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Viccino Pizzeria - gourmet wooden oven pizza in Beaches

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vanhalen26 May 13, 2010 09:42 AM

Anyone know anything about this place. It seems the owners are always opening and closing restaurants in this location but this one sounds interesting enough to try and it opens today.

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  1. Full tummy RE: vanhalen26 May 13, 2010 09:44 AM

    Oh, I saw that in development a while ago and wondered... I found a picture of their pizza oven:
    http://www.stovemaster.com/html_en/po...

    Viccino
    1923 Queen Street East
    (416) 693-1010

    -----
    Viccino Pizzeria
    1923 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M4L1H3, CA

    1. y
      ylsf RE: vanhalen26 May 13, 2010 11:08 AM

      Thanks for the heads up. Hope someone on here tries it soon!

      7 Replies
      1. re: ylsf
        v
        vanhalen26 RE: ylsf May 13, 2010 01:10 PM

        No problem. I am a long time lurker, first time poster. May get takeout tonight as I live very close by (and they have an opening special).

        I'm a little skeptical as they seem to churn restaurants in and out of that location with the same owners ... but food has always been pretty good and it looks like they have invested in the oven.

        1. re: vanhalen26
          Full tummy RE: vanhalen26 May 13, 2010 01:44 PM

          I live nearby, too, and would get take-out tonight. Do you know when they open? What sort of opening special do they have?

          1. re: Full tummy
            v
            vanhalen26 RE: Full tummy May 13, 2010 04:10 PM

            MIni review ... went tonight and pizza was very good. Nice family run type place it seemed.

            Crust was crispy and thin, yet a bit chewy as well. Nicely done. Sauce was also good - bright with a bit of spiciness to it.

            Cheese was average and toppings were average - but selection is OK if looking for variety.

            I had a personal pizza and drink for 8 bucks, and the serving size was pretty large given what I paid and the quality.

            I'd rate it as one of the better pizza places in the city, certainly the best in the area. Haven't tried Queen Margherita Pizza yet though.

            As long as their pricing is competitive, it will be my first choice for pizza in the beaches area, but not sure if I would travel across the city just to eat there.

            Service was a bit slow - but you would expect that on opening night as they did a local flyer drop the night prior. I called my order in and was told 15 minutes to prepare and when I got there in 15 they hadn't started it ... and then I got caught in the rain walking home which just started when the pizza was ready!

            Anyways - give it a try if you are a beacher -very enjoyable.

            -----
            Queen Margherita Pizza
            1402 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

            1. re: vanhalen26
              Full tummy RE: vanhalen26 May 13, 2010 08:23 PM

              I went tonight also. Thought the pizza was quite good, despite the disorganization of the first night (which was to be expected). I will definitely be back. I ate in and didn't see a personal pizza size on the menu. Is that a special or something that was offered on the flyer. (I don't recall receiving a flyer.) I live near Woodbine & Danforth, so the location is very convenient for me.

              1. re: Full tummy
                Full tummy RE: Full tummy May 14, 2010 10:21 AM

                So, I just wanted to follow up my very short post. I am no expert on this style of pizza, but I know what I like. The crust was thin and pliable, though not mushy, with a fair bit of char on the edges. Toppings were abundant, unlike other experiences with this style of pizza where I've felt jipped after receiving a pizza with three basil leaves and four wedges of something else on top.

                The one thing that is a bit jarring about the resto is that it's a bit of a contrast. They've done a nice job on the decor, and the pizzas are great, but the rest of the menu feels a bit like a standard pizza place... with the regulation chicken wings, garlic bread, lasagne, and two kinds of salad--both, as far as I could tell, served with commercial salad dressings.

                When you've got grilled vegetables to go on the pizza, why not offer a grilled vegetable platter? If you've got the fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, plus loads of fresh basil, why not offer a Caprese salad? Why only a garden salad or a Caesar?

                The sign outside advertises pizza and pasta, but I think they have only spaghetti bolognese, alfredo sauce, or lasagne, and that didn't inspire me.

                So, the pizza is where it's at here. I hope they develop their menu a little more so that the other options reflect the quality of the pizza they serve.

