Thursday, November 4, 2010

Urban Eats @ Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto

Pizza Libretto is consistently named one of the 'Best Pizza Places in Toronto'.  So after all the hype, I had to find out for myself just how good it was.  So let me tell you this, it's pretty damn good.  They make a mean pizza pie with a blistered crust and 100% stone ground flour.  The Margherita Pizza (below) is D.O.P. certified, meaning it is made authentically and meets certain standards and characteristics of what a true Margherita Pizza is.  The simplicity of all the ingredients creates a perfect harmony of flavours and the price is right.
Margherita Pizza - D.O.P. ($13)
At $13, the pizza is big enough to share - if you want to.  The prices are definitely fair for something homemade with such care and high quality ingredients.  Pizzeria Libretto uses Marzano tomatoes and Fiore di Latte Mozzarella that is fresh every day.  The Lunch Prix-Fixe is a steal at $15 and includes a salad, a pizza and dessert.
Buttermilk Calamari with Romesco Sauce ($11)
The big fat Calamari rings had a nice light batter and sat on a bed of savoury romesco sauce and a drizzling or oil.  The romesco is made from red peppers and almonds, according to their menu.

Duck Confit Pizza with Bosc Pear & Mozzarella ($17)
When I asked all the great people on twitter what their favourite pizza at Libretto was, hands-down, the most replies were for the Duck Confit Pizza.  Yes, it's decadent, but it's also delicious.  The pizza is served with said duck, bosc pear and mozzarella cheese.  It's almost like a sweet and salty - very original and worth a try.  The pizzas are made in a 900 degree wood-burning oven that was imported from Naples.  You can taste it too.  After eating a pizza made with the aroma of hot wood vs. electric oven - you will be converted.  
Runner-up for most-loved pizza, The House Made Sausage ($15) with sweet caramelized onions, mozzarella and chili oil.  A meaty piece of perfection with a fresh-tasting, chewy warm crust.  Want fizzy water to wash it all down?  Pizzeria Libretto makes their own frizzante in-house and only charges $3 and not the usual $6 you pay for a bottle of Pellegrino in this city.  Flat water is free.
Verdura - Seasonal local vegetable with fingerling potatoes on a bed of melted stracciatella cheese ($10).  Which is the centre of a burrata round of fresh mozzarella.  Oh. My. Yum.
A simple and sweet finish to a great meal.  Order the Vanilla Affogato ($6) of vanilla ice cream drowned in hot espresso.  They pour it over tableside for you.   Ahhhhhh...heaven.  I'm going to start making this at home - it's so impressive.
The Dining Room and Open-Kitchen are very casual, warm and non-fussy spaces.  We highly recommend the atmosphere for a date night or group of friends.  The pizzas make it easy for sharing and the prices are workable for all budgets.  It's a mix of foodies, hipsters and hip foodies.  But it really is for anyone who loves a good pizza.  I'm dying to go back just so I can try more pizza combinations.  The servers are fast, efficient and friendly.  We didn't detect an attitude here at all.
Bar Area
Pizzeria Libretto is located on a very cool strip of Ossington.  Get there early and explore all the great furniture and clothing stores that have popped up in-between Queen and Dundas.  You'll feel like you've earned that pizza.  Reservations are an absolute must and there is often a long wait for those without one.  If all else, fails - you can head up the street to their sister restaurant, Enoteca Sociale on Dundas.
I'm very ok with leftover pizza for breakfast tomorrow...
Pizzeria Libretto
221 Ossington Avenue Toronto, Ontario
(416) 532-8000
Pizzeria Libretto on Urbanspoon


  1. Libretto is one of the best places in the city for sure. I always have overly-amazing service (I don't care if that doesn't make sense), the food is absolutely amazing and I love the comfy cozy atmosphere. My favourite is the Arugula and Ontario Prosciutto pizza...but I love the house made sausage, the verdura (with tomato sauce added, the duck confit ...oh and the vanilla affogato! MMMM I'm hungry now