The Grand Pizzeria & Bar
74 George St.
www.thegrandpizzeria.com
(613) 244-9995

Signature Dish: The Grand Pizza ($18)
Rating: ** 1/2
Dinner & drinks for 2: $50

Wood burning oven, check. Italian flour and tomatoes, check. Buffalo mozzarella, check. Seated at The Grand Booth, check. We were ready for a primo delivery of pizza at The Grand Pizzeria & Bar in the Byward Market.

Pizza is at the centre of this restaurant’s menu, and definitely the option to choose when visiting what once was a grand old hotel. The Grand Pizza ($18) arrived with a perfect, blister-laden crust. Topped with fresh-tasting tomato sauce, a blend of cheeses including mozzarella and Italian scamorza, draped with thin layers of prosciutto di parma, and a lonely basil leaf adorning the top, it was impeccable and satisfying.

The restaurant also offers a complete menu, including salamis and cheeses, some beer and Italian wine. However, there are some disappointing dishes. The Calamari Alla Frigerre ($12) was not as crispy as we desired. The Mushroom Assoluti ($10) lacked the crunch expected from the Parmesan coating and needed a dip in the deep fryer instead of a bake in the oven. The Linguini Primavera ($17) suffered from a shortage of flavour. Topped with limp, oily vegetables, the pasta remained untouched after a few bites.

Sticking with the Italian theme, for dessert we ordered the Panna cotta ($7). It was sponge-like in consistency, but unfortunately, also in taste.

By all means, go for the pizzas. They’re grand.

Dining out

Les Brasseurs du Temps
Les Brasseurs du Temps is a traditional hand-crafted micro brewery offering a selection of eight to twelve beers. But it’s the poutine that drew my attention. 170, Rue Montcalm, Gatineau (819) 205-4999

Viña del Mar
Enjoy Chilean food at Viña del Mar, including Empanadas filled with beef, onions, olives, eggs, chicken and corn. Or try the Pastel de Choclo, a signature Chilean corn and meat pie. 1079 Wellington St., (613) 724-3000