When I started the ball rolling on this side project, I asked for suggestions from friends and random folks alike. The one name that continuously popped up was Pizzeria Libretto in Toronto. A quick check revealed 2 locations. One on the west end at the intersection of Ossington & Dundas. The other on the east end along Danforth, 2 minutes south of Pape station. I went for the latter and made the mission from Hamilton. I already had birthday plans in the city so it made sense to grab a bite before copious amounts of drinking (thanks everybody). On a personal note, if you’re going to a place you’ve never been, make sure you find out your subway station before you go underground. Let’s just say I got off at Coxwell and worked up an appetite.
I was forewarned by just about everybody that recommended Pizzeria Libretto that I was likely in for a line up. Considering I was popping in between the lunch and dinner rush, that wasn’t an issue. However, it’s something to keep in mind. The hostess greeted me warmly and I took a seat facing Danforth. My server Sasha dropped by quickly and took my drink order. He looked perplexed at my not wanting sparkling water. I could see genuine confusion on his face before he took my Water Glass away.
Libretto Organic Lager – $7
I’ve never been one to pretend like I know anything about beer. My only concern is that it’s light and easy to drink. Pizzeria Libretto‘s Organic Lager was exactly what I was looking for. As always, I’d love to know who the actual manufacturer of this Lager was. I get a kick out of the idea behind “house beers” and always want to know who’s really behind it. On a related note, my buddy Paul recommended I go with Wine (M2 Small Lot Gamay Noir from Malivoire to be exact) instead of Beer to pair with my Pizza but I can’t deal with Red Wine. It feels like it sits on my chest. Yes yes, I’m just not drinking the right Wine. Moving along…
Nduja Sausage – $17
I was split between this and a Duck Confit pizza. Sasha said Sausage was the safer bet if this was my first time, so I ran with it. As for the pizza, there is a lot of positive and 1 major negative. I’m going to tackle the latter first.
This pizza went from mildly crispy on the outside to downright soggy towards the middle. Pizzeria Libretto uses a Wood Fire Oven. Basically a pizza is cooked in a couple of minutes at an extremely high temperature. The difference between “crispy throughout” and “hey look this is now charcoal” is a matter of seconds. Sadly, the cook erred a little too much on the side of caution. I like my Pizza crispy, to the point where I always ask for it well done if I’m just popping in for a slice somewhere. To get a soggy pizza was a complete turnoff. I mentioned it to some friends afterwards and Lily immediately noted she doesn’t like their pizza for this exact reason. I guess it’s a recurring problem.
As for toppings and flavours, that was a total home run. The base flavours of Tomato, Garlic, Oregano, and Basil fused together perfectly. The Pizza was liberally topped with fresh Mozzarella. The in house made Sausage had just a little kick to it. The meat was tender and felt like it crumbled when I bit into it.
One thing I was very happy with was the near complete lack of grease. I know for some they get a kick out of it, but I don’t need my pizza leaking grease like a faucet.
It’s best to say my jury is still out on Pizzeria Libretto. While toppings were amazing, that soggy bite is the one thing I truly took away from my experience. It’s very telling how big a role texture plays in an eating experience. I’d likely return just to test the waters one more time. If soggy, I won’t be returning. If crispy, it’ll immediately shoot up my list of best Pizzas.
Funny how one thing can change everything.
If you have a suggestion for the Realest Pizza, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email. I’ll be happy to check it out later this summer.