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Introducing: Via Mercanti 2.0, the new Elm Street outpost of the Kensington pizzeria

Introducing: Via Mercanti

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. 

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Restaurants

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Via Mercanti, the Kensington pizzeria, is opening a second location

Pizzeria Via Mercanti

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

The Neapolitan-style pizza parlour from ex-Queen Margherita pizzaiolo Romolo Salvati is bringing its wood-fired pies and fresh-cranked pasta to a new location in the downtown core. The new outpost will occupy the first floor of the 19th century heritage property at 87 Elm Street, which also houses a YWCA centre. Via Mercanti 2.0, which opens in October, will be bigger and fancier than the no-frills Kensington store with over 80 seats and a sprawling terrace. [NOW]

The Dish

Random Stuff

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Pizza Hut unleashes its latest gimmick pie: the cheesy beef poutine pizza

Pizza Hut Poutine Pie

(Image: Pizza Hut Canada)

The sure sign that a food trend has exploded beyond niche status: it’s co-opted by a fast-food chain. Pizza Hut Canada is embracing the Canadiana food revolution with a limited-edition poutine pizza that’s loaded with fries, gravy, shaved steak, cheese curds and mozzarella.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Queen Margherita Pizza brings flash-baked Neapolitan pies to Baby Point

Review: Queen Margherita Pizza
SEE ALL NEW REVIEWS
Queen Margherita Pizza 1 star½
785 Annette St., 647-345-4466

Queen Margherita is Baby Point’s most exciting restaurant arrival in years. Posh, pizza-starved families pack the place every night, their conversation amplified by the tall windows and polished concrete floors, while a life-sized, pastel-drawn portrait of Queen Margherita of Savoy looks over the room with dignified indifference.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Enzo Pizza Bar, the new make-your-own pizza joint on Queen Street West

Introducing: Enzo Pizza Bar

Name: Enzo Pizza Bar
Neighbourhood:
Queen West
Contact Info:
646 Queen St W., 416-366-0009, getenzo.com, @enzopizzabar
Owner:
Ryan Menchella

The Food: Customizable personal pizzas. Diners choose a sauce (white or red) and toppings (cheese, meat and veggies). There’s also a list of nine ready-to-order ‘zas, including the classic margherita and the more exotic filomena topped with würstel.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Queen Margherita Pizza’s new Baby Point location

Introducing: Queen Margherita Pizza’s new Baby Point location

Name: Queen Margherita Pizza
Neighbourhood: Baby Point
Contact info: 785 Annette St., 647-345-4466, queenmargheritapizza.ca, @qmpizza
Owners: John Chetti and Rocco Mazzaferro
Chefs: John Galante (chef de cuisine), Matthew Rzeszutek (head pizzaiolo) and Rocco Mazzaferro

The food: Traditional wood-fired Neapolitan pizza made with the essential Italian ingredients: Caputo Tipo 00 flour and San Marzano D.O.P. tomatoes, along with specially made Ontario fior di latte mozzarella.

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Recipes

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Toronto Life Cookbook: Queen Margherita Pizza co-owner John Chetti shares his 10 favourite pizza toppings

Toronto Life Cookbook: Pizza

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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VIDEO: a supercut of the 39 best pizza scenes in the history of film

In the movies, pizza is most often portrayed as fuel for teenaged stoners, but this new supercut proves its range is quite a bit wider. Some favourites: the immortal “turbo Ginsu” scene from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1:58); an affronted restaurateur exclaiming “This is not a pizzeria!” in the Italian neorealist classic The Bicycle Thief (3:38); and Sandra Bullock dreamily ordering a pie online way back in 1995 in The Net (3:54)Warning: this video may make you go out and pick up a slice after work. [h/t Buzzfeed]

The Goods

Shopping

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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him: 6 gift ideas for guys, from light-hearted to titillating

Buying a Valentine’s Day present is hard. The gift needs to not only appeal to your guy, but also match the tone of your relationship: low-key if you haven’t been dating very long (or just aren’t into grand gestures); sexy if you’re all about passion; or romantic if you can pass hours gazing into each others’ eyes. To help, we rounded up some creative Valentine’s Day gift ideas for him to fit all kinds of connections.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Boccone Trattoria Veloce, Massimo Capra’s new Italian restaurant at Pearson Airport

