By: Shelby Morrison
My favourite pizza in Toronto is Pizzeria Libretto. With one location on the east side of town (Danforth), and another on the west (Ossington), we can now clap our hands for the opening of a more central location at 155 University Avenue (just north of King Street). I have been to the other two locations, but was excited to try this new financial district spot.
A mix of rustic and modern fills the restaurant with unique hanging light fixtures along with wooden and steel bar stools. Subway tiled walls and rich brown leather booths give the space a nice classic touch. The restaurant felt very bright and spacious thanks to the 20-foot ceilings and wide windows.
Let’s get to the food, since it is just too delicious to spare you any longer. Pizzeria Libretto uses fresh and simple ingredients, such as San Marzano tomatoes and Fiore di Latte mozzarella, which are brought in daily. The dough is made with authentic Italian doppio zero flour. Each pizza is cooked for 90 seconds in a 900 degree oven which is hand built by a third generation pizza oven maker in Naples.
To start, I ordered Rocco’s Salad, consisting of a crispy egg, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, heirloom beets, pine nuts, and ricotta salata. It also is served with prosciutto but I chose to leave it out since I do not eat pork. The crispy egg allowed for a wonderful crisp flavour and texture and the yolk running into the rest of the salad was a nice treat. I love every ingredient in this salad and it is a personal staple when visiting Pizzeria Libretto.
Now onto the star of the show, the pizza! The short cooking time and high temperature of the oven allows for a charred and blistered crust. The crust is also soft, chewy and very delicate, since it is thin in the middle with a little more thickness at the edges. I ordered the Cremini Mushroom Pizza, which is served with Buffalo mozzarella, Gorgonzola cheese, roasted garlic, rosemary, thyme and pecorino. The simplicity of the mushrooms paired with the sweet roasted garlic and herbs allowed for a light, yet satisfying pizza. The freshness of the mozzarella really shines through in each pizza, adding the perfect amount of creaminess.
This might sound silly, but the other pizza that was ordered was the House-Made Sausage, hold the sausage (refer to my non-pork eating comment above). The caramelized onions on the pizza are what really caught my eye, which was paired with mozzarella, chili oil, and basil leaves. Honestly, I don’t know if I have words for this pizza. I LOVED the sweetness from the caramelized onions, combined with the fresh mozzarella, a hint of spice from the chili oil and added flavour from the basil. I have also heard rave reviews about their house-made sausage, so I encourage you to try this pizza with or without the sausage.
I would expect nothing less than exceptional food, a cozy atmosphere, and friendly and hospitable staff at this new location of Pizzeria Libretto. A bonus is that this location takes reservations. I advise you to head to their website right now to book your table!
— Shelby Morrison