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Monday, June 16, 2008

[Special Report] Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica
270 Wellington Street, Toronto ON Canada
(416) 260-0200

In the midst of a fine weekend of Cubs baseball and gastronomic excess, my friend and I were looking for a place to eat when we stumbled upon Pizza Rustica (no relation to the Chicago pizzeria with the same name). One look through the window at the pies on peoples' tables and it was an easy decision for us to head inside.

Pizza Rustica is about two blocks north of the Rogers Centre, next door to Wayne Gretzky's (he was a hockey player) restaurant, and a couple of blocks away from Toronto's booming night club scene. Despite it's location, it's a nice quiet restaurant.

We got two pizzas, the Spinach and Blue Cheese which, aside from the obvious, was topped with sun-dried tomato sauce, mozzarella, and sliced roma tomatoes; and the Salsiccia, which came with fresh sausage, sweet red onion, gorgonzola cheese, mozzarella and tomato sauce.

The crust of both pizzas was very thin and yellow - likely the result of the corn meal that seemed to be in it. The oven cooked the pies quickly at about 280 degrees. That might not seem very hot, but the silly Canadians use celcius. In civilization, that's 536 degrees.

Both pizzas were very good. The spinach and blue cheese had fresh spinach and just enough blue cheese to give the pizza a good tanginess, but not so much as to overpower the rest of the pie. The sliced roma tomatoes were a nice treat, as they always are on top of a pizza. I didn't taste anything particularly sun-dried about the tomato sauce, but that may be because there was not much on it.

The Salsiccia also had a good balance between a strong cheese - gorgonzola - and the mozzarella. The sausage, which was obviously fresh, was excellent. Again, I didn't think there was enough sauce, but I never do when eating Neapolitan pizza (or similar styles).

If you're in Toronto, I'd recommend stopping by Pizza Rustica if you're in the mood for pizza, but there was nothing particularly mind-blowing about it that makes it a must-see in anyone's eating tour of the Great White North.

Look at all the friendly, pizza-loving Canadians...

The oven, makin' it happen...

The Salsiccia Pizza...

The Spinach and Blue Cheese Pizza...

Where it went down...

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