Review of Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo

December 20, 2006 § 1 Comment

5541 Young Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
455-1133

You know what you’re in for the moment you walk through the doors at Salvatore’s. The place smells like a Neapolitan pizzaiolo. Smoke, garlic, olives, cheese, olive oil, and some more smoke. It’s heavenly, in small doses.

The restaurant is in the Hydrostone Market. There’s a mural of van Gogh’s The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night on one wall, about ten tables, and a takeout window above a case of cheesecakes. The staff look like they might once have been art students, and they’re helpful, but not chatty. They’ve got work to do; they take pizza seriously here.

There are rules about what you can order on your pizza— but they’re for your own good, really. Salvatore’s will only add three toppings to its orginal pizza, but it offers a selection of specialties.

Salvatore’s has been around for more than 15 years now, and it’s as good today as it was when Salvatore ran it himself. The pizza is thin-crusted and smoky, and the toppings on offer here are unusual. There’s a four-tier pricing system for toppings, ranging from Spanish onions and roasted garlic at the low end to sun-dried tomatoes at the high end.

To help you build the perfect pizza, Salvatore’s also suggests a few combinations: Roasted Garlic with Sauteed Mushrooms, for example, and Pizza Tutta Carne with pepperoni, homemade meatballs and Spanish salami.

A number of sensational specialty pizzas are certainly tempting. Clam Pie Marinato is a pie topped with mozzarella, marinated clams, garlic and parsley, a zesty combination redolent of the Italian Riviera. Pizza Miguel is a dense pizza layered with Spanish onions and fresh mushrooms and smothered in smoked mozzarella. Pizza alla Siciliana is a thick-crusted pie prepared with imported Italian tomatoes… the flavors are more vibrant than any domestic tomato. And Salvatore’s offers the only true Pizza con Quattro Formaggi in Metro: four cheeses, fresh herbs, no tomatoes in sight.

But our favorite pizza from Salvatore’s is a build-your own. We like to contrast fresh, milky ricotta with briny kalamata olive and earthy mushrooms on an Original. The resulting pizza is crispy, salty, smooth and fragrant.

There are other items on offer here. Pizza is the best bet, but there are hero sandwiches with salami, pepperoni or both, or Sal’s tuna melt. There’s a daily soup, Greek and Garden Salads are available, too, as well as a delicious, garlicky Caesar salad. For dessert, gelato and sorbetto from Dio Mio, or try one of Michelle’s cheesecakes, or— best of all— a Sicilian Cannoli.

This is pizza in the great Italian tradition… pizza unlike any other available in the Maritimes.

— for

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