Piola is opening its first Canadian location on Queen West (because clearly, a chain is exactly what the area needs)
By Mika Rekai
A Moderna pizza from a non-Toronto Piola location (Image: yosoynuts)
A new idea is taking shape in one of Toronto’s trendiest ‘hoods. On Nov. 29, international chain Piola will be opening a new location near Queen and Dufferin, at the Bohemian Embassy condo. The new pizzeria will be serving up high-quality Italian cuisine and carefully selected wine, along with some local art, but owners insist Piola will be missing one ingredient: attitude.
“It’s a casual pizzeria,” Jennifer Karam, a manager of the new location, explains. “There is nothing pretentious about this place. Everyone is welcome, including families. We’ll be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, which I think — on that strip in particular — is missing.”
The Queen West location is Piola’s first venture into Canada. The international chain has over 30 locations around the world, including restaurants in New York City, Buenos Aires and Istanbul.
What can we expect in Toronto? Even Karam is not entirely sure, as the menu will be tweaked to include local ingredients.
“We’re still doing a lot of tests, so we can’t finalize the specifics of each pizza.”
Every menu item, she says, is approved by a team of chefs who are flown in from Italy to make sure local additions are up to the Piola standard.
“Our pizzaiolos from Italy are still tasting flours and other ingredients,” she says. “Until they taste each ingredient and make sure the pizza is absolutely perfect, we’re not printing those menus."
But can any Toronto restaurant win over both foodies and families? Piola is going to try.
“We’re going to be a classic pizzeria,” she says. “Yes, we’re going to have beautiful wines and a great cocktail list ... but we’re looking to fill that gap of an accessible restaurant for everybody in west Queen West."
Piola will open to the public in December.
Piola, 1165 Queen St. W.