Last Friday night I paid a visit to Queen Margherita Pizza's second (also newest) location at 785 Annette St just east of Jane. Opened about a year ago, this 115-seat industrial-looking space at Baby Point is quite massive compared to their original location in Leslieville (I've never sat down and had a meal at the Leslieville location but I did attend a wine tasting & pizza making event there last year). Neapolitan pizza aficionados and / or followers of Queen Margherita Pizza (Twitter: @qmpizza, Facebook: Queen Margherita Pizza) should also know that QMP's co-owner John Chetti has secured their third location at 772 Dundas St. slated to open soon.
Late last year, former Langdon Hall Chef Jonathan Gushue joined the Queen Margherita Pizza team taking on the role of director of culinary operations. Gushue's task was to oversee all three QMP locations with a focus on revamping the mini-chain's appetizer menu (Gushue will also lead a new QMP restaurant set to open later this year).
QMP's tiled wood-burning pizza oven is the centre of attention in the restaurant's large open kitchen.
A shot of a cage chandelier.
Baby Point's menu online differs significantly from the menu found at the restaurant. Here's a photo of it for your reference.
NEGRONI ($13 / 3oz)
Tanqueray gin, Campari, Martini Rosso
DERBY ($13 / 2oz)
Bulleit bourbon, Martini Rosso, Cointreau, fresh lime juice
FRIED OLIVES ($4)
ASSORTED SALUMI, PARMIGIANO REGGIANO ($24)
Ravioli stuffed with Prosciutto, Thyme, Salmoriglio and Ricotta, Prosciutto Broth with Tarragon and Charred Green Onion Vinaigrette
Green Olive, Basil, Garlic, Mozzarella di Bufala, Sun Dried Chili, Asiago
Truthfully, Baby Point's large selection of non-pizza options (which takes up two-thirds of their entire menu) was a huge distraction to me! Don't get me wrong, the salumi & cheese board and the fried olives were excellent - both of which I would order again in a heartbeat - but because I wanted to try the apps (I had to refrain myself from just ordering two) we only had room for one pizza to share instead of the usual two.
The Giovanna pizza, with large dollops of melted mozzarella, was terrific. I especially loved the combination between the savoury green olives and the sun-dried chili. The golden brown crust, with blisters that are nicely charred to black, is slightly smoky with a signature Neapolitan tender chewiness to it (not too chewy though).
I'm very happy to have finally tried this QMP location especially because it's only a 20-minute drive from home! I no longer have to make the trek downtown every time I'm craving Neapolitan pizza. I do hope that for my next visit I can refrain from ordering too many appetizers so I can have TWO pizzas instead of just ONE :)