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Queen Margherita

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Had dinner last night for the first time at Queen Margherita. Service was great. The porchetta and caramelized onions was about as good as anything one can eat, but I thought the pizza disappointing. The crust isn't really a crust; it is unappealingly thick and 'doughy'; a consequence, I assume, of either inadequate heat or insufficient time in the oven. The slices are a bit of a pain to eat because the topping wants to slide off the drooping 'tip'. So despite the incredible app, I'm guessing I won't return; I think the style of pizza is probably just not to my liking. Very nice people, though, and the live music was a treat.

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  1. I agree with the service and the environment. Hope that they do very well because there isn't anything else like it out in this area. However, I do prefer Pizza Libretto. Love the naan like crust and the price point for their prix fix lunch special.

    1. I had a completely different experience in respect of the pizza. Loved the crust (not too thick at all, but not to thin and hard either). Great flavour in the dough (right combination of yeastiness and saltiness). The sauce was the perfect flavour for me. The fiore di latte was as creamy and fresh as can be. Personally I preferred it to my experience at Libretto. It was the best pizza I've ever eaten in Toronto actually. I think that Libretto makes a good pizza, but I think it just comes down to personal preference whether you prefer one over the other, but for me it didn't have that wow factor that QMP did for me. I'm glad that both exist though and there are great pizza options on either side of the city (and that I happen to live closer to QMP).

      1 Reply
      1. re: pescatarian

        I haven't tried Queen Margherita yet, but just a quick thought on Libretto. I think that Libretto is just completely inconsistent. Of the times that I have gone, I think I've tasted at least 5 variations on their dough. In the last 4 months, I have had both the best pizza I've ever had in Canada, and one of the worst at Libretto. Had I been to Libretto for the first time on the night that they served me an undercooked dough ball, I don't think I would ever return. However, since I know that they can be great, I will be back.

      2. I am curious to know if this is your first time eating this style of pizza--you mention that "the style of pizza is probably just not to my liking". Or, have you eaten this style of pizza elsewhere and prefer it to Queen Margherita. For example, Libretto, Lil Baci, etc.

        1. I haven't been over to Libretto yet, but really enjoyed Queen Margherita. I found the crust really nice, but the toppings were so fresh and delicious it was the best pizza I've had in Toronto to date. I have to echo pescatarian here- the fiore di latte was downright amazing, and the tomato sauce was fresh and flavorful. I'd say it makes for a really great evening out.

          1. Pizza sucks, service is terrible.

            Pizza: toppings are fresh, tasty and excellent. Too bad they're clumped together instead of evenly distributed. Why so stingy w/ the basil on the eponymous pizza? The dough is overly soft and chewy. It's supposed to be charred, giving it a crispiness on the bottom and soft chew. Instead, my jaw ached from all the chewing. So despite the good ingredients, poorly cooked pizza means it sucks.

            Service: Be prepared to wait and be ignored. After being seated, we waited and waited and waited. Finally, the host took our order, the bartender served us our drinks and dinner and our waitress handed us the bill. But hey, at least the pizza's expensive.

            1. we went last night.
              i've been there 2-3 times before and have been very satisfied.
              service was typical for QMP: kind of there, not overly warm. the host/owner always has an indifferent and unhappy look, but whatever...he does his job well in regards to seating, but isn't the best "host".
              we sat on the 2nd floor (i.e. not the bar level by the entrance). It was really chilly in there. probably 17-18 C. and i wasn't sitting against the wall where the windows were.

              our server was alright. she asked if we wanted a drink and i asked for a recommendation for a glass of wine. i also turned to my wife and said "i thought about it on the way here and i only want a glass. they're starting the RIDE program and i don't want to take any risks." she was kind of taken aback by my request for a glass. she told me about a delicious red they had, but it tastes oh so much better when decanted for 20 minutes. "sorry, but i just want a glass," i replied. "so why did you drive here if you can't enjoy a bottle?" she replied. kind of a dumb question to ask. I said "Because i work up in Richmond HIll and we came here right after I worked." That should be the end of the story. she brought the wine, asked how it was and said "next time, you'll get a bottle."

              she made that "bottle next time" joke at least 2 other times, if not 3, throughout the course of our dinner. again, very inappropriate (IMO) when I'm wanting to be a responsible driver.

