PIZZERIA LIBRETTO: Delicious, but best in town?

416-532-8000    |    $10-17 pizzas

 

There’s enough hype about Pizzeria Libretto to generate a line outside its doors before opening at 4pm on a Sunday. Camping out at Fishbar during happy hour worked like a charm. 

Food

This is a pizzeria, so guess where I’m starting. Libretto promises that it’s pizza follows the strictest of Neopolitan guidelines, with the end product being, “soft, elastic, easily folded as would be a pamphlet (aka LIBRETTO)”. Nowhere is the word crispy used. So that’s not part of the promise.


Source: Lucas Richarz

All three of the pizzas we ordered executed on this promise. The crust was soft, elastic, and could be very easily folded. You could definitely taste the flour. But none of our crusts (ironic given the name) had any crispy or crunchy texture.

  • House-made Sausage Pizza (above): Really good sausage with tons of flavour, sweet caramelized onions and chili made this a winner. Tasted great.
  • Ontario Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza - Very traditional combinations so nothing surprising. That said, killer tomato sauce. First thing you notice when you bite into it is the freshness of the sauce. Cuts right through the peppery arugula and salty prosciutto. 
  • Speck, Fig, Gorgonzola, Walnut, and Honey Pizza - If you haven’t had this flavour combo before I’d recommend it, but if you have, there’s nothing that really stands out. Well balanced, a bit more speck and honey would have livened it up a bit in my opinion.

Aside from pizza, we also tried the lamb shoulder and saffron arancini with sun-dried tomato pesto. Crispy outside, gooey inside, and the pesto is the best thing on the plate. If I’m being picky, I prefer the inside to have more al dente risotto texture than melted cheese, and the lamb didn’t come through for me. I thought saffron was a nice touch though.

The Tiramisu I ordered for dessert had great coffee and liquor flavour and was very light. Too much cream/mascarpone for me though; in the cup, it was a little more like pudding, as the lady fingers got really soft and lost their fluffy quality.

Service and Ambience

I’ve heard some people complain about the service, as I’d imagine the bustling atmosphere can overwhelm some servers. Our experience was nothing like that. Staff were on the ball, willing to answer any questions, and the water jug was always kept full. I asked our server how good the Tiramisu was, and she told she’d buy it if I didn’t like it. That answer alone is worth a half star.

The interior of the place is fun, lively, and aesthetically interesting. The hanging individual light bulb thing is getting a little repetitive, but it looks great so I’m not blaming anyone.

The Reco?

In my opinion, this is not the best pizza in town and the reason is the crust. A good pizza to me is thin, crispy, and doughy with well-defined, balanced flavours. Libretto misses on the crispy altogether, but stays in the game because the ingredients keep it authentic-tasting and delicious. The ideal pizza to me: Terroni’s pizza crust with Libretto’s toppings. Maybe that’s Queen Margherita Pizza? Guess we’ll have to test out that contender too.

Other reviews:
Toronto Life   |   dine.TO    |    Singles and Pairs

 Posted by: Jacob, Visited Oct 23, 2011

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