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514crawls: Third Time's the Charm for Pizza

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

in  crawlpizzerialittle italymile-end

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The Pitch

Following two somewhat unsuccessful pizza crawls of downtown and Old Montreal, tonight we completed our trilogy by visiting the popular Magpie, Napoletana and Bottega.  We were hoping the high praise these places receive was well-warranted so we can end our pizza quest on a high note, and move on with our lives…

The Food

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Sticking to our usual formula, we again ordered two pizzas at each stop; a simple margherita followed by something more bold.  Fairly evaluating all this pizza never gets any easier, especially when paired up with cocktails, wine (Napoletana is a BYOW) and even dessert (yes we still had room for Bottega's fabulous nocciola gelato).  So here it goes…

Magpie: Margherita

$13,  rating:  so-so

"bocconcini, basil, tomato sauce".  Thin crust that got a bit soggy in the middle, which made it a little difficult to eat.  The sweet tomato sauce complemented the mild cheese.

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Magpie: Bistecca

$19,  rating:  hit

"steak, mushrooms, cheddar, red onion, jalapenos, dijon, tomato sauce".  Same dough and sauce as above, but what gave this pizza extra points were the toppings.  The combination of tender steak with earthy mushrooms and fiery jalapenos made this pie a serious contender for the night.

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Napoletana: Margherita

$10.50,  rating:  so-so

"mozzarella, tomato sauce".  Very thin crust that actually did not flop when folded and picked up.  The cheese layer sat below the tangy tomato sauce.

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Napoletana: Genovese

$15.50,  rating:  miss

"pesto, smoked turkey, jalapenos, mozzarella, parmesan, sliced tomatoes".  The pesto brought a needed freshness to contrast the smokiness from the turkey.  And despite the toppings combining for an interesting profile, the pesto could not replace a good tomato sauce.  We are likely skipping on this pizza next time we visit.

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Bottega: Margherita

$13,  rating:  hit

"San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, basil".  The crust had a great crisp on the outside and a fluffy chew inside.  The tomato sauce was slightly tangy while the cheese and basil rounded up this hit of a pie.

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Bottega: Diavola

$15,  rating:  hit

"San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, peperoncino piccante".  Same crust and sauce as above; add some good ol' Italian cured meat.  You can never go wrong topping this deliciously patted dough with a flavourful tomato sauce and salami.  Needless to say, this was the highlight of the night.

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The Verdict

Right off the bat, this was by far the best of our pizza crawls.  Aside from the great pizza we sampled, each place was memorable in its own way: from the fun, young Magpie to the old-school, casual Napoletana and finally, the classy, sophisticated Bottega.  After 3 crawls, 9 stops and 18 pizzas, we have no problem naming Bottega THE BEST pizzeria in Montreal!


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Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys that like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.

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