Divas love most things vintage and Pizzaiolle on St. Denis, situated in the Plateau, certainly has that throwback feel. The restaurant looks like an old streetcar and has a very old-school diner feel, something Montreal is missing. Pizzaiolle’s website advertises that in the early 1980s they were the first restaurant in Montreal to introduce baking pizza in a wood burning oven.
At the request of Diva #1 who was craving a good pizza, Diva #2 and their friend Sweet Pea indulged her need and started calling restaurants to get a reservation. Take out pizza was not going to cut it in this case and one thing is for sure, never deny a Diva craving!So we drove off playing Dean Martin and imagining the perfect pizza pie…”when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s amore”….
Montreal is known for having some really great pizza. Wood burning ovens are illegal in other parts of the country but have no fear, the best Montreal pizzerias always have one in the back. In the end, we settled on Pizzaiolle, which has three other locations, in Outremont, Old Montreal and TMR. Bellatrix and her mate had raved about this pizza and we were excited to try it out.
We were seated on the terrace (which always makes us happy) on the side of the restaurant that had a few trees, which was really nice and the terrace was covered in case of rain. Our waitress was on the ball and, without delay, handed us our menus. While the restaurant does have pastas and calzones on their menu, pizza was on the Divas’ minds tonight and we decided to order 3 pizzas and share them.
The pizzas arrived at our table and the first things you noticed was the thin crust and the size. Pizzas are often too small to fill you up or too big for one person to even make a dent. But these pizza pies were the perfect size and could easily be finished by one person. The crust was great but it is the toppings that did not particularly impress the Divas.
The first pizza we dove into was a 4 cheese and apple pizza. The cheeses were mozzarella, brick, fontina, and parmesan, but the flavours did not particularly stand out. The apples were cut very thinly and in doing so, you didn’t really get much apple flavour, just a hint of tartness without too much sweetness. On the other hand the apples were not soggy because they were thinly sliced. This was a decent pizza but nothing unexpected or fabulous, Divas expect fabulous.
The next pizza was a leek and blue cheese pizza. The Divas love blue cheese, even though most people try to avoid it. Keep in mind though that this pizza is not on their set menu, it was a special of the night, so that almost made it necessary to order. The leeks were surprisingly the dominant flavour over the cheese. The blue cheese had melted nicely and had a good subtle, almost background taste, but for cheese lovers it was not strong enough. Maybe a nice gorgonzola should have replaced this milder blue cheese. When you add blue cheese to a thin crust Italian pizza, gorgonzola is always the blue cheese of choice.
The last pizza that we ordered was the Duck Sausage and sun dried tomato pizza. The duck was cut like pepperoni discs but to be honest (because we always are) while the ingredients were definitely fresh, the duck sausage did not stand out as much as expected. If we hadn’t known it was duck, it could have been pork or any other meat. This was unfortunate because we had never tried duck sausage and had ordered this pizza for its uniqueness. I suppose we should have left duck to the French. On the other hand, this pizza did have a lot of meat (whatever meat it may be)…but we could not find many sun dried tomatoes.
Overall, the pizza craving was appeased; the pizzas were good but they were not impressive. The pizzas on the menu sounded original but upon tasting them, they were ordinary. Considering that Montreal is known for its wood burning ovens and a great thin crust pizza, we expected more. Mind you the pizza’s crust was lovely, the sauce homemade and the ingredients fresh, but something spectacular was lacking. We expected more from Pizzaiolle and Montreal has better thin crust Italian pizza.
Our Rating: Meh!
Tagged: Calzone, Chemin Dunkirk, Diner, Duck Sausage, Hutchinson, Italian, Marguerite-d'Youville, Meh!, Multiple Locations, Old Montreal, Outremont, Pasta, Pizza, Pizzaiolle, Plateau, St-Denis, terrace, Thin Crust, TMR, Wood Burning Oven