              We ordered the 3-course menu. I had the polenta w/sausage and my wife had the puff pastry with goat cheese and spicy sausage. mine arrived with a half-cold slab of polenta. wasn't sure if it was the room or the kitchen that made it cold. it was still tasty. my wife's was good as well.

              pizzas arrived. my wife ordered the speck pizza and i ordered the last one on the menu (cannot recall the name) - it had prosciutto and arugula on it. i've had it before and it was delicious. last night, the prosciutto was chewy and cool. the pizza was good but not fabulous. i had no complaints, unlike other posters, about the crust. it was the best part of the pizza. my wife's speck pizza had the same issue with the meat - large, chewy and cool strips of meat. not sure if they were placed on the pizza after being cooked in the over, but i would assume they'd go on before.

              dessert was fine. they taste like they're store made (not sure if that's true or not) but are fine and not amazing.

              when we left at 7:30, there were some empty tables that had been empty for a while. this is a dramatic change from our last visit, where we had to wait 1 hr for a table for 4.

              i told my wife that i don't want to rush back. the meh service, cold room and okish pizza isn't worth a dinner that cost us $85

              2 Replies
              1. re: atomeyes

                I agree with the last two reviews. I've been a few times and found the service and food is not as good as it once was.

                Last time I was there my crust was very soggy and wet. I mentioned it to the staff who brought it back to the kitchen. I could see the pizza cook was upset. The waiter brought a replacement and patronizingly tried to explain that the crust wasn't supposed to be crisp but a bit wet. I told him I'd had the pizza before and there's a difference between a moist, chewy crust and sopping wet and soggy.

                The desserts are pretty pedestrian. I realize that "gelato" is italian for ice cream but don't call something gelato in an Italian restaurant if it's really something like Breyers. The "market" pies are more "supermarket than market. The neighbourhood is full of amazing bakeries. It's too bad they don't source from them.

                I don't think I'll be back unless I hear that things have changed.

                1. re: atomeyes

                  I came a little late in this conversation. If I had the "bottle next time" waitress, I would have been speaking to the owner or speaking to her in a manner much ruder than how she spoke. I can't say any of the reviews here make me want to rush over.

                2. So I got around to trying Queen Margherita tonight, and I was very very disappointed.

                  The prix fixe seemed like a good deal, but I knew it would be too much food, so me and my dining companion ordered a Margherita and a Romolo. As a pretense, I am a big Libretto fan, and also enjoyed Lil Baci when I visited a year or so ago.

                  Back to my review. I was expecting thin crust, and what I got was an extremely thick, doughy pizza. The darker parts of the crust were tasty but it was not cooked long enough at all. Even longer cooking time would not have made the pizza any thinner. Out of the two, the Margherita was the winner over the Romolo. Neither of us enjoyed the Romolo at all, it was soggy beyond belief, really bland, and lacked any character. The highlight of the experience was the fior di latte on the margherita.

                  This may sound juvenile, but I would honestly prefer Pizza Pizza. Won't be recommending this restaurant to anyone, or returning. Too bad, I was hoping for a satisfying pizza experience!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ms. cornbread

                    Wow, night and day experience from what I had in the summer... I agree the service wasn't very friendly/pleasant but the pizza was really good. My Italian friend mentioned it was the best pizza she had in Canada (and she has been to Terroni, Pizza Libretto,etc).. I am wondering if QMP was having an off night, has a few bad pizza chefs, or this place has gone down hill so much?

                    1. re: ylsf

                      "I am wondering if QMP was having an off night, has a few bad pizza chefs, or this place has gone down hill so much?"

                      There's also a fourth option.

                      1. re: ylsf

                        Service was fine enough, not particularly friendly but not off-putting.

                        I suppose it could have been an off night/bad chef, but our waitress made a point of singling out the chef and going on how he was from Naples and highly experienced blah blah blah. This pizza didn't compare to Naples. It didn't even compare to Libretto, which I at least expected to be similar in style. But I definitely received a big plate of bread with some meh toppings on top. I was also one of the first there for dinner, so it's not as if they were rushing to get mine out of the oven.

                        1. re: ms. cornbread

                          I finally got around to trying this restaurant about a month ago. I had really been looking forward to it but in the end, I doubt I'll go back.

