Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Mar 4, 2009 06:18 PM

Trio Wood Fired Pizza, Yonge and Lawrence

I've been desperate for flavour since the closing of Tabla and Chakra, and somewhat underwhelmed lately by the usual Italian restaurants of North Toronto. I read a couple of months ago about a new wood fired pizza place on Yonge north of Lawrence. Four visits later, here are my thoughts.

Vibe: The locals have quickly glommed on to this place, and the service reflects a certain familiarity. The menu is a framework from which special requests are met with enthusiasm. No problem to move sauces between pastas, or on the side with meats, or add ingredients to pizzas.

Bread: They have a wood burning oven, dough, and correlate the obvious. Nice fresh warm bread, lightly oiled presented very quickly upon arrival.

Apps: Perfectly fried calamari, though the coating might be a bit heavy. Fried mushrooms with truffle oil have great flavour, good size portions. Mixed grilled veg platter is great value.

Pizzas: Wood fired thin crusts, with great selection of ingredients and flexibility.

Pastas: Nice portions, priced in the early-mid teens.

Wines: Many in the range around $40

Overall: Solicitous, warm service, great food, and really good price points. They are using their wood fired oven to full advantage, and building a good local following. It's not high art, but it's very well executed food done by good people. One particularly telling event came when the bill arrived, and the discrepancy in the price of a bottle of wine was pointed out before I could ask about it. Rather than the $40 list price, it was billed at $35, as the distributor had discounted the latest shipment, and the owner had chosen to pass that on.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Love Trio, though they've actually been there for a couple of years now. It's one of my favorite neighbourhood spots, especially in the summer, when they open up the front to the street. Glad you enjoyed it! If you want a more upscale Italian night, go two doors north to Sapori, which is a sister restaurant. Ask to see their wine cellar and amarone collection. Impressive.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      A couple of years? I'm amazed. I first noticed it in December, and drive by that stretch often. Thanks for the suggestion.

      1. re: Snarf

        Heh, it's not surprising you missed it -- that stretch of Yonge must have more Italian restaurants than any other area of Toronto outside of College St. Sapori has been there for at least 7 years now, and has always served me well when I've needed an moderately upscale place to take guests to that is close to home. I was happy when they opened Trio, though, as the price point and more casual menu is much more conducive to a "drop in" dinner.

    2. Thanks for posting about Trio, Snarf. I also have not really been aware of its existence. You got me interested, though, and I found this National Post review by Gina Mallet from Nov. of 2008. She puts it up against Terroni and Pizza Libretto and Trio is her personal choice for real Napoli pizza. Must try it soon.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Yongeman

        As TorontoJo has indicated, there are more than a dozen Italian-themed restos, trattorias, food shops, pizza outlets, snack bars and fast food joints on the short strip of Yonge Street from Lawrence Ave. on the south to the City Limits on the north. Most are acceptable, if not particularly distinctive, and one was outright lousy - it went out of business recently, soon to be replaced by yet another Italian spot. So it's understandable that Trio, with its narrow frontage, would be missable for most of its existence. But as others have noted, it does tasty, chewy, wood-burning pizzas in the Neapolitan style, good pastas, nice salads and other dishes at modest prices (considering its high-rent Yonge Street address). And the only concern I have with its recent discovery from outside the neighborhood is that now I may not be able to drop in on a whim and easily get a table in this smallish, long and narrow room - rarely are there more than one or two other occupied tables when I turn up of an evening. My only (minor) beef is with the bottled wine list, which mainly features wines in the $40 to $70 range (admittedly, pretty standard on this strip on Yonge Street known for its astonishly high wine markups), which to me is a bit high to wash down a $12-$13 personal pizza. But the house wines, at about $20 a half-litre, are drinkable enough, if not always clearly identifiable.

      2. +

        3239 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N2L5, CA

        1. Thanks for the tip, I am always appreciative of new top notch pizza sources.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Pincus

            I was amazed at the review by Gina Mallet in the Post. The pizza at Trio is ok but not even close to Pizza Libretto or Terroni for that matter. I found it pretty ordinary like you could get anywhere - Il Fornello as an example.

            I like the Pizza at Angelo's on Avenue Rd. if you're looking for something in the neighborhood.

