Gastown—From chef/owner J.C. Poirier and the Kitchen Table Restaurants team most recently behind the award-winning Ask for Luigi Italian restaurant (also Pourhouse and Pizzeria Farina), the newly opened Joe Pizza aims to be West Cordova's no-nonsense (and very hipster friendly) by the slice neighbourhood pizzeria. So far, it mostly lives up to that hype, especially with its gorgeously lit corner space in the old Rainier Provisions location.
Open daily, Joe Pizza serves up Roman style pizza (aka pizza al taglio) by the—you guessed it—slice. The rectangular block pieces are cut in half diagonally into aesthetically pleasing triangles and are heavy on the bread with thick and crisp focaccia crusts topped with a variety of fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Joe has more than a few basic and specialty pizza flavours (nine or so I believe) to choose from in their display window. Off the bat, the very appealing calabrese (with tomato sauce, salami, fior di latte, olives, and oregano) was delightfully hearty and flavourful. I immediately found the tasty mix of the thinly cut meats well contrasted to the fresh olives in a very pleasing manner.
The only drawback thus far is the pizza not served piping hot out of the oven—it's warmed up, of course—but that obviously and inherently comes with the territory of its by the slice/eat-in or takeout service.
Next, the Quebec style (with tomato sauce, pepperoni, sausage, parmesan, mozzarella, peppers, and oregano) was a lighter but winning combination of flavours with a nice meaty but cheesier composition. It felt like a safer but less adventurous bet as far as the meatier pizza options went.
Joe Pizza for the most part lives up to its workmanlike moniker with some fairly authentic Italian flavours. It's a nice anytime meal solution for the neighbourhood. The fresh pizza and overall service experience feels relatively on point but could still use some refining. However, it already makes for a very likeable pizza destination.
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