Mike and I arrived at Queen Margherita at noon on a Sunday, right when the restaurant opened. How did we schlep over here so early? Two words: Daylight Savings.Upon first entering the restaurant, I thought it had a warm, cozy feel to it. Little did I know, we would soon be led up a set of stairs to a much larger loft-like space. With its open concept kitchen, large windows and high ceilings, it struck me as a place which used to occupy a factory. This restaurant is definitely a lot larger than its west end competitor, Pizzeria Libretto. Also, unlike Libretto, this pizzeria takes reservations!
Queen Margherita has a lunch prix fixe menu for $20 which is served from noon to 5pm daily. The prix fixe includes a choice of antipasti, any pizza and a dessert. They also have a similar dinner prix fixe for $25. Despite the great deal, we decided to skip the prix fixe since we had just picked up a bunch of goodies from Bobbette and Belle a few blocks away.For my pizza, I decided to go with the Margherita – San Marzano DOP tomato sauce, fior di latte and fresh basil ($13.95). Before I begin talking about the pizza, I thought I should mention the little legend at the bottom of the menu. For those of you (like me) who don’t know what some of these ingredients are, the menu defines the “fior di latte” as extra virgin mozzarella and “DOP” as demarzione d’origine protetta (as if that means anything to me…).
Anyway, back to the pizza. For a person who likes strong flavours and prefers a pizza with many toppings, I fell in love with the simple margherita pizza while in Italy. When done well, with fresh ingredients, it can taste amazing. So, how did Queen Margherita’s pizza fare?
Unlike some pizzeria’s, this pizza came pre-sliced in four. I enjoyed the crust around the edge of the pizza which was light, puffy and slightly chewy. The rest of the crust was on the thin side and I found it to be way too soggy to really enjoy. The centre of the pizza was incredibly watery, likely from the tomato sauce (which tasted quite fresh, by the way). Overall, I found the margherita pizza here to be decent but probably not something I’d order again.Mike decided to go with the Roberto – Porchetta, caramelized onions, fior di latte, hot peppers ($18.95). Unlike my margherita pizza, the centre of this pizza wasn’t limp and soggy.
After a few bites, the pizza got to be pretty spicy, so Mike and I removed the hot peppers (I know…we’re wimpy like that!). As for the other toppings, although I found the porchetta to be a tad dry, I still really enjoyed it on the pizza with the caramelized onions. Between the two pizzas we tried, I preferred the Roberto while Mike preferred the Margherita.
Overall, I thought Queen Margherita’s pizzas were solid and while the service was prompt and friendly, it wasn’t anything special. I think it’s a great neighborhood restaurant, but if you don’t live in the area, I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. And in case you’re wondering… I prefer Pizzeria Libretto!At a glance:
• Solid pizzas but wouldn’t go out of my way for it
• Lunch and dinner prix fixe menus ($20/$25)
• Prompt, friendly service
• Takes reservations
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars