Apparently this location of Pizzeria Libretto is one of the most popular restaurants in Toronto at the moment. At least if you are following Urbanspoon's pulse and looking in the "not too pricey" category. We went to Libretto for a small family gathering, seven people in total and did not regret doing so.
Inviting a larger crowd would have probably be a bad idea, especially since they didn't take reservations. Seven people was just the right amount to secure us a larger table by the kitchen. We had to wait a bit, but the staff was very accommodating - took only twenty or so minutes to get our seats. The interior is somewhat simplistic, but charming nonetheless. We noticed the incandescent lamps hanging off the ceiling on extension cords. Looked a bit rough, but perhaps showing off the cables aggressively was the idea. The walls were lined with old pictures in square frames. Pizzeria was bustling with people, to the point we could not really concentrate on the interior too much. Or maybe we were just getting a bit too hungry.
Pizza was the obvious choice. White Anchovy was our pick. We also asked for Piatto Grande for everyone to share at the table. The menu mentioned their special stove and adherence to the strict traditional standards. We liked the fact that their choice of wines came in options of 1/4L, 1/2L. Our choice of wine had to be pretty flexible for everyone. We picked their Sangiovese '12 from Umbria. It was a reasonable choice for the table - light and food friendly.
It did not take much time for the plate full of goodies to arrive for sharing. We found cured meats, small cheese pieces and accompaniments - not that much in terms of quantity (share for four people max). There were three types of cheeses and four types of meats (including an original bore). Some nuts and fruits nicely offset otherwise rather heavy selection. A nice touch was the side of pizza dough torn in pieces.
Our anchovy pizza had a tomato based sauce, ingredients included Mozzarella di Bufala, preserved chili, roasted garlic and chunks of fish. We thought we noticed some other fish, perhaps sardines - they were quite fragrant. It was a flavorful and unique dish overall. The best part was the thin dough - with the bottom crust as if it just came out of an old-school fire oven. It reminded us of Turkish crepes (kutami) in texture - delicious and airy. We also had a taste of their Libretto Margherita (simple and delicious) and Cremini Mushroom (ideal for Cremini fans that don't mind some unique spices).
We had to try some of their Sfingi - traditional Italian doughnuts which came as four large balls - great for sharing. Their dough was a homogeneous texture, very unique and definitely worthwhile. Our second desert was their Maple Panna Cotta. Not overly sweet but rather light and refreshing, it's jelly-like smooth consistency was ideal.
There is a new location being opened on King and Potland, we will check it out as soon as it comes online. Pizzeria Libretto is not an every day pizza joint, there is something more to it and we will be back to taste some more.