Where to eat lunch this week: Pizzeria Libretto

Where to eat lunch this week: Pizzeria Libretto

In the evening, diners will wait for hours to eat at this Ossington pizza shop. At lunch, however, the food is just as spectacular but comes cheaper and faster


The place: Though the narrow front space opens into a surprisingly large wood-clad interior, lineups to (and out) the door are guaranteed most evenings. At lunch, however, Toronto’s oft-hyped “only certified Vera Pizza Napoletana” comes without the sound and fury.

The crowd: Full but not overflowing, Libretto is populated by young foodies on midday dates, family birthdays and wine-and-dining Bay Streeters hoping their clients think food acumen implies business savvy.

The deal: The daily prix fixe lunch ($15) is composed of three courses. On this weekday afternoon, options include beet caprese, folded pizza (“piadora”) and a vanilla affogato. We round the meal off with the day’s blood orange Campari aperitif.

The meal: Thinner than our excuses for ordering a cocktail at noon hour, the crust is supple and bends softly without breaking (this is the distinguishing characteristic of a Neapolitan pizza—it can be folded like a pamphlet, or “libretto”). The piadora special embodies this expertise, with crust folded in half over fresh, peppery arugula and piles of melt-in-the-mouth prosciutto. Both the pizza and vibrant beet caprese feature the restaurant’s signature fior di latte mozzarella. It’s a cheese so exceptionally moist and fresh, we’d have been happy if they’d found a way to work it into dessert—a dollop of vanilla gelato luxuriating in espresso.

The time: 2.5 hours. With multiple staffers looking after our table, much time was spent deciding who would bring the bill.

The cost: $24, including bottle of sparkling water, tax and tip.

Pizzeria Libretto, 221 Ossington Ave., 416-532-8000, pizzerialibretto.com.