                          We had made a reservation but still had to wait about 10 minutes before we were seated. No big deal but as we waited in the empty main floor space with a few of the staff, there was no conversation, no hospitality, no invitation to sit down and have a drink at the bar. We then sat upstairs and our waiter was just kind of weird. He wasn't unfriendly but just kind of socially awkward, like he was trying to be friendly-ish but it just didn't come easily to him. Plates were whisked away (too) quickly. We both had the prix-fixe and while nothing was bad, nothing was better than okay. Even the nutella ravioli, which I was looking forward to from the second I saw it on the specials board, was just "meh" - like not even as good as the sum of its parts, never mind anything better. The space felt cold - literally and metaphorically. Blah.

                          1. re: peppermint pate

                            I've never been back since taking a group there last Summer. The service was good, but the much lauded pizzas were tough and chewey and sour tasting.

                    2. Dang. I'm sorry I missed it in its heyday. Oh well. Danforth Pizza House for thick crust, and Mangia and Bevi is close enough if I am craving a thin crust.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Pincus

                        Pincus, QMP is definitely still worth a visit if you haven't been yet. I've experienced two off nights there in the past few months - one where the pizza was good but not great, and one where there was absolutely no char on the crust so I had to send it back to the oven. Still, every restaurant is going to have an off night once in a while.

                        For my money, QMP is the best Vera Napoletana pizza experience you're going to have in Toronto. The toppings on Libretto's pizzas are amazing, but their crust is usually far too thin (can't be picked up and eaten without falling completely apart), and their sauce has no flavour. QMP's cornicione is bang-on 99% of the time and the dough has the right salty-sweet balance, and their sauce is perfection.

                        1. re: TOFoodFan

                          just wondering if you've been there recently.
                          i've visited it 4 times since it opened.

                          first two were excellent.
                          last two weren't.

                      2. Made it to Queen Margherita for the first time today and I have to say this is BY FAR the best pizza in Toronto. The restaurant is also very casual and has a nice style.

                        I've done the Naples run (Sorbillos, Trianon, and Da Michelle) and the NYC run (Una, Luzzo's, and Patsy's) and the QM pizza today was as good as the best in NYC (IMHO Luzzo's) and right in there with Naples pizza. I see some complaints about consistency, but they sure nailed it today. Amazing soft charred crust with nice body and chew, great sauce, great cheese and fresh nice tasting basil (had the Margherita - of course). Terroni on Queen is a distant second, and Libretto is nowhere to be seen...

                        One last thing, this is authentic Neapolitan style pizza and it MUST be eaten immediately out of the oven. Don't take it out. In fact, if you go as a couple or group, order one and eat it, then order another, and another, ...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: PoppiYYZ

                          Agreed. QMP is the closest to authentic Neapolitan pizza in taste and texture (slightly charred doughy crust on the ends, soggy in the middle) in the city. Libretto and Fabbrica are incomparable in my opinion (too bland would be my criticism).

                          QMP is doing nothing "wrong" per se. If you don't enjoy the "wet, doughy" texture of the crust (esp in the middle of the pizza) then you don't enjoy Neapolitan style. People need to understand that they may not always enjoy "authentic" (similar to the discussion on Kobe Beef).

                          1. re: Apprentice

                            You nailed it A. These babies should be eaten with a knife and fork. Cut a piece, flip soft center out onto the amazing crust and eat. Oh man my mouth is watering....

                        2. Went there today around 6 for dinner. It wasn't that busy yet the 10 table of 6 that was seated 10 min after our table (of 2) was served before us. In fact it took forever for our pizza to come. When I asked the waiter why his response was that it was coming, but he did not apologize at all.

                          Had good service the two times I was before but this time I was not impressed. Also, they did the arugula salad this time with balsamic vinegar and it was all quite soggy and the dark balsamic vinegar made it look unappetiziing. Last time it was done with a light vinegarette and tasted and looked great.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Flexitarian

                            Same waiter served both tables ? If so you were likely the victim of "Preferential Service". Hate when that happens.

                            If not, maybe your waiter screwed up the order or didn't put it in before the other table's. QM pizzas only take a few minutes to cook. I once waited 45 minutes in a small breakfast place watching the whole restaurant completely turn over because my waiter was totally incompetent (to be nice about it).

                            1. re: PoppiYYZ

                              Actually it was a different waiter. Sadly, my partner gave him a full 15% tip (on the after tax amount - I only ever tip on the pre-tax amount). But if he hadn't I doubt the waiter would have had a clue why the tip was low.