The Reveal 2016 – Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza

By Stephanie Dickison

The Gist

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.

Grub

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.

Libations

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.

Fixtures & Fittings

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.

Off the Menu

  • To start, Spiced Almonds ($6) featuring Marcona almonds tossed in a captivating mix of with Limoncello and spices, Citrus Marinated Olives ($6) and Housemade Bread Basket ($8) boasting everything from focaccia to stromboli.
  • Salads range from garden fresh selection such as Caprese ($14) with marinated cherry tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, and basil pesto, to slighter heartier fare such as Duck ($16) featuring thinly shredded duck confit, charred radicchio, frisée, silvered almonds, shaved pecorino, and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Coal Fired Chicken Wings ($14) get a good char thanks to the coal fired oven, and are set atop a mound of caramelized onions.
  • Tagliolini all Olio ($16) is a delicate long pasta dotted with garlic, chillies, and pecorino romano, that satisfies without heaviness.
  • You’ll know the term "Sunday Gravy" if you are: 1. Italian 2. American 3. A Soprano’s fan. This meat-centric dish ($26) should be renamed "Sunday Dinner," it’s so big. The pan’s contents are comprised of a fat pork sausage, meatballs brimming with wine, and long pork ribs, all cooked in tomato sauce.
  • There are 17 pizzas to choose from. Simple flavours top a charred, thin crust. Margherita ($13) with tomato sauce, fiore di latte, basil, cherry tomatoes, is deal for hot summer weather. For something more complex, Carol ($24) mingles figs with gorgonzola, pancetta, honey, fiore di latte, and duck confit, finished with a pistachio crumble.
  • Save room for dessert. Tiramisu ($8) is creamy and light, while Chocolate Caramel Budino ($8) - comprised of a decadent caramel sauce, salted chocolate crumble, and crème fraiche - is a rich treat. Also be sure to partake in housemade gelatos (Pistachio, Milk & Grape Nuts, Salted Caramel & Pear, all $8) and refreshing sorbet (passion fruit $6).
  • And who says Negronis ($12) are just for cocktail hour?

How Cool is This?!

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.

Deets

The dining room accommodates 124 guests including the bar, with the patio seating 32. Take out is also available.

Visiting Hours

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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