One of the things I love about writing restaurant reviews are the unsolicited restaurant recommendations I get. Doing what I do, I’m always on the lookout for new restaurants that either appear practically overnight on the restaurant radar or finally getting the opportunity to check out a spot that has been buzzing for a while. So naturally when I’m approached with a “hey, have you checked out that new place…” or “I just had the best… at…” I’m taking notes. Recently, the proliferation of pizza shops around town have definitely upped the city’s pizza game by offering pies that run the gamut of styles. From rustic Neapolitan style pizza to Roman al taglio slabs or even Montreal-style grease-wheels with smoked meat and bacon, we’ve got them all. I recently checked out this new pizza spot in Outremont that has been spoken highly of by a lot of people around me, Pizzeria No.900.
This local pizza spot happens to be a chain that has outposts popping up around the city with a few more on the way. I visited the Outremont location on an early weekday evening. The place was packed (I didn’t count but seating could not have been more than 40 seats) with an eclectic mix of clientele that ranged from young families, couples and small groups getting after work. The menu is simple, pizzas that range from $8-$19, a couple of appetizers, salads and charcuterie.
We were here for pizza and that’s what we ordered. The proscuitto pizza – olive oil, parmesan, oregano, mozzarella di bufala, cherry tomatoes and arugula. It’s a classic and there’s a reason why you always see this pizza at any Italian pizza shop you go to – the combination of ingredients are perfect. Silky bites of proscuitto, pepperiness of arugula and the umami of parmesan makes for a great bite when all blanketed by creamy bufala mozzarella. Not to mention a legit vessel of expertly cooked pizza crust, peppered with perfectly with charred leopard spots.
The sweet Italian sausage (coincidentally my nickname in high school), tomato sauce, fior di latte, scallion, pecorino romano, marinated hot peppers, drizzled with a rapini and almond pesto. The sausage was sweet and savoury and the marinated hot peppers were subtle in heat. Not too spicy, as the heat was practically extinguished by the creamy mozzarella cheese. I asked if they had chili oil and it was successful in reigniting that fire. The crust was good on both pizzas, I personally would have liked them to take it 20 seconds more (I like my pizza crust a little more cooked.)
I appreciated the fact that the crust under the toppings was substantial as a vessel to carry the toppings. It was thick enough that the sauce and topping runoff didn’t render the bread into a sheet of soggy cardboard and enabled you to eat a slice of pizza the way God intended you to eat it; by picking it up with your hands. Pizza with a knife and fork are for lesser pizzas, pizzas who’s crusts rip like the leading competitor brand in paper towels commercials. So what was up with every single person in the place eating their pies with cutlery? More importantly, what was up with all the dirty looks I was getting for eating pizza by picking up the slice with my hands? I don’t know, maybe it’s the stuffy clientele and neighbourhood, or the fact that the pizza was so good that I had already taken my shirt off two slices in.
Pizzeria no. 900
1248, Avenue Bernard W.