4091 Rue Molson/ Rachel
Telephone: (438) 385-3555
Cost: $ 78.88 Tax and tip included
Chef Hats: 4
I had the pleasure this summer of dining out with one of my sister’s friend the Red Headed Vixen.The occasion brought on by delivering a package she had left behind in Vermont to Vieux Rosemont.A little out of the my way, but when she recommended we do lunch at a pizzeria around the corner I jumped at the chance to venture a little further out of my comfort zone.I love eating out with the Vixen as she is well versed and a great connoisseur of fine food. She always dines at the newest and hippest restos; and with her discernable palate she always has the best restaurant recommendations. Her partner also another great foodie indulges in her every whim making them the proverbial couple to hang out with when dining out and trying the latest and the best.
Our lunch date was set at Pizzeria Caldo, a relatively new pizzeria, around the corner from her home. Pizzeria Caldo opened in August 2015 in the old Angus Shop. (You can read about the history of Angus Shops in my review of Labarake). Pizzeria Caldo is the latest project from Daniel Lacombe one of the partners behind the now defunct M sur Masson, who has added to his credentials of late, the incredible Hoogan & Beaufort. One can easily notice upon entering both establishments the similarity in style when it comes to look and set up of space.
Having the benefit of trying both places before their 1st anniversary mark, gave me a better insight on how personal style is reflective of an individuals’ taste. Knowing who the principles are behind a restaurant also familiarizes me with my expectations of what is to come. In the past it took me forever to try some restos to the point that there was almost no value added to dining there; as they were already dépassé. Today I jump at the chance to try new upcoming restos before they have become popular to the masses.
Pizzeria Caldo is not easy to find. It is hidden away in the husk of an old abandoned warehouse behind a grassy knoll on Rachel Street. The easiest access is to park in the lot on Molson st. and walk around the exterior on the front of the building. Very cachée from traffic, it boasts a wonderful terrace with its huge red umbrellas, making it is a private and cozy affair in summer.
The facade boasts floor to ceiling glass windows all around and red brick exterior. Once inside the décor is modern chic, with a warehouse feel to it with its tall ceilings, metal and wood themes and open kitchen. The space is large and airy and can get noisy with the influx of dinners. The space is well managed and simplistic. The ambiance is décontracte, cool and relaxed.
The menu is classic Italian. The table hote does not only consists of pizza but Italian specialties such as pastas, risottos and entrees like burrata, Carpaccio and grilled octopus all at reasonable prices. The pizzas are cooked in wood ovens and are topped with freshest of local ingredients. You will not get bored with the plethora of choices some very original in concept. The daily lunch menu has special pizzas created for the day that are not usually found on the regular lunch menu; this was the case the day we visited.
What is really cool about Pizzeria Caldo is its warm and unpretentious atmosphere, where you can sit at the bar alone or come in a group or have a little tète a tète with that special someone. Lunch can get busy with the local work crowd coming in for a quick bite, so reservations are a must at any time.
Lunchtime also means a special lunchtime menu where you can have your choice of pizza and salad and a glass of wine for $5.00. Today we chose a grilled vegetable pizza for $ 15.95 which came with a Tuna Tatami on a bed of arugula and marinated radishes. The Tuna Tatami was delicious and included with the price of the pizza. Not bad for starters, along with a glass of white wine for $ 5.00 which I did not note the name of, but found it refreshingly light and not overly sweet or dry, just perfect with our entrée of salad and our main meal.
The second pizza ordered came topped with pulled pork meat from pork cheeks, marinated jalapenos and goat cheese; this also came with a Tuna Tatami salad for $16.95. The pizzas were well cooked, crispy on the ends and the underside but thicker in quality than many Neapolitan pizzerias that claim authenticity. The toppings and flavor are fresh and agreeable. This place is for you if you like a harder crust pizza. I found the thickness just perfect as I detest paper thin pizza. I love the smokiness of a wood burning oven and the taste it yields, and I prefer a pizza that is thicker and chewier. But this is subjective as we all have our own preferences. Just don’t give me generic pizza.
For dessert I had the strawberry cake with a short espresso for $ 9.75. A mound of deconstructed cake on the bottom, topped with crème fraîche and slices of fresh strawberries. It was delightfully good, not too sweet and very appetizing and refreshing for a hot summer day. Vixen had her slice of creamy unctuous tarte au chocolat for $ 7.00 which she could not resist, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles of crunchy praline. She enjoyed it immensely and got her fix for the day.
Service was to the point, attentive and fast but professional. Our waiter must have thought that we needed to get back to work. Instead we were women of leisure for the day. I truly enjoyed my time at Pizzeria Caldo; it changed the ideas in my head. We also managed to talk business and both Vixen and I got some insight on how we can advance our careers. Maybe, we could turn our passions into a business, which would be grand. On second thought, we would be GRANDE, especially eating out for lunch on a daily basis.
If left to our own demise we would have stayed and ordered everything on the menu, lingered on the terrace all day and night, and just kept eating. The mood was just so intoxicating. This is just what type of place Pizzeria Caldo is.