Finally: I wondered how long it would be before a restaurant made a success of the space-that-has-been-many-things. A Neapolitan style pizzeria hits the scene running. The layout is spare and includes modern design elements juxtaposed against that raw, industrial stripped down, loft look. The neighbourhood likes it so far. Queen Margherita sees a steady flow of traffic from opening day and that's with absolutely no advertising except word-of-mouth.
My first visit is just a look-see and drink
s at the bar. Friendly servers want you come back. My bartender asks if I live in the 'nabe. I get a welcome drink for that.
Day two visit is a last minute decision, teen in tow. I explain the concept of the prix fixe ($25) menu to him and miraculously, he doesn't balk at it. The choices are slim, however. A meatball and ricotta de Bufala; the meatball is just itself on a plate, with a slick of oil underneath. Tasty but definitely in need of a finishing touch as teen guest declined the Gran Padano shavings. The ricotta dish looks great but with honey and pecans, it's more like dessert, although it does taste divine, it's so fresh.
We're waiting for the big guns now. Any place that shells out for the wood burning oven from Naples should produce thrilling results. Thin discs with a variety of toppings arrive, slightly charred around the edges. The center is so thin on mine it can barely hold the fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, arugula and prosciutto generously dressing the pie. I employ the old 'fold over' so I don't have to mess with it too long. I want it while it's hot! Teen guest tries the Margherita, named for the Italian queen who desired a taste of poor man's food. Simply fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil, but a splash of oil and pepper fix it up. There are two salad choices to try after the pizza; mixed greens and a roast vegetable salad are available on our visit. Clearly, I've taken advantage and had the most expensive pizza, which could have been ordered a la carte at $16.95. So, three courses are a good deal.
Price: Mezzo mezzo
Atmosphere: Smart and casual
Surprise, Surprise: Only pizza for entrees
Wheelchair Access: No
Hint: Pizza with prosciutto is very generous
FIVE STARS: (Extraordinary) A one-of-a-kind, world-class experience.
FOUR STARS: (Excellent) Superior. Memorable, high-quality menus and/or savvy service.
THREE STARS: (Good) Solid places that beckon with generally appealing cooking.
TWO STAR: (Fair) Just OK. A place not worth rushing back to. But, it might have something worth recommending.
ONE STAR: (Poor) Below-average restaurant.
*Reviews are meant to describe a dining out experience at a given period in time and are the personal opinion of the writer.
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