Shrimp pizza on the patio @ Viaggio, bro!

We’re hanging out at Viaggio, this funky little Italian joint that’s pretty far west on Dundas West, with a patio that’s almost as big as the whole restaurant. This place has got all kinds of funky starters like caponata, burrata and grilled asparagus – you cuss, I cuss, we all cuss for asparagus, bro!!!

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But you know if I’m at a real-deal Italian joint, it’s pretty hard for me not to order pizza. This here’s The Commodore, with Cape Breton shrimp(!) and anchovy brown butter:

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Now, I dunno what they put in this crust, but it’s got a really nice chew. It’s a little thicker, and a little doughier than your Neapolitan pies, with maybe a hint of sourdough. Anyways, I guess the shrimp in Cape Breton aren’t all that big, or they musta shrunk in the wash or something. And I couldda used maybe some chili oil to give this a little extra kick. Still one of the best seafood pizzas I’ve had this month, though…

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Of course, even with the moon hitting my eye, I polished off this pizza pie and still had room for dessert, bro! These tiramisu pancakes are nice and thick, topped with marscapone cream and espresso syrup… All that’s missing are some ladyfingers!!!

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Too much meat on this pizza, bro?

So, we’re hanging out at Valens Restaurant, this funky little joint in Baldwin Village, where they’re serving up Italian food and other comfort classics. This place has got a lucky 13 different kinda of pizza on the menu, but when I saw the Carnivoro, I knew it was a match made in Flavourtown Heaven:

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Do NOT adjust your screen settings, cuz we’ve got not one, not two, not three, but four different kinds of meat on that slice, son! First off, there’s chicken, and then you’ve got the holy trinity of pork — pepperoni, sausage AND bacon!!?? Shut the front, back and side doors!!!

Plus there’s a bit of kick from the onions, a little red pepper, and some super-stringy mozza cheese. At $17.95, it’s a little pricier than their other pies, but they definitely don’t shortchange ya on the toppings!

I’m about to go all Untouchables on this cotoletta di capone!!!

Dude, The Untouchables is one of my all-time favourite movies, bro! You’ve got Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, Sean Connery and Robert muthafuckin’ De Niro wearing Al Capone’s underwear. Talk about a cinematic classic!!!

Now, I’ve never sent one of his to the morgue, but I have slayed a whole lotta Italian dishes in my day. So now we’re hanging out at Giulietta, this funky Italian joint on the west side of Dundas, where you can see people in leather jackets with punk rock patches walking down the street. The neighbourhood might not be gentrified, but that’s not to say this place ain’t fancy — it was just named Canada’s Best New Restaurant of 2019. But you can still walk in there wearing a Judas Priest t-shirt and a Calgary Flames camouflage trucker hat — trust me, I would know. 😉

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Now, before I could get to Capone, I had to go through his henchman, Salsiccia d’Agnello. Talk about a name straight outta a gangster film! This lemony lamb sausage was nice and sweet, with some braised fennel and a whole buncha grilled onions. Not even Prohibition could stop me from scarfing this down, son!!!

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And then I found myself staring down the Big Boss Man, Cotoletta di Capone. (His friends call him “Al.”) This crispy Italian schnitzel was served with some greens, pickled veg and a lemon wedge — and while it’s not quite as massive as the plate-sized pork cutlet at Tennessee Tavern, you might need a whole team of Untouchables to take this one down!

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Of course, since Prohibition is soooo 1920’s, I celebrated my takedown of Capone with a couple of Menabrea Biondas. I first had this Italian beer at Sud Forno, and while it’s nothing worth starting a temperance movement over…I would still drink it over Molson Canadian, any day!!!!

Scaddabush has big balls, bro!!!

You know me, if there’s two things I like, it’s Italian food…and putting big round things in my face. The bigger the better, bro! So when I heard that Scaddabush, this funky local Italian chain, was serving up some massive meatballs, I knew I had to check it out. They call this one the Straight Up Meatball—and they’re definitely not kidding!