                1. re: Full tummy
                  ms. clicquot RE: Full tummy May 14, 2010 10:49 AM

                  Thanks for the report! I live close by so I've been watching for the restaurant's opening and crossing my fingers that the pizza might be good. I'll report back as soon as I have a chance to give it a try. Too bad that the rest of the menu sounds so standard - there are enough places in this area doing mediocre salads and wings! Do you know if they're open for lunch?

                  1. re: ms. clicquot
                    Full tummy RE: ms. clicquot May 14, 2010 10:53 AM

                    Sorry, don't know about lunch. Let us know what you think.

      2. duckdown RE: vanhalen26 May 14, 2010 01:49 PM

        The oven looks beautiful. Too bad it's again in an area I never visit

        1 Reply
        1. re: duckdown
          Full tummy RE: duckdown May 14, 2010 02:55 PM

          It is quite impressive!

        2. JamieK RE: vanhalen26 May 15, 2010 02:16 PM

          Anyone notice if this place is licensed?

          1 Reply
          1. re: JamieK
            Full tummy RE: JamieK May 15, 2010 02:24 PM

            I am pretty sure they are because, as far as I could tell, the table next to us had wine with their meal. I didn't even attend to this, since I'm pregnant. Let us know if you find out for sure.

          2. ms. clicquot RE: vanhalen26 May 15, 2010 02:23 PM

            I stopped by today for lunch. They are still getting settled - they have only been open for a couple of days. We perused the menu, which was riddled with obvious typos (which has nothing to do with the food but for first impressions, it does make you question their attention to detail). The menu is a bit different - lots of pizzas but many of them are somewhat unusual such as duck with cherries. As Full Tummy pointed out above, they also have basic chicken wings, salads, pastas, etc. The pizzas range in price from $15.99/$16.99 for a medium to $19.99 for a large. We chose to split a medium margherita, because it's simple so it's a good test for the kitchen. We also ordered some garlic bread with cheese. The pizza was quite good - simple sauce and the crust was nicely cooked with no soggy centre. It could have used a bit more fresh basil though - there were only three small leaves. The mozzarella wasn't the fresh kind but was fine. Unfortunately, the garlic bread was a miss. It wasn't cooked long enough and the cheese didn't melt properly. I won't comment on the service because apparently a couple of their waitresses called in sick so they were doing the best they could. Luckily it wasn't busy. We spoke with the owner, who told us they are planning to start delivery soon. I would definitely order from them but would probably stick to the pizzas.

            11 Replies
            1. re: ms. clicquot
              Googs RE: ms. clicquot May 16, 2010 06:32 AM

              First, cherries and duck do NOT belong on a pizza. It smacks of trying too hard and not knowing enough.

              Second, any place offering such basic Italian comfort food should NOT be attempting gourmet. It smacks of trying too hard and not knowing enough.

              Third, a pizza oven does not make great pizza. A person does. Do I need to say it again?

              1. re: Googs
                ms. clicquot RE: Googs May 16, 2010 08:36 AM

                I have to agree about the weird toppings. I must admit to being a little put off some of the menu descriptions (chicken tikka? tuna on pizza?) which was partly why we went with the margherita. I prefer very simple pizzas with Italian inspired ingredients but maybe there is a market out there for some of their unusual ideas.

                1. re: ms. clicquot
                  Full tummy RE: ms. clicquot May 16, 2010 08:52 AM

                  I think they will have to learn what topping combinations work/sell and what don't. I had the "pissaladiere" (straightforward with olives and anchovies), and I enjoyed it. At most pizza places, it's easy to choose or customize toppings to one's taste, but the crust is the crust. That part they did pretty well, so I can forgive them some weird-sounding combos (since I don't have to eat them). That said, I won't knock a combination till I've tried it.

                  1. re: Full tummy
                    ms. clicquot RE: Full tummy May 16, 2010 09:04 AM

                    Yes, I did see that you could 'build your own' with the toppings listed, which might be the route I'll go next time. I thought the pissaladiere sounded interesting, as did the mushroom one. And you're right - it's probably a good idea to keep an open mind about combinations I haven't tried. Maybe they're delicious!

                  2. re: ms. clicquot
                    munchieHK RE: ms. clicquot May 18, 2010 07:33 PM

                    Tuna on pizza is not unusual in Italy. I have had it in Sicily and Napoli. Italians love their tonno.

