There’s something about Friday night that calls for smothering the week’s sorrows with a big slice of pizza. But even the most dedicated pizza aficionado (us) can grow tired of the usual cheese and pepperoni combo. So last Friday, rather than dial in our regular box, we headed to downtown Oshawa and grabbed a table at the locally-owned Italian hotspot, Avanti Trattoria, for a classier slice.
At 7 pm the large restaurant was packed: groups, couples and families filled most of the tables, but we were quickly seated by the window. Our server promptly arrived for our drinks order and, after perusing the menu and listening to the pasta special (kudos to the server for including the price. Most diners hate having to ask, “And how much is that?”), decided on bruschetta to start, and the Roman pizza.
Twenty varieties of pizza are on the menu, all baked in their wood-fired oven and offered between $10 and $15, but we hoped the Roman’s combination of spicy sopressata, salty black olives, artichokes, and tangy roasted red peppers would give us that Friday night flavour hit that we were looking for.
The bread basket, which was generously full of freshly-sliced baguette, and the bruschetta arrived at the same time. But while the bread was nice, the bruschetta was pedestrian. Although the baguette underneath the tomato and garlic topping was nicely toasted and retained its crunch, the diced tomato topping looked and tasted pre-made.
But while the starter was uninspired, the Roman pizza was about to take centre stage. It was the perfect Friday night feast – six massive slices of thin crust covered our plate, spread with fresh-tasting tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella and the combination of salty, tangy, and spicy toppings we wanted.
Would we recommend the pizza at Avanti Trattoria? Absolutely. The size alone made the $14.95 price reasonable, and the lively atmosphere of the Friday night dinner crowd made our visit a welcome way to start the weekend. Plus, we now have 19 more pizzas to try.
Avanti Trattoria is located at 17 King Street East.