Restaurant Review: Slice of Motor City at Descendant Pizza is a lesson in deliciousness


The rectangular shape of the Descendant is dictated by the pan they're baked in


Had you told me that I would fall head over heels in love with a form of pizza that has as much crust as topping, I’d have told you to go get your head read: Because I’m such a fan of the increasingly thin cracker-like pizza crust that’s cooked for 90 seconds at blistering heat — so that it crackles dryly in the mouth.

This new (to us) form of pizza is called Detroit-style and is on offer in an unassuming 22-seat hole-in-the-wall in Leslieville. They take res, but the place is popular, so go early or late. The small room has quite lovely paintings on the walls, sometimes big colourful hearts and flowers. 


Now all it needs is some more assertive rock ’n’ roll to while away the time waiting for your pie, because this one ain’t quick — especially when Descendant Pizza is slammed with both takeout and eat-in orders. Which is usually.

After rolling out the dough, they put it on a deep steel pizza pan, with a mixture of grated brick and mozzarella on top. The sauce goes on after it comes out of the oven. The result is that when the pizza bakes — which is relatively lengthy — the cheeses, with their luscious fat, caramelize and get all golden brown and crunchy and greasy. This is the kiss of heaven for cooked dough.

I could just eat the crust and be happy. All four tall crunchy sides, ’cause these pizzas are rectangular! More corners, more crunch!

The toppings are as much fun as the crust. House favourite Truff-Ghi is ooey gooey cheeses, garlic that’s been roasted long and slow for sweetness, onion marmalade, cremini mushrooms and smoky bacon.

And the fun just keeps on coming: The Good Old Days, with marinated roasted red peppers, house-made fennel sausage, red sauce, basil aïoli, parsley and grana padano.

Their terrific house-made ranch dressing appears with ricotta salata and a pile of toasted peanuts and grapes both red and green to turn salad into an event. A very fun event. Almost as much fun as their house desserts, which change weekly.

Pray for lemon thyme posset, a small Mason jar holding super-creamy lemon mousse topped with crumbled ginger snaps. The most indulgent possible ending to a carnival of carbs.

Descendant Detroit Style Pizza, 1168 Queen St. E., $60 Dinner for two

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Joanne Kates trained at the Ecole Cordon Bleu de Cuisine in Paris. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Maclean’s and Chatelaine. Follow her on Twitter @JoanneKates.

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