Sunday, October 06, 2013

Pasticceria Goodness in Little Italy

Friday for lunch in Little Italy, I visited Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana (200 Preston Street, Ottawa) which I originally thought was a mere bakery of wedding cakes and the odd sweet including Gelato.  But I was sadly wrong, why had I not at least seen there was more?

Perhaps it was because the storefront itself is raised a little bit with a front veranda and thus making the front windows hard to see all the delightful goodness inside.  I heard there was more inside and decided to check it out in hopes of finding another lunch spot.

I was warmly greeted from behind the counter by the staff inquiring if I knew what I wished to order.  I was a little too awestruck at the delectable site before me.  To my left was an expansive display case of regular gourmet cakes, cookies, and other sweets.  To my right were the day's pasta dishes for lunch plus a display case of various Italian Gelato's.  Further down was a complete coffee bar for any Italian coffee you could imagine.  Of course there was the usual seating with customers exploring their Italian creations.  A little sign on one of the display cases indicates there is a Wedding Cake museum that can be toured upon request by one of the staff members.  Apparently, it is quite the impressive sight.  I didn't bother the staff as they were busy preparing and serving the restaurant's typical Friday afternoon customers who all seemed to be known by name or at least warmly greeted like they were old friends.

The staff member guided me to a couple of menus to review after I regained my composure of being impressed with the surroundings.  I selected something from the pizza menu and ordered.

The Order: 1 Margherita pizza.

I was told the pizza would be ready in about 10 minutes.

For the next 9 minutes I perused the delicious treats of the shop.  At about the 5 minute mark of wait, I was inquired with if I would like the pizza dipping sauce.  "Of course" came my reply not knowing what I was getting myself into but seeing the deliciousness I was surrounded by, I was not worried.

At the 9 minute mark, my pizza was boxed and ready along with the pizza dip and decent amount of napkins.  I was graciously handed the box and left the store before my tastebuds could convince my brain to bankrupt my retirement savings and purchase everything else in the store.

I returned to the office and opened the box to the fantastic sights and smells of a gourmet pizza made with loving care.

Margherita Pizza with dipping sauce.
I dug into the Margherita Pizza and found the cheese was still melted.  The pizza was a traditional Italian thin crust with Parmesan & Mozzarella cheeses, Italian tomato sauce, basil and olive oil. Delectable with each bite.

The only minor complaint, don't expect this pizza to be filling.  But what the pizza lacks in quantity, it makes up for in high quality.

Overall, Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana is an Italian destination restaurant for those looking for the highest quality Italian cooking without having to visit Italy itself.  Award winning professional chef Joe Calabro owns and operates this hidden gem in Little Italy that provides great opportunities for those looking for a place for lunch, a place for desert, a coffee shop or even a romantic spot for dessert.  A one sized fits all with terrific knowledgeable staff and delicious freshly made food.

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