Mrs. Waffle was craving pizza. It does happen regularly.
Thankfully, that very day we had just received the new Menu Gatineau directory, which of course includes many pizzerias from our area.
I perused the menu, looked at Cortina Pizza Riviera and Pizza Maisonneuve, skipped Gabriel Pizza, Dora Pizza, Chez Gerry and Pizza Presto to end up on the Bellavio Trattoria Pizzeria page. Something immediately jumped at me – Unique à Gatineau! Pizza Style Chicago.
Oh yeah!!! What a great idea!
I’ve had Chicago Pizza a few times and it is a totally different culinary experience. From our last trip to the Wind City, a few of us even discussed the possibility of opening our own Chicago-Style pizzeria in the National Capital region. Since I’m not holding my breath on that ever happening, the fact that someone else had the idea was exciting to say the least.
Mrs. Waffle was equally excited and agreed we HAD to try it.
Bellavio offers only a one-size Chicago Style – a medium. For $19.99, you get the pie with three toppings of your choice. Bellavio’s operator made sure I knew that this meant the sauce would be on top. I reassured him that I was very familiar with Chicago Style, and selected pepperoni, bacon and green peppers as toppings.
And then we waited.
We knew we would have to wait longer than usual – a Chicago Style pizza being deeper than a regular pie, you need at least 30 minutes just to cook it. Would it be worth the wait?
45 minutes later, our first Bellavio’s Chicago Style Pizza arrived!
The delivery guy carefully removed the pizza box from the hot pouch. I put it on our counter and I opened the box eagerly, removing the sheet of wax paper which was on top to protect the pizza and prevent it to splash on the box cover.
What a beauty!
It smelled fantastic and it looked great. The crust was thick, about two inches high. You could see the mozarella cheese trying to ooze out on the edge. You could see some green peppers and some bacon bits surfacing on the pool of bright red tomato sauce.
Mel served us a slice each, and put the box in the oven to keep it warm.
Despite the thickness of toppings and sauce, the pizza held together nicely. Of course, the sauce was overflowing on each side of the slice – but it had a great consistency. Bellavio imports its sauce from the United States – it is not a regular pizza sauce, but more of a thick tomato sauce – whitout being chunky, you can still feel the pulp of the tomatoes. It had a great fresh flavour to it.
The green peppers were big pieces, so they still had a good crunch. The bacon did not come in traditonnal bacon strips, it came as chunks. So you get the bacon flavour, but nothing crispy. On the plus side, there was a lot of it. I should have specified – Bellavio does offer both styles. The pepperoni was of good quality, a little spicy.
All of these toppings were sitting on a bed of mozarella. It was a thick layer, they did not skimp on it – protecting the crust well and preventing it from getting mushy. The cheese was a bit stringy, but the texture is probably better if you dine-in and get it served fresh out of their pizza oven. In fact, our next slices who had warmed up in the oven were even better than the first one!
The crust was nice on the outside, tender. There was some char marks, but it wasn’t burned. However, the bottom was a bit doughy at times. Thankfully, it wasn’t too thick. On the flavour side, it tasted more like a traditionnal pizza though than the pizza I had in Chicago, which were a little more pastry-like.
But overall, this is a strong product that we will certainly order again – or even better, live on location.
Bellavio gets bonus points when, two hours later, they phoned to enquire about the pizza. We had a friendly conversation about it, the manager genuinely being interested in my constructive feedback. I had never received that kind of call from a delivery place before, and I was quite impressed.
I can’t wait to order again!