Line up for Madonna tix? Sorry, we are stuck in the pizza line.
by Keri O’Meara.
I suppose I must be a sheep. I heard that people were flocking to the ‘hot new’ Pizzeria Libretto’s, and I had to follow. Libretto’s is the new hot spot, and here’s why:
Location, Location, Location. Situated on the east side of Ossington just south of Dundas, the comfortable space is the perfect place for Queen Wester’s looking for a cheap glass of wine (there are actually glasses for five dollars), a straightforward dinner and a strong chance of running into their friends. That said, it’s not reserved for the west end crowd – the Summerhill set are swooshing all the way down just for a slice. That’s hot.
The bright kitchen is open where you can see Chef Rocco Agostino and Proprietor Max Rimaldi sweating as they put pizza after pizza into the huge, perfectly temperatured oven. Lime green walls, Ikea-framed pictures, wooden tables with decorative red wine stains, and chalk board archways create the feeling that you are chilling out in a friend’s kitchen. The place people always end up in. The long communal table that runs from the bar to the kitchen adds to this ambiance. I opted to sit at a single table but my Italian friend prefered the shared table, “Its like we are at home with our families!”
Loud and busy, this is not the place to go on a first date but perfect for a Sunday night dinner with your significant other or gabbing girlfriends.
The food is simple and tasty. The Calamari with red pepper and almond sauce has a delightful melt in your mouth texture, though it would have been better pan-seared rather than battered. However the menu aims to please and a lotta people like their food friend.
I don’t care that Neapolitan Pizza is supposed to be minimalist, when my sardine Pizza arrived I was a bit disappointed to see no cheese and about half a sardine per slice. The fresh basil leaves and black olives were a decent compensation and those little fish are packed with salty flavour, almost enough to get you through the slice.
The Chef uses the guidelines set by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association and I guess this works. The pizza was deliciously soft in the middle and crispy around the edges. The crust was a touch burnt but nothing that the chilli oil our server brought to the table could not mask. I was able to eat my own pizza as well as a slice of my boyfriend’s prosciutto pizza and was not sickly full or haunted with visions of gruelling cardio workouts for the rest of the week.
You can expect to wait fifteen to thirty minutes for a table but the hostess is very open and accommodating. While you loiter tummy grumbling by the door, scrawl some witty banter on the chalkboard and wave at all the people you know.
An espresso-packed cappuccino and a three dollar Canoli with light lemon flavouring was the perfect way to end the meal. Cocktails, a fantastic bottle of Primitivo, our meals and a 20% tip all with a price tag of one hundred and twenty dollars. That said, if you skim on the booze you can easily chow down for a mere twenty buck.