            I know what makes a great pizza, or worse yet, a "real" pizza, engenders a lot of debate but it's safe to say that Trio's pie is not the best under any criteria.

            1. re: victor page

              Thanks for the suggestion. I have to disagree with the suggestion that Trio's pizza is as ordinary as Il Fornello, though.

              1. re: Snarf

                My favorite pizza is from Cafe Doria at Yonge and Roxborough. Their margherita is the best in the city. I have not tried Trio yet but it beats Terroni by a mile.

              2. re: victor page

                Where, pray tell, is this Angelo's, on Avenue Rd., of which you speak? Though I'm quite content with the pizza on offer at Trio - the chewiness, the quality toppings, the smoky goodness (courtesy of a wood-burning oven) of the crust - I'm always game to try a competing pie in the neighborhood. Though not OUT of the neighborhood, which explains why I haven't tested Terroni in years, or Pizzeria Libretto ever - 45 minutes to get to those joints, then another half-hour to wait for a table, is not my idea of fun times when I'm lusting for pizza. Indeed, I had thought I'd tried all the pizza places up my way, but apparently not. Though I zip up and down Avenue Rd. north of Eglinton it quite a bit, always alert - like any respectable Chowhounder - for places to take nourishment, I've never spotted an Angelo's. Kindly inform. I'd like to give it a workout, though I've always suspected that just about ANY pie immediately out of the oven - and if you're hungering for pizza - is pretty damn tasty. It's just that, to date in my neighborhood (York Mills/Lawrence Park/North Avenue Rd.), my taste tells me that Trio seems a cut or two above the rest. At least until I find this Angelo's.

                1. re: juno

                  The only Avenue Rd. pizza place I can think if is Rossini's, near the lobster trap. I used to love their combo with the great taste of bacon. Not in the same thin crust category as some of the others mentioned, but a good family, take-home pizza.

                  1. re: Yongeman

                    I believe the poster is talking about Angelini's which is almost across the street from Bruno's if I recall correctly.

                      1. re: robb

                        Ah yes, Angelini's. A slight rearrangement of vowels and the true name of the joint is revealed. In my view, it's a decent pie, a respectable pie, not a pie to be ashamed of. I've tried it a few times - though not lately - and it's quite good, if not ethereal, as I recall. But we all taste things differently - that's what makes this board so much fun - and I still lean, in that neighborhood, to the slightly charred, wood-burning flavor of Trio - until I stumble upon something better (pizza whore that I am).

                        1. re: juno

                          Just had dinner at Trio -- I haven't been there in several months, since before the Gina Mallet review. Whoa, serious difference in traffic. It's usually a summer destination for me, as I like to sit on the little patio, and in the past I don't think I've ever seen the place more than half full. Tonight, DH and I showed up early (6 pm or so) and had no problem getting a table, but by the time we left, the place was totally full and we saw a few people come in and leave without getting a table. Had a quick chat with Luigi, one of the owners, and he said they've been very busy ever since the review came out. I'm pleased for them, as these are hard times for restaurants, but I hope my patio table is still easily available come summer time!

                          We had a soup (broccoli puree), a simple green salad, a margherita pizza and a ciccioni pizza (roasted peppers and sausage), plus a half liter of the house red (thanks for the rec on that, Juno). The bread we were given was sort of a thick flat bread, made from the pizza dough, brush with olive oil and topped with onions. It was unreasonably yummy and actually reminded me of chinese green onion pancakes. It turns out they change the toppings on the bread every day, so there's no guarantee of getting it again.

                          Pizzas were simple and tasty, as they should be. The service was well meaning, but a little unattentive. My favourite server has left, alas. Total, with tax and tip was about $80, and we have enough pizza leftover for a good lunch tomorrow. They were also kind enough to through a few pieces of the yummy flatbread into the box for us. As I said above, it's a good neighbourhood joint that I'm glad is in my neighbourhood.

                        2. re: robb

                          Or was that the fabled restaurant on Jarvis from the past, in the old Gooderham mansion? Great food for many years, mentioned in many canlit novels.

              3. Had the veal trio at 'Trio' tonight. Lovely cognac cream sauce. My dining companion had the mussels, but requested a white wine sauce. Simply divine!