Getting this off the press because Jeff is kicking my butt w/ postings! Pizzeria Libretto is a quaint little italian restaurant tucked in the hipster stretch of Ossington Avenue. The food is delicious, portions large, friendly and warm atmosphere and overall a great value, highly recommend. Continue reading for a detailed review (and drool-worthy photos!)
Location: 221 Ossington Ave.
Price: $$ ($25 gets you a 4 course prix fixe, enough for next day’s lunch!!)
As you see by the brightly lit decor shots (Pros of summer: dinner by sunlight!), the restaurant is quite small and rather cramped, giving it a home-y feel. But a downside to this is that there is often a very very long wait (they don’t take reservations) AND it’s very loud inside. I frequently found myself listening to my neighbours’ conversations (such a creep I know, sorry) so this is definitely not a good place for a first date (unless you both enjoy zoning or talking loudly).
A very brief menu, everything looked amazing so what better way to sample foods than to go w/ a prix fixe menu!? The dinner prix fixe includes an antipasti of the day (like a pre-appetizer), a choice of appetizers (2 are featured in photos below, the third one is just an arugala salad, nothing special but the portion was quite big), any one pizza from the menu, and a choice of 2 dessert (featured below :] )
oh yes, there was also free bread w/ chilli oil for dipping. I like. not photo-ed.
The antipasti was very interesting! Although I have had endive and goat cheese before (on separate occasions, and having acquired taste for neither), the combination was surprisingly tasty! The creaminess of the goat cheese was able to mask the bitterness of the endive slightly, and the walnut and balsamic flavours melded finely with the “off” flavour of goat cheese. I ended up not minding this at all! 🙂
The Co-eater’s appetizer: the beet was really sweet 😀 Nothing else really stood out in my mind but co-eater swears it was amazing… so yea, IT WAS AMAZING!
Potato and maybe veggies mashed then deep-fried, kinda like croquettes that one might have in a japanese restaurant 🙂 I love my root vegetables, and we all know that nothing can taste bad when deep-fried, so naturally I loved this dish! The dish is light in taste so you can taste the potato-ness, and a bite of leaf between bites of fried potato really refreshes the palate 🙂
PIZZAS!! first the 4-seasons: A classic! the whole pizza had sauce, cheese, arugala leafs I believe, and then the 4 toppings dominated the 4 sections of the pie. Fresh ingredients really make a difference and I can definitely say this is the best pizza I’ve ever had. (comparison is Terroni – La Betola, and various delivery joints) The crust is toasty and pizza is thin but not drowned and mushy by sauce, the toppings tasted just like they should, although I was surprised the proscuitto had an uncanny similarity in taste to chinese Lap Cheung (am i missing a vowel there?). I had expected it to be on the salty side but it had a balance between salty and sweet, definitely better than expected.
The duck pizza on the other hand, had no faults. Well, I guess it was un-pizza like in that it had no sauce, but cheese and very sweet pear and flavour-rich duck makes for a heck of a new world pizza!! I was seriously jealous of my co-eater for ordering that winning dish!
Ah dessert, pretty much at this point, we were so full from the pizzas (and each eating only half our pizzas! they were big-portioned!) that our content-ness was at max level regardless of dessert quality. But to be fair to you readers, I put my judging face forward and tried my hardest to critique. The presentation was simple for both, the panna cotta was on the lighter side in my opinion. A good complement to the rich pizzas beforehand but I think as far as panna cottas go, I’ve had better. The Tiramisu however was quite a spectacle! Definitely on the heavy side, a perfect balance of sweet and bitter flavours with bites of lady finger hidden within. It is a more liquid recipe (probably why they keep it in jars, so it doesn’t melt/topple over), and at the base of the jar, there was a lot of rum. Depending on your taste, may be a pro or a con 😉
All in all, a definite recommend! I look forward to trying Enoteca Sociale, Libretto’s sister restaurant in the same neighbourhood, soon!
A few decibels lower and a few more inches of elbow space would have made this a perfect 10! Keep up the good work though!
wandering ears make
for very awkward conversations, focus ears.