                    1. re: munchieHK
                      ms. clicquot RE: munchieHK May 18, 2010 08:03 PM

                      Fair enough. I'll try to avoid passing judgement until I've tried it!

                      1. re: munchieHK
                        j
                        JennaBean RE: munchieHK Jul 1, 2010 09:24 AM

                        I love tuna on a pizza if it is done well!

                  3. re: ms. clicquot
                    duckdown RE: ms. clicquot May 17, 2010 12:07 PM

                    "The mozzarella wasn't the fresh kind but was fine."

                    $@#&$#^&^$#

                    so it's another Dino's? A place that has a wood burning oven, but doesn't use the proper ingredients... inexcusable on a Margherita to used shredded bagged mozz!

                    1. re: duckdown
                      ms. clicquot RE: duckdown May 17, 2010 12:46 PM

                      I don't think Viccino is in the same league as Libretto or Queen Margherita, given the quality and combination of their ingredients. Their goal doesn't appear to be making authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. I agree that it's a shame they don't use top-notch products, since they have such a beautiful oven producing a lovely crust.

                      However, even with the mozzarella they are using, I preferred Viccino's pizza over the chains in the area such as Pizza Pizza (ugh!) or Pizzaville. Maybe customer feedback will change their direction over time and help them be the best they can be. We can only hope...

                      1. re: ms. clicquot
                        Full tummy RE: ms. clicquot May 17, 2010 12:52 PM

                        Yes, I agree. Since I didn't know the Margherita didn't come topped with fresh mozzarella, I assumed they had it in stock. Hence my comment about the absence of a Caprese salad on the menu... Maybe, as you say, they will listen...

                        1. re: ms. clicquot
                          duckdown RE: ms. clicquot May 17, 2010 02:35 PM

                          Oh definitely better than a pizza chain I'm not denying that -- so is Dino's... But it could be so much better...

                          Strange that the pizza's there are from $15.99 - $19.99 and use lower quality ingredients than QMP and Libretto which are both cheaper... hmmmmm.....

                          i seem to remember the take-out margherita from Libretto being $14 and a buck more at QMP.. maybe things have changed

                          PS: for an awesome wood fired margherita with fresh mozzerella , check out Ice Cream Patio in Woodbridge...it's a loud italian eatery but most food has been top notch.. never mentioned on here and just recently tried it, it was one of the top 3 margherita pizzas ive had in the gta so far..

                    2. h
                      hankarm RE: vanhalen26 May 18, 2010 07:41 AM

                      After waiting months for this pizzeria to open, maybe our expectations were too high, but, when a medium pizza carries a $17.99 price tag, expectations should be high. The pizzas are tiny (medium is 12"); crust is thin and has nice chewiness and more flavor than competitor Pizza Pizza; tomato sauce has no flavor (ain't got no tang!); toppings not as advertised: wild mushroom turned out to be cremini. The cooks and wait staff are nice and seem to mean well but don't have it together, yet. Despite the slow Monday night during which we saw only two other diners, we had to track down the waitress a number of times for menus and water refills. On the other hand, pizza arrived quickly. Wish it would have been better so we could justify going back. Hope it improves.

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                      Viccino Pizzeria
                      1923 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M4L1H3, CA

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: hankarm
                        Full tummy RE: hankarm May 18, 2010 07:43 AM

                        Hope they do figure some of these issues out... The large, at $19.99 is better value, I think.

                        1. re: hankarm
                          Flexitarian RE: hankarm May 18, 2010 09:46 AM

                          I was all set to go when I first heard about this place but after reading these reviews I think I'll stick with Libretto's and Queen Margueritta's and anticipate the new restaurant (Fabricca) that McEwan is opening that will have a Neapolitan wood-fired pizza oven.

                          -----
                          McEwan
                          75 The Donway W, Toronto, ON M3C, CA

                          1. re: Flexitarian
                            f
                            foodfetish_1 RE: Flexitarian Jun 18, 2010 10:47 PM

                            On Thursday, we called in and reserved a table for 14 for my sons 12th birthday. The kids naturally ordered several margaritas, made using fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, the kids loved it! My friends and i ordered the mermaid and four cheese and my husband ordered the chicken gorgonzola. I'd recommend any of the three choices to anyone, they were delightful. The crust was thin and crispy, the sauce was a little tangy with herbs and the toppings were abundant. I especially liked the roasted toppings. It seems to be a family business and the service was average, the usual, however they clearly try their best to make you feel at home. The decor is lovely and the oven is beautiful.

