Neopolitan, thin-crust pizza is all the rage these days but not all crusts are created equal. Over at Levetto, an Italian chain of restaurants with 2 locations in Toronto and a 3rd on the way, is a great place to check out a different style of pizza – pizza Romana.
This is a very different looking kinda pie; it’s rectangular versus round and is much heartier. But the calorie-conscious need not worry because Romana dough is 90% water according to Levetto. We tried both a “white” and “red” pizza but definitely loved the Affumicato (topped with smoked bacon, mozzarella, tomato sauce, mushroom and scallions) more. There are 3 sizes to choose from, S/M/L. We like variety so we opted for a small so we could try a variety of them.
“Levetto believes that great Italian cuisine shouldn’t be pretentious or pricey, so its offerings are deliciously simple.”
Indeed the prices are quite reasonable. While it isn’t mind-blowing Italian food, we do appreciate the freshness in its ingredients.
Their salads are all house made and you can taste the freshness of everything in the mix. We tried the Misticanza ($8) with shaved fennel, radish, and orange. Bonus points for dressing on the side. We’ll have to warn you now, their salads come in a giant bowl but makes it great for sharing.
Using imported pasta machines, Levetto makes 6 different varieties of pasta. We tried the Rigatoni ($13) with slow-braised beef ragu, grana padano cheese and chives; it was really good! The pasta is cooked al dente and we definitely had enough for lunch the next day.
We also splurged and went for the Tagliatelle ($10) with the add-on of Nova Scotian lobster (+$5). The sauce is more simple in its flavors and the purists will definitely love it. It is topped with grape tomatos, sweet peas, dill and tomato butter.
The wine snobs will probably scoff at the list, but the average person is probably glad that a bottle of Chianti here only rings in at $39.
In keeping with its simple, unpretentious vibe, Levetto is a counter-style service restaurant. You place your order and your food is brought to the table.
There are 3 options for desserts: panna cotta, white chocolate tiramisu and warm brown butter and coconut cake. If there was one weak point in our meal, we’d say it was dessert. The tiramisu ($6) is constructed à la minute because they make the espresso on the spot for this deconstructed dessert. We also found the lady fingers to be rather “stale.”
The warm brown butter cake ($6) was beautifully presented as a plated confetti of pistachios and coconut flakes. The cake was rather dense though the flavors were quite good. This rich dessert is best washed down with a cup of freshly brewed Illy espresso ($2.25).
Levetto is a great place to go for cheap, cheery, but fresh food. With their priciest pasta ringing in at $13, it’s easy on the wallet too.
To find a Levetto nearest you, click here.