Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pizza, Pizza: Some New Wood Fired Pizza Restos in Toronto

Wood fired pizza restos have become more and more common, not only in Toronto, but in cities all over and even in the more remote regions, like locally, the Muskoka countryside. In theory, it is the way to go. A good wood fired pizza is often thin, with a firm but flakey crust and very mild, pleasing smoky flavour overtones. But the makings of the crust, not just the kind and source of flour, but crust ingredients and the toppings all play a major roll in the enjoyment of really good pizza. There is a real art to not only making a good tasty crust, but, knowing how to cook the crust well. Too often, pizza resto owners figure that the wood fired oven is either the secret to their marketing success or the secret to the perfect pizza. Certainly a wood fired oven holds prime interest, but, in my experience, most wood fired pizzas that I have experienced, have been lacking in some of the following ways: soggy crusts, crusts that have no favour, crusts lacking the smokey element, crusts that are too bread-like. My preference is for a thin, slightly crispy crust with a flakey element near the periphery of the pizza. Often, the tomato sauce is lacking in flavour,  a mundane 2 dimensional rendering, a mockery of some of the wonderfully intense, rich complex sauces that I have rarely experienced. My North American gold standard is the crust at Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana, Florida.

Tomato bruschetta on toast rubbed with fresh garlic.

Bruschetta bianca, crispy sea salt dusted cracker-like crusts, a tasty app.

Tomato sauce, fior di latte cheese and mushrooms.

Fior di latte cheese, tomato, italian sausage.

This pizza only droops a little. At least I could lift it off the plate.

A pleasant pizza experience but no wow for me. The crust lacked my standard for texture and flavour.

Via Napoli
Eggplant with tomato sauce. A tasty app.

San Vincenzo, San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, ham, olives, artichokes and basil. No integration of the flavours.

A mix of porcellina, sausage, ham and speck. Again, no magic here.

Funghi misto, with San Marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte, mozzarella and grilled assorted mushrooms. A better toppings taste......but the crust.....more later.

Ortolana with mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers. This was a good "pizza".

Very good roasted peppers.

Unfortunately, the crust was too soft, a bit too bread like and missing flavour. 

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