Restaurant Review: Pizza e Pazzi

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Cari and I have lived in the Dufferin & St. Clair area for 4 1/2 years.  In that time, we have seen some significant changes to the neighbourhood, mostly between Oakwood and Christie.  But when it comes to the stretch between Lansdowne and Dufferin, it’s mostly the same Italian dress shops and vacant lots that were around when we moved in in the first place.

Enter Pizza e Pazzi.  Located in the spot that once housed another Italian restaurant, what struck us right away was that Pizza e Pazzi actually had people in it from the start.  Never more than a few tables, sure, but it gave the impression that people were interested in eating there.  My curiosity was piqued.  A little while later, I noticed that Pizza e Pazzi served apertivo from Mondays through Wednesdays, offering those willing to spend $10 on a beverage the chance to sample some of the restaurant’s offerings.

It wasn’t until Pizza e Pazzi was ranked #4 on Now Toronto’s Best Pizzas in Toronto list that I was convinced that this was a place we needed to try.  Not surprisingly, this high praise from Now Toronto (as well as other local publications) led to a significant uptick in business.  And now that we’ve eaten their pizza a few times, we can honestly say it’s one of the best pizzas we’ve had outside of Italy.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise just how authentic this pizza tastes.  Pizza e Pazzi had their pizza oven flown in from Italy, and is one of the few pizza places in Toronto to have received certification from something called the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana.

With prices ranging from $9.50 to $24.75 a pizza, this is more of a high-end pizza than the place you’ll want to order from weekly.  Well, you’ll want to order from them weekly – but your wallet may disagree.  Our favourites so far have been the margherita verace, diavola (spicy salami), quattro fromaggi (four cheese) and tartufata (the priciest pizza on the menu, loaded up with mushrooms, truffle oil and aged prosciutto).

As great as it is to have a fantastic pizza place in our neighbourhood, it’s even more exciting to see a place around the corner with lineups out the door on a Saturday night.

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7 Responses to “Restaurant Review: Pizza e Pazzi”

  1. Betsy Says:

    Adam, this came up in my google reader and I was SO excited because that pizza looks delicious and I assumed it was a new place that had opened in DC or something. And then I realized that this pizza lived in Toronto. And I was sad. Next time I visit I think we need to put this place on the agenda? 🙂

  2. King Adam I (@a_frayn) Says:

    Rocktober?

  3. anni Says:

    just went there last week.. the food was amazing and service was good. it was a bit busy so if you go on a weekend reserve a table

  4. Ben Says:

    Decided to go for dinner because of the positive Toronto Life review. Boy did they get it wrong. I had the antipasto and Pizza ‘nduja. My companion had the seafood scialatielli. We waited for almost 20 minutes for the antipasto to arrive which is unacceptable for a dish that needs no cooking. It finally came, and was just a pile of meat and cheese, with no accompanying olives or marinated vegetable to cut the oiliness of the meats. Then, before we finished the antipasto, the server brought my companions scialatielli. Two of the clams were closed, and when my companion asked for more mussels instead, the server merely said it was supposed to be that way, and brought it to the kitchen to pry them open. The pasta was also undercooked (not just al dente) and the server said that’s how they do it. He didn’t offer any consolations. Then my pizza arrived. It was mostly a mound of doughy crust, too-acidic sauce, and gloupy cheese. There was hardly any ‘nduja (which the sever even pronounced wrong) and it was soggy. The only redeeming factor was a different server who offered us desert and coffee on him, which we politely declined. Toronto Life stated that the pizza was on par with Libretto or Queen Margherita, but it was even close. The menu was typical Italian fare, nothing special. Too bad, it would have been nice to have a place like Libretto or QM so close to my home.

    • Cari Miller Says:

      That sucks that you had a bad experience… we’ve been a half dozen times by now and have never had anything like you’ve described! We’ve stuck mostly with pizza, which I still think is one of the best in the city.

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