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Pizzeria Libretto

Hot Dining: An Extra Libretto

photo by Aislinn Laffan

The standard bearer for Toronto’s thin-crust pizza craze has expanded to serve even more diners who know the rules of the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association by heart. Pizzeria Libretto is now ensconced at a new location on The Danforth. With 144 seats, this second space is twice as large as the original on Ossington Avenue, and naturally features not one, but two huge, Naples-made wood-burning ovens to ensure that perfectly blistered, flash-baked crust. The margherita ($13) is a must-try, of course, but once you’ve had that authentic taste of Italy, make a return visit for signature pies made with Ontario-fresh ingredients like prosciutto, arugula and shave grana padano cheese ($16), and house-made sausage with caramelized onions and chili oil ($16).

Query the Cook #3: Chef Rocco Agostino of Enoteca Sociale and Pizzeria Libretto

As part of our 2011 Dining Guide, we asked a few of the city’s chefs about their work, and what dishes to expect from their kitchens this season. Rocco Agostino is Co-Owner and Executive Chef of Enoteca Sociale and Pizzeria Libretto.

How have you managed to make Enoteca Sociale and Pizzeria Libretto stand out amongst Toronto’s many Italian restaurants?
The Italian philosophy guides everything we do when it comes to our menu. Our food combines bold flavours with the best available products—without compromise.

Why is Neapolitan-style pizza so popular in Toronto?
There are many different styles of pizza. It’s the passion that is put behind the pizza and the ingredients that are laid on top that make the difference. We create pizzas that combine a few simple and flavourful ingredients and that cook quickly in the Neapolitan style, which really maintains their freshness. Torontonians are obsessed with good food and Libretto’s popularity tells us that bringing educated guests quality ingredients is a winning recipe.

Wine is a big part of the experience at Enoteca Sociale. What are some of the gems on your wine list?
Tawse Winery’s 2009 Riesling is so refreshing that I find myself drinking it for most of the meal. Cantine Madonna delle Grazie’s 2007 “Liscone” Aglianico del Vulture is a great autumn wine, a full-bodied red that goes well with a rich braised meat like lamb.


Hot Dining: Italian Indulgence at Enoteca Sociale

Duck liver ravioli at Enoteca Sociale

Not content with cornering the market for authentic Neapolitan pizza, the owners of über-popular Pizzeria Libretto can now lay claim to some of Toronto’s best homestyle Italian fare, period, at their recently opened Enoteca Sociale. At home in the up-and-coming Dundas West district, this wine bar has quickly gained a reputation for its warm and welcoming atmosphere and chef Rocco Agostino’s lovingly nostalgic dishes that could include duck liver ravioli ($13) and veal saltimbocca with arugula and pancetta ($15). Pair your plates with reasonably priced vino from the restaurant’s long list, and don’t pass up the chance to sample from the enticing selection of more than 20 Canadian and Italian artisan cheeses.

Weekend Roundup, August 14 to 16

Friday, August 14
You might have to wait for a table, but once you’ve tried the margherita pie at super-popular  Pizzeria Libretto, you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. (221 Ossington Ave., 416-532-8000)

Dance into the wee hours of the morning at multi-level mega-club Circa.

Slip on your sneakers, sunglasses and whitest polo shirt, the Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament‘s opening rounds start today.

Saturday, August 15
Get a dose of local history without breaking the bank. Fort York, Mackenzie House and Todmorden Mills are free to visit all weekend long.

Learn about the Canadian Aboriginal art scene at the Planet Indigenus festival at Harbourfront Centre.

Take a road trip to Markham’s massive Chinese-centric shopping centre, Market Village, one of the few malls where noodles are made right before your eyes.

Sunday, August 16
Grab a blanket, find a spot to sit in Trinity Bellwoods Park and enjoy a sunny day of people watching. (Queen Street, west of Bathurst Street)

Discover Sidecar’s boozy ginger- and lemongrass-infused lemonade, also known as your new favourite summer drink.

Escape the heat and catch a matinee performance of theatrical blockbuster The Sound of Music at the The Princess of Wales Theatre.