Over the summer, Pastizza (@) quietly opened up in a space right next to St. Lawrence Market. While there is no shortage of Italian restaurants in the city, what sets Pastizza apart is the fact that they’ve designed their food menu around their wines.
The restaurant is owned by Paolo Paolini and Thomas Baker, owner of Thomas George Estate Winery in Sonoma, California. That explains a lot, eh? Their selection includes Thomas George estate wines as well as Pastizza-labelled wines which are made exclusively for the restaurant. They also offer a number of cocktails, each of which contain a wine component (for example, their Negroni is topped with sparkling wine).
Once you enter the restaurant, your eyes will be drawn to the enormous wine tower which the bar is centred around. The two-story space features a dining room behind the bar as well as an open kitchen where you can watch the pizzas being prepared.
The menu consists of salads, soups, bombas (puffed up pizza dough covered in delicious toppings), pizzas, pastas, meat/fish dishes and desserts.
Last week, we were invited to check out Pastizza and we definitely left the restaurant satisfied. Here’s a look at what we tried:
Funghi Trifolati – warm mixed mushrooms, mixed greens, truffle oil and vin cotto ($12)
Cesare – chopped romaine, crispy pancetta, parmesan crisp and roasted garlic vinaigrette ($10)
Uovo Pizza – pancetta, chopped onions, mushrooms, semi-soft eggs, Mateo’s red pepper & pumpkin seed sauce and old cheddar ($19)
Puttanesca Pizza – spicy garlic tomato sauce, anchovies, black olives, capers, red onion, parsley and parmesan ($15)
Ravioli Con Castagne – chestnut & ricotta ravioli with pancetta brown butter, sage and pomegranate ($16)
Caramella – caramel/amaretto sticky toffee pudding, almond slivers and vanilla gelato ($7)
While there wasn’t anything I didn’t enjoy, the Funghi Trifolati, Uovo pizza and Caramella dessert were my personal highlights.
The minute they placed the mushroom salad in front of me, I knew I’d like it – the aroma from the mushrooms and truffle oil made my mouth water. It’s not a particularly complex salad but it really allowed the mushrooms to shine. A must for any mushroom lover!
The Uovo pizza came highly recommended and it didn’t disappoint. The crust was nicely charred and I loved the combination of all the ingredients, particularly those semi-soft eggs. I cut into the eggs immediately and let the yolks spill out onto the pizza. Delish! We had some leftovers and it still tasted amazing the next day.
While the Puttanesca pizza was enjoyable (in small doses), you should only order this if you enjoy salty foods (as our server warned us). The combination of the anchovies, black olives and capers makes for a pretty salty concoction. I had a slice and enjoyed it but I don’t think I could eat more than one in a sitting. It would probably make for a better sharing pizza.
For dessert, we went with the Caramella. There’s nothing like a hot sticky toffee pudding with a cold scoop of vanilla gelato. The addition of the almond slivers was really nice as it provided some crunch to the dessert. It was a wonderful way to end off the meal!
With great food, wine and knowledgeable servers, you’ll be in good hands at Pastizza!
*This was a complimentary meal. The opinions in the post, as always, are my own.*