First Look: North of Brooklyn, a by-the-slice gourmet pizzeria on Queen West
By Karolyne Ellacott
North of Brooklyn's margherita (Images: Karolyne Ellacott)
While Hogtown has undoubtedly been gripped by pizza madness, gourmet slices to go are something that we haven’t quite mastered yet. North of Brooklyn is here to change that. Hidden behind Queen West’s Hero Certified Burgers, this tiny pizzeria means that you won’t have to make the haul down to Williamsburg to satiate that craving for thin-crusted goodness.
First time restaurateurs Josh Spatz and Alex Potter (Pizzeria Libretto) take their pies seriously. After deciding to open up a pizza joint, the friends headed south for a research trip. The results were decidedly dangerous: “It was painful for my stomach!” Spatz says, explaining that they put back an unseemly number of slices. After discovering Frank Pinello’s Best Pizza, they knew they’d found their match: “We walked in and said, ‘This is it!’” Partnering up, Pinello helped them bring the Brooklyn flavour up north.
Both the space and the menu are pared down and simple. David Dworkind worked with them on the interior; metal and wooden accents — crafted by the Brothers Dressler and Canadian Salvaged Timber — are overseen by black and white photographs of old school pizzerias. Outside, a mammoth sign announces the restaurant’s presence to the ’hood.
Meanwhile, the menu offers up a fistful of options, including the popular margherita ($3.90) and classic pepperoni ($4.20). The seasonal veg pick is strewn with heirloom tomatoes, kale and roasted carrots and beets, alongside fresh mozzarella and lemon-seasoned ricotta ($4.40).
“We want to do basic things really well,” Potter says.
And judging by the response from the neighbourhood, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
North of Brooklyn Pizzeria, 650½ Queen St. W., 647-352-5700