Bow to the Queen (Margherita)
After much hype, we finally paid a visit to Queen Margherita over the holidays with the kids and another family with kids. I was expecting this to be a carbon copy of Pizza Libretto or something close, but found it to be quite different in a very good way.
Having recently been to Pizza Libretto, I was expecting the "it's your pleasure to be here" type of attitude, but got quite the opposite. The restaurant itself is quite large with two tiers of seating areas - I found the upper level to be perfect for a larger group. It long, with very high ceilings and has that original building vibe without sacrificing comfort. As opposed to being jammed into a small table after a long wait, we were promptly seated and attended to right away. The staff are all quite friendly and they seemed quite happy to have a group with small kids early in the evening.
The menu is quite basic, but keeps it simple in a good way. We all had the 25.00 prix fix menu which offers a choice of salad/soup, pizza and dessert. I started with the buffalo mozzarella salad, which had the largest piece of cheese I have EVER seen served in a restaurant. It was quite spectacular - my only wish was that they matched the girth of the cheese with the portion of tomatoes. The three tiny cherry tomato half's were dwarfed by this massive, yet delicious cheese! The table bread was warm, fresh and hard to stop eating.
I had the Roma pizza for my main and was not disappointed at all. I hear that the oven makes the pizza - assuming you have good ingredients - and this oven must be special. The pizza was absolutely delicious and very nicely portioned to boot! I couldn't believe how big the portions were at this place - I could have easily shared the pizza with someone else. The crust was wonderfully crusty; the cheese and spices were perfect and combined to make what I think is one of the best pizzas in the city (of Toronto). I had some left over the next day and was enjoying every bite just as much as the night before, which confirmed I wasn't just buzzed off my one Morretti!
So, how does it compare to Libretto you might be asking? It's a very tough call. For it's simplicity, i think I must bow to the Queen - if you're looking for more innovative ingredients, you might want to consider Libretto.
The desserts are good, but not great. I ended up with the lemon Sorbet, which was nothing special at all. We had some other desserts at the table, but nobody was blown away. You can't hit them all out of the park...
We'll be back again for sure.