Saturday, November 29, 2008


Sitting facing the kitchen (as I always do) I took it all in. Prying my eyes away from the six chefs working in a small open kitchen at the back of the long and narrow restaurant, I looked around the rest of the restaurant. It was a Wednesday evening, only about 6:30pm and already there was a line forming out the door. To my left was a 25ish couple sharing a hot pizza and to my right there was a group of middle-aged, thick-frame wearing artsy-type Ossingtoners chatting in front of a bright green wall. There were also quite a few children running around wide-eyed and ignored while their parents chatted and enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and good food. The restaurant was loud- not one soft surface (unless you count the beautiful wood tables)- but I was still able to carry on a conversation and once I got used to the volume the noise just became a background hum, a part of the atmosphere. A waiter approached: black jeans, a white t-shirt and long greasy (yet somehow chic) hair. He began by offering water. When it arrived in a frosty large bottle and he saw me wondering whether this water was going to cost me (hey! I am a student after all!), he noted that all water is distilled and bottled in house. It was delicious- clean and almost sweet tasting- I was already smiling. If the water was this good- how could the food not be? I decided to begin with Bresaola for an appetizer. Now let me interject- I recently returned from Italy. I have since been in a bit of a food slump- unable to find anything as fresh and tasteful as what I ate there. Bresaola was one of my favourites in Tuscany and I had to try Libretto’s version. Sliced to an exactly perfect thickness- so that I could enjoy the smoky-sweet soft and slightly chewy beef (not aged as long as in Tuscany, but definitely delicious)- I enjoyed my bresaola while trying not to stare at the cook facing me who was making my salad. He was moving slowly and it drove me crazy (only because I was once told by a chef that he would throw any salad I made in less than 15 seconds on the floor). When my Grilled Peach and Asiago salad with champagne vinaigrette arrived I was not surprised I didn’t like it. The flavours worked together beautifully, but I couldn’t get over the cold peaches. Expecting to pop a warm, freshly grilled peach with a bit of melted cheese into my mouth I was unpleasantly surprised. The dressing was good, but it didn’t taste like champagne in the slightest. But that’s ok. I got over the salad the second my perfectly crusty and chewy pizza arrived. Cooked for a mere 90 seconds in a piping hot fire oven, my Neopolitin pizza arrived topped with in-house made fennel seed pork sausage, caramelized onions and more asiago. The crust was chewy but not too thin or thick and drizzled with olive oil. When there were only crumbs left I took a look at the dessert menu. Completely satisfied and pleasantly full, I decided to skip dessert. On my way out I walked by the long line of eager customers patiently waiting to be seated, knowing that the wait would be well worth it.

Located on Ossington just south of Dundas this new pizzeria is open (and packed the entire time) from Tuesdays-Sun 5 p.m. - 12 p.m.

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