Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Taste of Italy comes to North York

There is a new Italian Street Food Restaurant that just opened up in North York (on York Mills and Leslie) in the little strip mall at the corner.  It's called Via Cibo and it's going to be having it's official Grand Opening this week.  I thought I would check it out before it got too crazy to get in there.  I am glad I went early because by the time I left it was starting to get busy with curious people looking for some new food to try.

It calls itself Italian Street Food.  I am not sure it's really street food since how many places have a wood fire oven on the street?  Anyway that's the good part, they do have a wood fired oven in the corner of the restaurant so that they can make authentic Napolitano pizzas.   I tried the Margherita pizza,  I like my pizzas classic and simple.  The true Italians don't cram a million ingredients on a pizza, they normally have about 2 or 3 toppings.   If you put too much on a pizza it gets soggy and you can't taste the actual pizza anymore, just the mixed up toppings.
I have to say it did look like a beautiful thing as you can see and the pizza sauce had a great fresh San Marzano tomato taste.  The cheese got a bit solidified by the time I ate it but it tasted good.  The crust had that great authentic wood fired classic taste.  I would have liked to see the pizza cook for a wee bit longer to crisp up the crust in the middle a bit more.  Once you add the cheese and olive oil and put it on a plate it starts to get soggy in the middle.  Or maybe the solution to this is to serve it on a pizza stone or something.   Hot pizza on a cold plate makes it soggy pretty quickly.  But I know this is pretty classic so I am ok with that little thing.   It's nice to see a pizza with real fresh Basil at a pizza place in North York.  Most of the pizza places add dried basil, cheap mozzarella and some really bad processed canned pizza sauce.  This didn't taste like that and I was really happy to see that it can finally be done.  A decent reasonably priced Italian restaurant in North York.  Thank you and keep them coming.

I even had some bottled water from Italy.  I don't think it makes much difference but it showed the attention to detail in making it authentic Italian.

The room was beautifully designed with a long marble counter.  The staff was very welcoming and took my name and then I proceeded down the line where another staff member called me by name.  Again, attention to customer service and detail.  I picked a dessert and then chose to get water.   Another staff member brought my order over to my table when it was ready.   The service was excellent.  I do hope it stays that way.  The room although the tables and chairs were dark the window let in so much light that it felt bright and airy... a stark contrast from my morning brunch dining experience.  see previous post for details.

It wasn't a large menu but I will go back and try one of their pastas as they did look really good.

I have to say the only thing that wasn't authentic Italian was the dessert.   I got the Tiramisu which was present in a shot type of glass.  Unfortunately it didn't really look like a Tiramisu and it didn't taste anything like a traditional Tiramisu.  It wasn't bad tasting it was just badly named and should be called a mousse dessert instead.   I was surprised that they didn't have any Italian cookies like Amaretto cookies or even some fresh Gelato.   If they add a Gelato machine and make a couple of signature gelato flavours each day they will be the hot spot of the area for a very long time.

I do think this is going to be a very busy place and I think if they keep the quality and the service up it will remain in it's location for a long time.  Trends come and go but classic Pizza is forever.

but SHHH.... don't tell too many people so that I can still get a table in there when I have a Napolitano pizza craving.


  1. If you enjoyed this experience then you should check out Queen Margherita Pizza on Queen East and Greenwood. They offer a lunch prix fixe for $20 with appetizer, your choice of Neopolitan style pizza and dessert...Affogato(vanilla gelato dunked in espresso coffee) a luxurious Nutella mousse with a lady finger cookie, and one more dessert, I can't remember now. Anyway, so worth the $20. Delicious, delicious, delicious! Wanna go with me?

  2. The point is that I don't want to drive or ttc for an hour to get decent food. It took me 15 min to drive to this place.

  3. But you still drove just not as long. And you ate alone whereas coming downtown you can meet with a friend and eat with some good company. Just saying :)


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