For a few years now South Etobicoke has been on the list of neighbourhoods on the rise, which in real estate talk means you better call your mortgage broker and get pre-approved before you’re priced out of the neighbourhood. This kind of title quickly starts to attract shops and restaurants that may appeal to the new and increasing population of the neighbourhood.
Pizzeria Oro Di Napoli is one of these restaurants. Located on Lakeshore Boulevard West, this charming pizzeria opened earlier this year and is already gaining the approval of many neighbourhood residents. Honestly? What’s not to love? This spot is perfect for an evening out, a quick bite or take-out. I visited Pizzeria Oro di Napoli one weekend on my way to a movie. I’ve been getting a bit bored of my usual pizza destinations so when I stumbled upon a couple of reviews of this west end eatery, it peaked my curiosity. Also, when there is a wood-burning oven in a pizza place, you know they’re serious.
As I arrive at the restaurant mid-afternoon I’m greeted at the door by the host who shows me to my seat as we chat a bit about the restaurant. Since I arrived a few hours after lunch, I have my pick of the table. The fist thing I notice, other than the huge patio in the front, is the modest yet cool interior. There is warmth in the wood top tables and brick walls, and the metal chairs and modern chandeliers give this place a cool yet charming industrial vibe. There’s no ‘trying too hard’ with the design here. That warmth may also have something to do with the show-stopper, the wood-burning oven tiled with the words “Oro di Napoli” which translates to “Gold of Naples”. The oven was imported from Italy and it’s so heavy that the floor underneath had to be reinforced.
As I scan the menu I’m happy to see that this place is not just about pizza but a true Italian kitchen experience. The pizzeria also offers a selection of homemade pasta dishes, tasty antipasti plates and if you’re someone who avoids carbs, there are a few salads, seafood and meat dishes to choose from, too. But since I’m here for the pizza, I focus my energy on choosing my choice of pie. The pizzas here are made with flour imported from Italy and cooked for only 90 seconds at 900 degrees. Wow!
I go with a lovely and light Saturday afternoon selection of a white pizza called Bufalina, topped with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and arugula (because if I could, I’d put arugula on everything). It’s delicious! The edges are crispy and the middle slightly gooey, just as it’s supposed to be. The mozzarella melted into the pie, which was a little different but still yummy.
My biggest regret (easy on the drama, Monika) is that I didn’t have time to sample the desserts. There aren’t many, but sometimes less is more, right? When I see a long list of desert items on a menu, it concerns me. Here, you’ll find only three, the classic tiramisu, a daily selection of fresh biscotti and sugar dusted mini doughnuts filled with strawberries and cream. Yum!
The thing I like most about this pizza spot is that it’s true to the description – An authentic Neapolitan pizzeria where the guests will have a true Italian experience with regional dishes traditionally prepared using locally grown ingredients and homemade specialties alongside the best imports from Italy. If you enjoy simple, well-prepared, affordable dishes, you’ll like what Pizzeria Oro di Napoli has to offer. I think this Toronto west end eatery will quickly become the neighbourhood go-to spot, especially with the huge patio perfect for the warmer days.
Have you been to Pizzeria Oro di Napoli? Share your thoughts. If you’re familiar with South Etobicoke, what other places would you recommend in the area?