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Friday, August 26, 2011

Toronto :: Queen Margherita Pizza…Napoletana Round 2!

QueenMarg QueenMarg-1
It seems like I made the vow to try Pizzeria Libretto’s Neapolitan competitor ages ago. I patiently waited for an opportunity to go there for lunch – a rarity nowadays. I was extremely pleased when I was finally able to escape on a beautiful Friday afternoon with two friends to Queen West. We decided to go for their $25 prix-fixe menu and started no-longer elusive Marghertia lunch.

QueenMarg-6 Queen Margherita
: Eh…skip. Cold pizza, Libretto wins hands down!
Meal: Lunch
Price: $25+ t&t
Location: 1402 Queen Street E
Ah pizza. I’ll never ever stop loving you. One day, I’ll make my way to Italy and fall in love even harder…but for now I’ll have to keep my hunt around the streets of Toronto.

We picked almost all of the items on the lunch menu – Mac n’ Cheese, the prosciutto platter, and all the pizzas…

On the prosciutto platter, I particularly enjoyed the pickles and peppers that accompanied – we asked if they sold them separately (wish they did!) and my friend chowed down on her Italian Mac n’ Cheese – it’s laden with strong flavours so if you’re a cheese lover you might fall in love :-)
The homemade chilli oil was the real winner - Yum. Definitely added the right heat to the slices.

As always, I decided to try the classic…

Tomato sauce, fresh basil, mozzarella
I love a good, simple margherita pizza – but without the piping hot-fresh-out-of-the-oven cheese and crust it loses a lot of the love. I gave it some thought, and no – while tasty, it’s not up to Libretto’s bar.

Tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Italian sausage, hot peppers

Interestingly, while the pizzas were great overall, I strongly prefer Pizzeria Libretto for pizza and service. The pizzas came out cold and it made me teeter knowing that they were ready but not delivered – the staff may have been a bit distracted getting ready for the real lunch crowd? (We arrived before 12PM). Either way, the pizzas did not come out fresh or hot – lukewarm at best which was a sore disappointment. While tasty, QM did not live up to its hype.

Mixed mushrooms and prosciutto cotto
I did not try a Libretto equivalent of this, but for a mushroom-laden pizza, I recommend Buca.
QueenMarg-7I’m really glad we tried their fixed price menu and a variety of options. The pizza was not paper thin, as the rumours suggested, and the fact that they did not come out piping hot (or even kinda hot – just warmish) was very disappointing. While tasty and I certainly loved their chilli oil and prosciutto sides, I don’t feel inclined to return – but wouldn’t adamantly say no if another friend wanted to try

 If I returned, would it be snotty to ask the pizzas to come out quickly due to this experience? Do I dare to cross that line and risk becoming one of those customers? Hm.

We finished with a scoop for dessert, which I truthfully don't remember at all, then I hopped my way down Leslieville to pick up a packet of smoked salmon. Good friends, a nice lunch break, and smoked salmon – overall, not a bad day in the life of Cookies & Tomatoes :-)


foodieyu said...

People always compare this place with Libretto and even though I haven't been to Queen Margherita, I'm a huge Libretto fan :) I'm glad that I read this review as I've always wanted to try Queen Margherita for myself, but now, it can wait haha

kikisbff said...

tried both and it's really nothing compare to Libretto both food and service wise. I went there for lunch a while back and the service was totally lacking... we had  pizza and one was too salty and one was too bland and I have to agree that they only win by the chili oil compare to the one at Libretto =P

Erin said...

So it wasn't an isolated incident! I'm glad that I can put the Libretto-Margherita debate to rest, finally. Maybe I should swipe some of that chili oil and bring it the next time I go to Libretto :P

Erin said...

;) I'm glad too. I waited quite a bit for QM...not worth it!

Jogandleap said...

I'm shocked at the review and comments. I've been for dinner at least 5 times now and the pizzas were served piping hot and full of flavour. The crust is certainly the closest to what I've had in Italy.

I've always had prompt service but find it necessary to make reservations.Libretto is opening on Danforth soon, looking forward to that!

Erin said...

Likewise! Let me know if you check it out - I likely won't be able to until next year :-)

Ritchie1982 said...

ur a moron! the pizzas were probably cold because u wouldnt shut ur dumb mouth. Oh and btw its napoletana. lmao!

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