Bardi's Steak House56 York St, Toronto, ON
16 YP ratings
By Stephanie Dickison
Canada’s first coal-fired pizza restaurant opened their doors just this week. The American brand’s first north of the border restaurant offers coal-fired pizzas using "clean burning, highly efficient anthracite coal," according to Founder and "Il Capo" Joseph Rizzo. "We’re offering something substantially different here," he says.
The heat intensity of the coals gives food a char, delivering crispiness and crunch. Thin crust pizzas thus, come out of the oven crisp and light. Other items done in the oven – chicken wings, mussels, roasted red peppers and other vegetables, and a spiralized hot dog that comes dressed with caramelized onions, ketchup, mustard and relish.
Boston, Massachusetts is home to the original location, with a second one under construction. Plans to expand to Florida are already in the works.
The North American pizzeria (read: no Neapolitan pizzas here) specializes in pizzas and pastas, but there’s more to the menu – 14 appetizers as well as some salads, seafood and sides. A unique feature: pastas and two other dishes are brought to the table in full-sized sauté pans. Not surprisingly, portions are Americanized too, including the pizzas, which are 14" as opposed to the usual 10-12".
Everything is made in house except for the sausages (made by an Italian family), and three pastas: orecchiette, penne and strozzapreti.
House wine on tap is from Ontario’s own Vineland Estates Winery. Choose Chardonnay or Cabernet for just $1/oz. Choose your wine by the bottle from categories including "Crisp & Light Whites" and "Bold as a bull staring at the colour red Full Bodied Red."
Should you wish for prosecco, but not a whole bottle, order a "split," an American term denoting a mini bottle that holds two full glasses ($12).
Craft beers on tap are all by Burlington’s Nickelbrook. "We like to support local here," says co-owner Jose B. Geada.
Signature cocktails, as well as specialty coffees and dessert cocktails (all $12 each), round out the list.
The approximately 5,000 sq. ft. space was completely redone, from new floors to bringing in that big bad boy oven.
The result is an elegantly casual room with a range of textures – exposed brick walls, wood tables, a wall finishes in barn board from Mennonites in Aurora, glimmering black penny tiles covering a pillar, herringbone pattern on floor, metal stools, and Edison light bulbs that cast a warm glow.
The TerraLuxe oven is the largest to be shipped, delivered and installed in Canada. It takes up 32 sq. ft. of cooking space and weighs 10,000 lbs. It arrived from California on a flatbed truck and installed by forklift (The Boston location has two).
The oven reaches temperatures of 900 degrees and above and uses 150 lbs. of coal a day.
At the Stove: Head Chef Nick Ruggiero, Sous Chef Steven Pronesti, Pastry Chef Nora Smith.
FOH: GM Marcello Tomarelli, Assistant Manager Valerie Bennett
Head Honchos: Founder Joseph Rizzo, Carol Bullock, Jose B. Geada & Elena Geada.
The dining room accommodates 124 guests including the bar, with the patio seating 32. Take out is also available.
Open 11am daily until close.
Map It: 106 Front Street E. (near Jarvis)
Phone It In: (647) 559-2112
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.
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