Introducing: Boccone

(Image: Igor Yu)

Name: Boccone
Neighbourhood: Mississauga
Contact info: Domestic departures, Terminal 1, Pearson Airport, 416-776-0492
Owners: Massimo Capra and SSP, a UK-based food and beverage company operating restaurants in 140 airports around the world (SSP is a competitor to OTG, which is also opening new restaurants at Pearson)
Chef: Massimo Capra, owner of Mistura and Sopra and Restaurant Makeover star. More recently, he designed the menus at Fraticelli’s in Richmond Hill and Massimo Capra’s Rainbow Room in Niagara Falls.

The food: Casual Italian favourites, with a wide enough range to appeal to airport travellers (Capra promises the dishes are held to the same  standard as at his restaurants).

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Cheap Eats: 11 Toronto restaurants (and bars and food shops) where you can eat well for less

Cheap Eats!

2013 is shaping up to be the Year of Cheap Eats in Toronto. Lobster prices are at record lows. Delicious Asian street food is plentiful. And every fancy restaurant is tripping over itself to offer a sandwich deal. (Some bars are even serving inventive cocktails for $10 or less, a steal in the age of the $18 Manhattan). Below, 11 of the best deals in town right now.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Queen Margherita Pizza’s Baby Point location is set to open in two weeks

(Image: notpeppermint from the Torontolife.com Flickr group)

Back in September, we told you that Queen Margherita Pizza was opening a new location at 785 Annette Street. Now we can tell you the opening date: February 4. Owner John Chetti also told us that construction is still underway at the Dundas and Bathurst location, which could be open as early as March. Your move, Libretto.

The Dish

Restaurants

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Pizza wars update: Terroni to open a new bakery

It’s no secret that Toronto’s Neapolitan-style pizza wars have been raging these past few months (and years). Terroni has remained conspicuously silent while Queen Margherita Pizza and Pizzeria Libretto announced multiple new locations and a raft of smaller thin-crust joints opened, but now it’s finally firing back. It’s not opening a new restaurant, however; it’s opening Il Forno del Sud, a bakery adjacent to its original Queen West location. Details are scarce (management declined to comment when we called), but The Grid recently posted the shaky 22-second video embedded above, which shows off the first run of panettone, a Milanese sweet bread. Expect Il Forno to open next spring.

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Queen Margherita Pizza announces a third location—on Dundas West 

In what’s amounting to a blitz of Toronto’s Neapolitan pizza scene, Queen Margherita Pizza’s John Chetti has leased a space for yet another new location west of Yonge. This one is at 772 Dundas Street West, just across the street from the recently opened Bent, bringing the total number of open or upcoming QMPs to three (the other west-end location, at Baby Point, was announced last week and is expected to open in October). The new location is only 10 to 15 minutes away from the original locations of the other big Neapolitan chains in the city, Pizzeria Libretto and Terroni, and just west of Pizzeria Via Mercanti, opened earlier this year by QMP exiles. QMP3’s oven may not even be built yet, but the pizza wars are clearly heating up. Expect the new spot to open its doors after the Baby Point location does, as soon as this fall.

The Dish

Restaurants

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West-enders rejoice: Queen Margherita Pizza to open a new Baby Point location soon

(Image: notpeppermint from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

John Chetti, co-owner of Leslieville’s Queen Margherita Pizza, has found a west end spot without easy access to Neapolitan pies—and it’s an absence he plans to address when he opens a second QMP restaurant there in October. The new location will be at 785 Annette Street, just east of Jane, and will largely echo its sister location: a high-ceilinged vintage space—a former bank in this case—seating 100-ish people, serving up traditional Neapolitan pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. Chetti tells us he sees parallels between Baby Point and Leslieville, both up-and-coming neighbourhoods in need of a good restaurant or two. He’s also apparently working on bringing in a chef he describes as “a huge name in the industry”—which will surely set off the next round of thin-crust wars in Toronto. After all, Pizzeria Libretto made a mirror-image west-to-east move last fall.

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