's location saved it from getting only one heart: Being in a cool up-and-coming part of the Portuguese Village made for a good adventure. It's a pretty small restaurant, which is absolutely fine in our books, but there was a wait and no place to actually physically wait (the policy seems to be that they take your name and cell number and phone you when your table is ready. There was a couple in front of us who we heard say "We don't have a cell phone" and they were told to go outside and come back in 20 minutes).

So we walked around for a bit (which was fine since, as we said earlier, the area is neat and has great up-and-coming character so we explored it both before and after dinner) and were surprised when we got the phone call, as it was much quicker than we thought it would be - it took about 10 minutes to be called when we were told it could be about 20.



We got seated at a communal table and the place was unbelievably noisy. If you read the "Atmosphere" section on the restaurant's webpage, that's exactly what they want it to be. So kudos for them achieving that but it's not me and Mark's cup of tea. That type of atmosphere is okay once in a while, but we really are the more "private diner" type who appreciate a nicely-set table for two.


FOOD: ♥♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥

As an appetizer, we ordered the bison carpaccio with shaved piave cheese and olive oil drizzle to start. Being slightly obsessed with bison, I enjoyed it, and the cheese was very delicious. It was a nice way to start the meal.

Then came the main attraction (pizza, of course!)

Mark ordered a Margherita pizza, which was pretty good but very sparse with its toppings. I understand Margerita is supposed to be a simple pizza, but it would've been better with more fresh basil and a little more cheese.

I had the rapini, goat cheese and black olive pizza which was really good. I think my biggest problem with the pizza was the crust - it was thin to a fault in the middle and was almost chewy as Mark described in his earlier post about three pizzas in three days. The outer crust was much tastier than the middle of the pizza. It sort of reminded me of naan.

A couple pizzas there have the United Nations (correction: European Union's! Whoops!) designation of being an authentic neapolitan pizza - look for them on the menu with the letters D.O.P beside them.

DECOR: ♥♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥
Cute. More upscale than your typical pizza place. Lots of impromptu lighting. They try to cram in too many tables though. There wasn't much elbow room for cutting your pizza, and I found the communal table we were seated at to be too narrow. But the huge pizza oven at the back was pretty cool. However the pizza flour was stored pretty close to the bathrooms, which kind of gave even me the "icks" even though I'm the furthest thing away from a germophobe. I should mention the bags were unopened so it was certainly not a health concern, but still.

OVERALL: ♥♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥
For a decent price (they actually have a great prix fixe menu going on until July 19th I believe) you can get your hands on some pretty good pizza. Just be prepared for at least a 10-20 minute wait and for the possibility of being put at a communal table - be sure to mind your elbows if you get seated there, it's tight quarters. Although it's unlikely I'll be back anytime soon, I'd say it's definitely worth going to at least once if you haven't already been.

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