2504 rue Notre-Dame O/Charlevoix
Cost: 3 persons with bottle of wine=$ 134.24(tax included)
Chef Hats: 1
One can categorize Geppetto as more of a trendy Italian Taverna where one can lounge around on the terrace for drinks and snacks rather than a place to go to eat good Italian food. Opened in 2009 along one of the trendiest stretches of Little Burgundy, along with Joe Beef, Liverpool House, Vin Papillion, Limon and Burgundy Lion one would think it has got to be decent judging from the competition. Unfortunately, Geppetto may try hard but it doesn’t cut it with this foodie. Not that Geppetto is all that bad, but if you are expecting great mouth watering pizza which was my case this evening you will be very disappointed.
Upon walking into Geppetto it reminded me more of a dark cavernous drinking hole than a bubbly noisy Italian pizzeria. Very Urban chic with its subdued lighting, dark leather booths, black chalkboard and very young waitresses carrying trays upon trays of beer; I felt I had walked into the Burgundy Lion Pub next door. This is fine if you are expecting a pub night experience but I was caught off guard.
The name Geppetto derives from one of Italy’s most popular fables, the story of Geppetto the wood carver and father of Pinocchio, who created a wooden doll who came to life and whose nose grew every time he told a lie. I felt duped cause there was nothing authentically Italian about Geppetto’s, except maybe their wood burning oven pizza.
After looking at the large chalkboard on the wall, we started with a bottle of red Dolcetto D’asti from Italy at $ 48.00 (as per waitress’s recommendation) because they ran out of the bottle of Bardolino we originally wanted. For Appetizers, Brains and I shared an entree of the Mushroom Crostini and Caesar Salad. The Crostini came on diagonal slices of baguette bread with mascarpone cheese and a slice of prosciutto topped with the sautéed mushrooms. Having attempted a similar recipe at home the week prior I wanted to see if it had the same flavour. The difference was the mascarpone cheese which complimented well with the mushrooms and bread.
The Caesar Salad, came with generous portion of lettuce and a few croutons, the dressing was light and not to garlicky or overpowering.
Being our Friday night usual we all ordered pizza. I had my usual, Prosciutto Classico. Brains had Americana- with mild sopressata, mushrooms, green peppers and Mozzarella, Frenchie had his usual Margherita pizza. Mr. Malibu had the Pizza with pancetta and onions.
Our guy Marcello (a.k.a. Mr.CIA this evening) who showed up in his suit and new svelte figure this evening only had the Shopska salad, because of the Paleolithic diet he is following these days.
Then our pizzas arrived. Thin pita like crusts that were rock hard a steak knife we could not cut into them. Topped with plasticized cheese which had melted and was allowed to cool off probably from sitting on the counter too long before it was delivered. I can barely taste or see a sliver of prosciutto and it came topped with a small mound of arugula lettuce in the center only as a garnish. With a lot of effort I managed to cut the pizza into four squares and bite into it. It was chewy and too thin to have any flavour, completely tasteless and of cardboard consistency.
The same could be said with the Margherita pizza. Brains, said her American pizza was okay, but it had very little toppings and paper thin. Mr. Malibu could not see the pancetta on his pizza either and found it too salty. Marcello seemed to be the only one enjoying his Shopska salad, a series of mixed greens, watercress, tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, red peppers, and topped with feta cheese and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
The service was okay but not exceptional. Our waitress was too busy with other customers all night and never returned to ask if everything was okay. She only returned at the end of the meal to ask if we wanted desserts. The meal was completed with an order of espresso coffees as usual. No dessert and no after dinner drinks.
Marcello left early and was called back to work and we decided to throw in the towel and head home after a long week of work. Maybe we should have thrown Geppetto’s wooden puppet (that so drunkenly sat at the bar) into the wood fire pizza oven and call it a definite no return.