Monday, October 25, 2010

Queen Margherita Pizza

A new pizzeria opened in our 'hood in early 2010 and we always remarked that we should go with the kids sometime.  Fall rolled around and we could no longer just walk in; a reservation was required.  Having kids meant we weren't going unless we undertook a major planning session to account for grump gauge, hunger meter and timing with all the other activities happening during the time under consideration.

So, a friend visiting from Germany gave us an excuse to call Grandma and Granddad and try Queen Margherita Pizza.  It was packed when we went in.  The decor is vaguely warehouse and the noise levels match the surroundings.  My wife was sure that she was not coming back here as she could barely hear conversation spoken at normal volume.

When our friend arrived, we all decided to try the prix fixe ($25).  We started with a charcuterie plate and an arugula salad.  While the charcuterie plate was not made in-house, it pointed out that meats having a good quality will always trump poorly made meats on premise.  How did we know it was not made in-house? There was a texture to the meat that would be hard to reproduce in a freshly cured product.  Also, the taste reminded us of products we had tried before in good italian delis.

We ordered two different pies; a diavolo and an arugula topped pizza.  It seems sometimes there are stereotypes for a reason, as my wife ordered the pie with salad on top while the two men stayed with a meat heavy dish.  Both our friend and I have been privileged to have tasted pie in different parts of Italy.  This tasted like a good italian pizza.  Reminded me of a pie I had in Florence by the vineyard.  I know, sounds pretentious, but it really happened.

The crust was crisp on the bottom with a rich tomato sauce accented by reduced San Marzano tomatoes and topped with minimal ingredients.  The meat was italian spicy but not overbearing.  On the arugula and cheese pizza, there was not a tomato in sight.  The simplicity of the crust allowed the ingredients to shine with no element overpowering any other.  Like a good sandwich, it was well balanced and delicious.  At that point, my wife began reconsidering her hastily made promise not to come back.

The service was excellent.  I haven't mentioned anything about them because they were that good.  No interruptions but quiet and efficient. 

We finished off with two tiramisu and one fruit salad.  The tiramisu was solid but not the star of the show.  It was well balanced coffee and chocolate bitterness with sweet creaminess of the filling.  We left with the idea that we would come back with the kids but maybe during the day when it may be a little more quiet.  This may be a destination spot for pizza in Toronto.

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