Introducing: Via Mercanti 2.0, the new Elm Street outpost of the Kensington pizzeria
Name: Pizzeria Via Mercanti
Neighbourhood: Downtown Core
Contact Info: 87 Elm St., 416-901-1899, pizzeriaviamercanti.ca, @via_mercanti
Owner: Romolo Salvati, who also owns the Kensington Market location
Chef: Eleuterio Giannattasio
The Food: Owner Romolo Salvati grew up near the Amalfi coast, and has been kneading pizza dough since age sixteen. Wood-fired Neopolitan pies are the focus of the menu, but other options include fresh-cranked pasta, risotto and traditional Italian secondi, like veal scalloppine and grilled lamb chops. Sandwiches come stuffed with prosciutto and meatballs, and require two hands to eat.
The Drinks: Neopolitan wines and draught beer, including the Italian Birra Moretti.
The Place: Located in a 19th century heritage building, the new outpost is larger and slightly sleeker than the Kensington location. That said, the space is unabashedly low-key. Italian scenes decorate the walls and mounted flat-screen TVs let customers to watch the game while they eat.
• 23 pizzas on the menu: 12 red and 11 white
• 10 pastas
• 8 beers on tap
• 5 likenesses of the masked, mandolin-playing figure Pulcinella, an Italian character from 17th century folklore who is supposed to bring good luck
• 2 house wines, including one produced from grapes grown in the same acidic soil as the tomatoes used in the pizza’s tomato sauce
• 1 mural of the Amalfi coast