Pizzeria Libretto (Toronto)

At last, Pizzeria Libretto has opened a larger location, conveniently located downtown and takes reservations! Of course, it’s no longer the mom and pop shop on Ossington having expanded to three locations with a fourth on the way. However, they are still Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) certified, essentially ensuring preparation of the pizza follow standards that make it truly Neapolitan.

Since it was my first real meal at the restaurant, we went with two titled dishes – the Libretto meatballs ($10) and Libretto Margherita ($17) pizza.  Plump and fluffy, the meatballs were flavourful without heaviness. A classic marinara, shavings of Grana Padano and crusty toasted bread finished off the delicious appetizer.

The pizza was less impressive with large pieces of crushed tomatoes overwhelming the rest of the ingredients and making the pizza soggy. Moreover, the ingredients were heavily concentrated towards the centre of the pie leaving large swaths of crust areas plain.

A VPN Neapolitan crust is generally softer as it’s supposed to be kneaded and formed by hand, thinly formed and cooked at a high heat for no more than 90 seconds. In the end, there wouldn’t be the crisp bottom, but rather a fragrant blistered crust with an elastic chewiness. At Libretto, they met these requirements.

We should have gone with the duck confit pizza ($17), which although not traditional, is a lovely combination of salty duck breast, sweet bosc pear and caramelized onions. Moreover, a $1 from each pizza is donated to Mealshare to help feed others.

To balance off the meal, we split an arugula salad ($9) that had a lovely balanced Ontario Gamay vinaigrette and plenty of toppings (crisp walnuts, juicy pear and a neutral piave cheese).

Libretto’s tiramisu ($7) is worth a try if you love the Italian dessert as much as I do. Arriving in a mason jar was the first sign that the tiramisu would be moist and creamy. Sure enough, the cookie layers were soaked with plenty of espresso, adding a fragrant bitterness against the sweet mascarpone cream. A delicious ending to a comforting meal.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 155 University Avenue

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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