Authentic, thin-crust Neapolitan pizzas are fired in a wood-burning oven imported from Italy at this pizza joint on the Ossington strip. Amid the communal wood tables, exposed brick, chalkboard paint, and Banksy artwork, owner Max Rimaldi adheres to the rules of classic pizza set by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Starters include charcuterie and cheeses like house-made duck prosciutto and four-year-old Parmigiano-Reggiano, but the pizza's the thing, pulled from the oven in ninety seconds flat. Try the pizza Margherita D.O.P. with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, and local (nearby Ingersoll) Fiore di Latte Mozzarella, or the porchetta pizza with moist pork roast, rapini, truffle oil, and crackling (which combines two Italian classics—pizza and porchetta). Service is both speedy and charming. Also check out the Danforth location at 550 Danforth Avenue; they take reservations.
Sep 12, 2013
I love pizza. I loved going to the long gone Frank Vetere's on trips to Toronto. So I ran when I read the rave reviews on Pizza Libretto. We went early for lunch to try and beat the reported crowds and waits I've read about. We shared an appetizer and a salad, along with one of the pizzas and also enjoyed a glass of wine. And while nothing was horrible, the lunch we had would have never merited waiting an hour for an open table. Nearby parking
is almost nonexistent. We found a spot in a municipal lot that was about a ten minute walk from the place. Even though we were early for lunch hour, there were like only two spaces remaining there too. Fortunately, we were seated immediately upon arriving. Ambiance was nothing to write home about either. Closely spaced wooden tables with benches or chairs made you feel as if you were part of whoever was at the table next door. I prefer my dining out to be a little less communal. All this would have been easy to overlook if all the hype about the pizza had been true but I didn't find it that way. I tend to like deluxe pizzas . . . the ones with 6 to 8 toppings. So we ordered one of the busier selections on the menu. It was fine at first but really didn't retain heat well and also rapidly became very soggy in the middle. Maybe the selections with fewer toppings work better with this type of crust. Toronto can be very neighborhood oriented. During our visit, the place rapidly filled as it approached noon with nearby workers. For the tourist though, it can be a bit of a trip from a Downtown hotel just for pizza.