This gorgeous corner, glass encased work of art is stunning. I on my way to another restaurant when I had this monolith ape-discovery moment (add in the space oddessy music). Everything about this contemporary “Pastizza” restaurant seems designed to create a sense of comfort, and the same relaxed approach extends to the kitchen.
The pizzas coming out of co-owner Paolo Paolini’s ovens are some of the city’s best and worth the venture into the Old Town Toronto. It’s the crust thats outstanding: a cross between chewy, spongy “commercial” Pizza Pizza and Libretto’s charming, crisp char. Sounds strange right? Well, we all know there are enough pizza joints in the city, and I’ve been to more than a few. But there is something different here, and totally worth a shot. A broken meatball bolognese pizza, soaked in rich basil infused tomato sauce sprinkled with Pastizza’s own spiced olive oil, is a good start. Oh, and did I mention they have their own winery?
Braised beef cheek falls apart lusciously, full of juicy flavour without a hint of dryness sided with buttery, earth-rich mushrooms and smoked Gouda, potatoes and Swiss chard soaked in roasting jus. Bomba is tasty, fresh bread and prosciutto goes hand and hand, a definite order.
Paolo is ambitious with his flavours, but occasionally has trouble with balance, as in the incredibly vinegary Caesar salad, or thick and glue-like texture of the Carbonara pasta sauce – take it easy, Parmesan…
Desserts, like a caramel-infused chocolate sticky toffee with salty sweet almond slivers and icy gelato, are definitely worth a splurge.