                            -----
                            Viccino Pizzeria
                            1923 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M4L1H3, CA

                            1. re: foodfetish_1
                              Googs RE: foodfetish_1 Jun 19, 2010 08:00 AM

                              What other pizzerias do you enjoy, foodfetish_1?

                        2. y
                          ylsf RE: vanhalen26 Jun 23, 2010 08:11 AM

                          This restaurant is featured on Webpiggy today. I recalled reading the thread about it here so came back to check out the reviews now that is opened. The deal there is 2 large pizzas for $24.95 (taxes included, delivery not)

                          www.webpiggy.com

                          Voucher must be purchased today (June 23, 2010) for redemption before December 1, 2010

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ylsf
                            v
                            vanhalen26 RE: ylsf Jun 24, 2010 05:55 AM

                            Great value. Thanks for the tip. Bought 3 - will be great for entertaining!

                          2. thenurse RE: vanhalen26 Jun 30, 2010 06:48 PM

                            Made a visit tonight with a good friend of mine who lives in the area. We were hoping for a decent pizza and a glass of wine and got neither, coupled with a big bill! We ordered both the medium quattro fromaggio with prosciutto, and gorgonzola chicken pizzas, and each drank water (they are NOT licensed). The pizzas were lukewarm verging on cold, not very big, ok crust, but pretty skimpy on the toppings. I'm not even sure there was gorgonzola on every slice. The prosciutto was actually bacon, and the cheese on the quattro formaggio was quite salty. Service was slow and unattentive which is why we weren't able to address the temperature of the pizza - the server never came by to ask and we were too hungry to wait. We didn't end up seeing her until the end of the meal.

                            Another table had ordered a pasta - fettucine alfredo - which was a HUGE portion, easily enough for 2, for 9.99 including a pop and salad. If you decide to go here for some godforsaken reason, at least order the pasta to get some value. Head to L'il Baci for better pizza, salad, and at least a glass of wine, for the $40 we spent on our 2 mediocre, lukewarm pizzas we wish we had gone to our old standby. (we haven't been to Queen Margherita, yet.)
                            Oh yeah, there were single flowers on each table and they were all DEAD! That should have been our first, obvious sign.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: thenurse
                              Full tummy RE: thenurse Jul 1, 2010 07:21 AM

                              Oh, gosh, sounds like things have gone from middling to bad--and quick. Our experience on their first night was far better, and I was hoping they'd get their act together rather than fall apart further. Too bad. Definitely try Queen Margherita Pizza. The family running Viccino should visit QMP to see how it's done.

                              -----
                              Queen Margherita Pizza
                              1402 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

                              1. re: Full tummy
                                ms. clicquot RE: Full tummy Jul 1, 2010 09:48 AM

                                I gave them some leeway on the bad service, weird menu and no wine when they first opened but you're right - it doesn't sound like things are getting any better. I realize that I have had no desire to go back even though I live close by yet I can't wait to get back to Queen Margherita.

                                1. re: ms. clicquot
                                  Full tummy RE: ms. clicquot Jul 1, 2010 10:36 AM

                                  Me also! I think I got lucky with my pizza the first night (since it actually had the ingredients on it that I expected), and it did taste good. The price, however, is on the high side when you compare with QMP. The crust is good, but not enough to make up for the other deficiencies. I wish, wish, wish that they would do better. Goodness knows we need more decent places in the east-end, and they would certainly have a market. Seems as though they need to hire someone with expertise... If I read/heard some good reports, I would head back, but not until then.

                              2. re: thenurse
                                p
                                Pincus RE: thenurse Jul 2, 2010 10:57 AM

                                Dang, and I bought one of those Webpiggy coupons too. Well, I will check it out and report back anyway. Maybe I should use the coupon sooner rather than later? :)

                                1. re: Pincus
                                  Full tummy RE: Pincus Jul 2, 2010 11:39 AM

                                  Check it out and let us know how it goes!!

                              3. y
                                ylsf RE: vanhalen26 Nov 12, 2010 06:28 AM

                                Anyone been lately? There is another voucher/deal on at Webpiggy today for this place. Funny, I was logging into Webpiggy to print out my voucher (might use it this weekend) and noticed another deal, this time around for 2 mediums.

