My first impression of the new Pizzeria Libretto was when my sister said, “wow, it looks beautiful” in such a way that it made me glance up from reading my book in the back seat of the car. It was gorgeous, and the sign was glowing a warm red light that was very inviting. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous it looked. But, like with anything, books or restaurants, you can’t simply judge them by the way it appears from the outside.
It was Libretto’s “soft opening” on University Avenue in the heart of downtown Toronto, and I was very excited to have been invited to go. I think we were supposed to be part of a test run for them before they officially open their doors on Monday, November 10th at 11:30am, but the service, as at their Danforth location and their Ossington location, was awesmazing ( I reviewed Ossington in 2009, and the Danforth for dinner and for brunch!). The people that work at Libretto must be trained to smile, or be fed a lot of pizza because they are always super, super, kind.
Rocco Agostino, the executive chef and one of the owners, was there (in person and printed on their new menu) and, as always, was so good to see. There are a few chefs that have continually inspired me throughout my blogging career, and he is one of them. I also had the pleasure of meeting the architect, Frank, for this new location, and he did an incredible job, the space is great I also got a tour of some of the finer and less obvious points of Libretto Danforth from Gary, another one of the partners. I got to see the inside of their beer fridge which holds all of their kegs, and learned that the lines from the kegs go through a long wall to the bar, where the taps are mounted into the wall, I thought that was really cool. At this location, their two pizza ovens that cook up their pizzas in 90 seconds are also mounted into the wall. Check out the time lapse video I took of someone’s Cremini Mushroom Pizza being made, I embedded it below.
I don’t have much to say about the pizza that I haven’t already written about in my past reviews of their other locations, they are always awesmazing. I highly recommend their spelt crust, and very liberal use of their chilli oil to eat the crust once you’ve devoured the part of the pizza with the toppings you’ve chosen. My mother, brother and sister always ask for a pile of arugula on top of their perfectly cooked pizzas, I sometimes do too. It’s like having a side salad, but on the pizza and the crisp cold greens on the warm pizza create the perfect blended bite. I often get their special (because it’s fun to try new things) and have never been disappointed. They have tons of vegetarian options, and always happy to make anything vegan by leaving off the cheese.
My family has been enjoying Libretto since they first opened on Ossington, when I was really little and my brother was in a high chair. It’s a perfect place for any meal with any amount of people. The University and Danforth locations take reservations, which is awesome.
I had tweeted after leaving that the top 3 pizza places in Toronto, in my opinion, are now Pizzeria Libretto Ossington, Pizzeria Libretto Danforth and Pizzeria Libretto University. You should definitely go and let me know if you agree!