FOUR THUMBS UP!
Sure, the boutique pizzeria is going to be a tad more expensive than most steak and pizza joints. And it’s not only the quality of food and different variations on the menu which often makes the boutique more inviting, exciting and pricey; it’s also the type of room, its décor, ambience that flushes out the experience.
The waiter told me “posto” in Italian means a gathering place, where you go to hang out and socialize with your good friends. On both occasions I was at Posto Pizzeria and Bar, which recently had its grand opening in October, the overwhelming vibe was that this was indeed a place to hang out.
Some of the building materials and fixtures used to decorate the space which Posto is nestled into look to like they belong in the 1920s and ‘30s, pulled from some kind of warehouse office — big, overhanging metal lamps attached to one wooden wall, the entrance way is enclosed in a panel of metal squares and glass panes with wire mesh inside the glass as a reinforcement, the top of the bar also metal-plated. Even though there’s an abundance of hard materials, the other walls painted in a muted, burnt orange gives the room real warmth, while a mini-chandelier hanging high above like a satellite centerpiece provides a radiant glow.
Did I mention, laughter? At one table there was a gaggle of six girls in their late 20s, early 30s sharing pizza, wine and conversation thoroughly engaged. At another, a middle-aged couple with what looked like their son and his girlfriend all out on date crammed around the table together drinking and talking up a storm. A lone wolf perched up on the bar stool having a friendly chat with the bartender and then Black Dwayne and I lapping down a second bottle of red.
A glass of red ranges from $9 to $18. A bottle runs from $45 to $90. We zoned in on a couple of mid-priced wines from Spain and Italy. Connoisseurs in that department, we’re not. But our host asked what we preferred — something not too dry, not too heavy — and both bottles from each country hit the nail on the head.
The translation of Formaggi E Salumi listed on the menu is simply a selection of meats and cheeses from as little as $7 to $32 depending on size. The selection, however, is not so simple offering exotic Italian cheese varieties including imported buffalo mozzerella and burrata both of which have softer textures with quite a fresh fragrance. Included in the meats are wild boar proscuitto, swordfish and imported salami of which the swordfish with a dash of lemon is a soul-kicking, mind ‘n’ mouth sensation. Definitely a stand-out. Combined, the meat and cheese plates make for a very large charcuterie —a meal in itself in proportions.
And now for the main dish— pizza! I got the roasted rapini (kind of like broccoli leaves), sausage, red onion, tomato, 10-12 inches, for $18 with not quite a thin crust, certainly more crispy than chewy but not heavy or doughy. A lot of tomato zing, perfect with the wine. Dwayne picked the veggie topped with spinach, shallot (similar to onions, expect milder, even a bit sweet), garlic, chanterelles (a mushroom type), grana padano (a firm cheese that melts in small tasty blobs not salty or overpowering though) for $16. There are eight other pizzas full of freshness and imagination including a big ole meat lover’s — sausage, salami, smoked pancetta, calabrese for $19.
The bill came to $200 plus tip. Of course we could have cut back on a bottle of wine, shared a pizza and cut down on that price, but it still would have been a very full, well-rounded dinner. Was it worth it? Posto is an elegant, but earthy hang out with its rustic feel and warm vibe. That’s worth a lot of the price. And the food promises what a boutique pizzeria should offer — healthy, fresh taste explosions. Dwayne and I gave it four thumbs up!
Posto Pizzeria and Bar — 1014 – 8 St. SW, 403-263-4876, posto.ca
By B. Simm