Friday, March 16, 2012

Verace Pizzeria - VANEATS Verace Amore


I grabbed a Verace Amore dining pass on VANEATS.ca before they sold out. This $15 dining pass includes 4 courses: 2 starters, an entree and a dessert. What a great deal! I invited MC to try this relatively new Italian restaurant with me a couple nights ago. The place is right beside T&T in Chinatown and a flight of stairs away from the Stadium-Chinatown Station.


We started with a couple of non-alcoholic drinks. MC opted for refillable house-brewed iced tea ($2.75). The tea was unsweetened, but it had a refreshing thirst-quenching quality. I went for the limonata al rosmarino ($3), a sparkling lemonade infused with rosemary. The flavour was intense with a combination of lip-puckering tartness and smooth syrupy sweetness. After trying both drinks, I would definitely recommend the limonata.


Judging from appearances alone, I wasn't impressed with this starter. It looked a bit plain with just 2 pieces of flatbread, 2 spoonfuls of burrata cheese and what I thought was just olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I was surprised to find that the balsamic reduction was intensely sweet, and it was combined with a light and fragrant lemon oil. MC really loved the warm rosemary flatbread. It was soft and chewy with a crisp exterior, and it went really well with the buttery burrata.


The salati assortiti was a very generous portion. Cured meats and cheese were served with marinated olives, vegetables and more rosemary flatbread. Unfortunately the flatbread was cold and hard, unlike the warm and soft slices in the previous starter. Both the meats and cheese were very savoury and flavourful, as were the olives and vegetables. I actually really hate olives, but I tried one and it wasn't so bad.


The main course was an 8-inch pizza baked in a brick oven at a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The crust seemed nice and thick, but the centre of the pizza was extremely thin. We got to try 2 different flavours: the prosciutto e rucola and the funghi. Both flavours were surprisingly delicious, considering I'm not particularly into pizza or mushrooms. The reason I dislike pizza is mainly because of the commercial artificial-tasting tomato sauce that's usually used as a base, but Verace used fresh and juicy crushed tomatoes instead. The prosciutto was soft and not completely dried out like some other ones I've had, and the arugula spread on top was very refreshing. The mushrooms were tender and well-marinated without any grassy taste.


The dessert was probably the least impressive part of the meal. That's not to say it was bad; I was just spoiled by all the previous dishes. The lemoncello layer cake was in fact not a cake at all. It was made up of alternating layers of lady fingers and lemon-scented mascarpone topped with fresh raspberries. Personally I didn't like the texture of the limoncello-infused lady fingers. They tasted like fried donuts that had just started to become soggy. The mascarpone had a sweet-tart lemon flavour, but I found it a bit dry.


I was blown away by the quality of the food and the excellent value for the price. I enjoyed the pizza so much that I actually went back the very next day and ordered a full-size (12-inch) prosciutto e rucola ($17.25). Verace is featured on Groupon Now regularly, so give it a try if you haven't already. I'll definitely be going back to try some of the other pizza flavours.

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2 comments:

Kirby on March 17, 2012 8:04 am said...

I just wrote my Verace Pizzeria post yesterday night too! My feelings exactly, I am so going back to try the normal menu :P

krispymilk on March 17, 2012 4:28 pm said...

@Kirby: I considered trying another flavour, but decided not to risk it since I really liked the crushed tomato base. But next time I want to try the salerno: "A sweet and salty blend of fig jelly, prosciutto and goat cheese finished with grana padano and evoo". Sounds interesting!

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