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So, you’ve got a great big pile of meat, served on a crostini, with tomato sauce, a three-cheese blend and some fresh basil? Shut the back door! I could probably pound half a dozen of these…but then I wouldn’t have room for pizza:

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This smoked bacon and egg pie is like breakfast, lunch and dinner…all rolled into one! You’ve got thick chunks of bacon, not one, but two fresh cracked eggs, some mushrooms, and these red hot chili peppers, cuz we prefer the shade. This is one messy pizza, with the egg running all over the place – but you know what I say, if it ain’t messy, it ain’t tasty!!!!

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Italian Christmas feast @ Salto Restaurant & Bar

Now, I’ve never been to Christmas dinner in Italy, but I’ve heard Italians like to eat…so we’re hanging out at Salto Restaurant & Bar, this funky little joint right at the end of Ossington, where they’re serving up a righteous Italian spread for the Triple B Kristmas Krew. You’ve got pizza, you’ve got pasta, you’ve got roast potatoes, chicken, and even salad…not that I saved any room for salad, though!!!!

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They call this paisano pizza pie Christopher, and you can call me not late for dinner! You’ve got sausage, meatballs, and two kinds of peppers — red and banana! Hey bada-boom, bada-bing!!!

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Of course, you can’t expect me to eat only one piece of pizza, so I had to dive head first into this meat lover’s paradise, El Tomasso. Italian sausage, soppressata AND pepperoni!? Shut the back door, bro!!!

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Speaking of meat, this rigatoni & meatballs had such massive mounds of meat that I had to cut some of them in half! What is this, Boston Pizza???

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Now, here’s another Italian classico — fettuccine alfredo! Super-creamy pasta in my mouth-o, bro!!!

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Now, I don’t normally eat chicken unless it’s battered and fried, but this mushroom chicken was super tender, creamy, goes good with a nice bite of roasted potatoes… Man, I could eat this all day. In fact, I already went back for a second plate:

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Dude, I had to get the pizza with bacon on it… Pizza with bacon on it was my nickname in gym class–don’t ask, bro!!!

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Of course, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, though… This house-made tiramisu hit the spot like Rocky knocking out Ivan Drago!!!!

Meatballs vs. risotto balls @ Pizzeria Libretto

Now, everybody knows that if you want real-deal Italian pizza in downtown Toronto, you gotta go to Pizzeria Libretto. Man, they’ve got all the meats–spicy salami, pepperoni, prosciutto di parma, nduja sausage…even their duck confit pie is too legit to quit!!!

But today, I’m not here for pizza–I’m about to chow down on some balls, bro! And at this funky joint, they’ve got both kinds…meatballs AND risotto balls, aka arancini. Dude, this is body by arancini!

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They actually bring out the rice balls first, which come three to an order, stuffed with stracciatella and smoked scamorza. Try saying that three times fast! But man, the cheese is what makes it, though. It’s ooey, gooey, about to go kablooey all over my face, bro!!!!

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Now, it’s time for some meaty magic. These Round Mounds of Flavourtown are served on a bed of tomato sauce and whipped ricotta, with some peccorino romano oozing out from the inside. That’s right, both kinds of balls are stuffed with cheese. It’s like you’ve got yer Balls Two the Wall, man!!!

Focu Meu, that’s some tasty pizza!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Terroni, this funky fresh Italian joint on Yonge St, just a tallboy’s toss from the big ol’ train station LCBO. This place has got three floors serving up hand-made pasta and real-deal pizza — they’ve got no less than 29 pizza pies to pick from! Now, it’s hard to choose between so many great pies, but this one, the Focu Meu (pronounced pretty much how you’d think), was practically calling my name:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got tomato sauce and mozzarella, with some spicy nduja sausage, fried eggplant and then a whole buncha shaved parma on top. Cuz what pizza doesn’t need more cheese, please? You definitely get a nice kick from the sausage, but that fried eggplant is what makes it, bro!!!

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Now, I slay pizza the same way I crush potato chips–you bet yer ass I don’t eat just one, son! So, say hello to my little friend San Giorgio, an old school pie topped with hot calabrese salami and mushrooms. Dude, Hot Calabrese Salami was my stripper name in college…although I’d rather be shoving this pizza straight down my piehole!!!!