                                Any suggestions on what to order and what to avoid if I make it there this weekend?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: ylsf
                                  Full tummy RE: ylsf Nov 12, 2010 06:46 AM

                                  Haven't been lately, but if you go, will you please post your experience?

                                  1. re: Full tummy
                                    y
                                    ylsf RE: Full tummy Nov 14, 2010 05:23 AM

                                    OK, I went last night. I will preface to say that I got takeout as I was using a webpiggy voucher. Also, I got the voucher from winning a contest at Webpiggy, so, in reality, I didn't "pay" for my meal but I still make the trek out to Queen West to check it out (and stopped at Dufflet pretty much beside it for some cupcakes to go too... Delicious as a side note)...

                                    So re: the restaurant.

                                    Noticed one of the waiters playing with the lights as I guess some patrons complained it was too bright. They do need to get a dimmer on some of the bright spotlights type lights or face them against the wall. I was talking to the waiter after (staff all seemed very pleasant/friendly) and he mentioned the electrician was suppose to install a dimmer originally, etc.

                                    Anyway, the gentleman who seemed like the owner/head chef looked like he knew what he was doing but the guy who was actually cooking my pizza got distracted by the waiter (another waiter) giving him orders and the owner had to come by to rescue my pizza from getting totally burned (it was kind of burned on one side). I felt like one of the pizza's ended up being cooked a little less than I like, while the 2nd one was cooked a bit too much (especially on that one side) but I actually prefered the over cooked one to the undercooked one. It wasn't "undercooked" in the sense of how people complain about the Queen Margarita pizza was "undercooked" though, it was just that the pizza was more pliable than I like (no comment about different styles of pizza).

                                    The other thing is, I didn't eat the pizza right away and we ended up having to re-warm is up a bit like 30+ minutes later so take my review with a grain of salt...

                                    Having said all of that, I enjoyed the pizza, I thought it had good flavour. They added other spices to the pizza (like italian spices and a few leafs of fresh basil) even though I didn't ask for them but I enjoyed the flavours (just a warning though for those that don't like those spices, you could ask them to hold off on that).

                                    Oh, and they are licensed now as well.

                                    Would I go back - If I was in the area, sure, I would go back to try them out again. As others say there is a lot of potential and I think they are working out their kinks. You can custom order your own ingredients so I wouldn't worry too much if you think some of their topping combos are weird.

                                    Oh, and the deal on webpiggy is still there until the end of today. It is for 2 mediums this time.

                                    They have some other "grand opening" specials, I will post up the details when I can find the flyer I grabbed last night!

                                    -----
                                    Dufflet
                                    787 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                    1. re: ylsf
                                      Full tummy RE: ylsf Nov 14, 2010 06:04 AM

                                      Thanks, ylsf!!!

                                      1. re: ylsf
                                        Googs RE: ylsf Nov 14, 2010 07:04 AM

                                        What neighbourhood are you usually in when you want pizza?

                                  2. k
                                    katsongs RE: vanhalen26 Jan 10, 2011 07:04 PM

                                    I went to Viccino tonight for the first time -- just happened to see it when we were driving past. They have a weeknight dinner deal -- $20 for a large pizza (you can either get one of those listed on the menu, or make your own with up to 3 toppings), a side order, and a soup or salad.

                                    The server was new, but was appropriately apologetic for any inconvenience. We had the caesar salad, which was nothing special. For a side order, we picked potato skins (they also have potato wedges, various kinds of garlic bread, something else I forget...). They weren't the greatest -- kind of dry and didn't come with anything to dip them in. We asked for sour cream, but they didn't have any.

                                    The pizza, however, was great! I had the margharita on my half and really loved it. We got whole grain thin crust. The mix of flavors was great, temperature was perfect, and it was a texture I like -- not too soft, not too crispy. My partner had spinach, peppers, and asiago cheese and also loved it. We will definitely go back and will order for delivery. Probably will skip the salads and side dishes unless there's a good deal (like the weeknight special) or am really starving! They warned us that delivery can be up to 45 minutes.

                                    Incidentally, it was very clean and lovely. I didn't notice any dead flowers (as one previous poster noted). The blazing fire in the oven is a great backdrop.

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