Tastiness Factor: 8.5/10
Locavore Approved? Not so much their thing- Their claim to fame is being the only VPN-certified pizzeria in Atlantic Canada (they also have a restaurant in Halifax) so they specialize in authentic Italian ingredients. VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) standards are pretty stringent (read more here) and sticking with the rules is a "must" to keep your status.
It was a very rainy, very windy and very foggy day that I arrived in St. John's, weather that those living here are quite accustomed to. I grew up on the West Coast of Newfoundland, in Corner Brook, but my parents now live in St. John's so I was paying a much-anticipated visit to them.
On the night that I arrived, I was pretty exhausted from the long flight and the time change, but eager to try out a new restaurant on my St. John's "to-go" list. Having been to Pi on my last visit (see my review here), I wanted to check out the other popular pizza spot in town, Piatto. My parents had been there many times and highly recommended it, so off we went!
Piatto is located in downtown St. John's, renowned for its many bars and pubs (opened until the wee hours of the morning) and its friendly locals. We went on a Tuesday night and were surprised to find Piatto almost full when we arrived. The restaurant is small but cozy, with a large wood-fired oven (in accordance with VPN standards) at the back. There is also a bar near the front where guests can sit to wait for a table, or where they can stay to enjoy their pizza.
We had a new server that evening who was excellent. Friendly service is a must in Newfoundland and she delivered on that. She explained the specials that evening and took our orders quickly without making us feel rushed.
The menu includes a small variety of antipastis, salads, calzones and pizzas. As mentioned, the dishes are fairly simple, including the pizzas which have only a handful of toppings in keeping with traditional Naples pizzas. There are both rosse pizzas (with tomato sauce) and blanche (no sauce, or cream sauce). They also have a decent wine list, and actually have a tasting lounge upstairs.
We started with two salads- the Mista, with cherry tomatoes, artichokes and roasted red peppers, and a Caprese salad. Both were simple, yet fresh and a nice light start to the meal.
Then it was onto the main attraction, the pizzas. My mom enjoyed a Margherita, with added roasted red peppers and caramelized onions, while I had a pie with artichokes, olives and basil. My dad went for a simple pizza with hand-sliced pepperoni. All of them had a generous helping of fior de latte mozzarella. Most importantly, the crust was bubbly and crispy on the outside and thin and soft on the inside.
Having been to other VPN establishments in Vancouver (Nicli Antica, Via Tevere), I must say that I was quite impressed with the pizzas at Piatto and thought they stood up well to those at the other establishments. I definitely recommend Piatto to any pizza-lover living in, or visiting, St. John's!
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