The announcement was made on Facebook and it shook our little community: after 8 years, Pizza de Luigi was shutting down its Chelsea location, and they were shutting it down basically immediately! The horror!
After 8 years of running two business and 6 years of working full time while running them, the owner decided that two restaurants was too much. They will focus all their efforts into the Wakefield restaurant.
Incidentally, Mini-Waffle had already selected Cheezy Luigi as the restaurant we would order from tomorrow, part of our weekly effort to support local restaurants during the pandemic. We realized what was happening only because we wanted to check the opening hours.
So we decided that we had no choice but to order immediately, one last time. Because even though they will remain open in Wakefield, that is a bit of a trek for us.
A family-run establishment, MJ.M.D. Pizza de Luigi first opened its doors in Chelsea in 2013. Their second location opened in Wakefield in the Summer of 2014. Their pizza was voted “Best pizza in Western Quebec” numerous times.
It is a neat spot, and weather and bug permitting it was better to eat outside. We dropped by a couple of times a year to dine on location, but most often we got their pie delivered. Luigi offers two types of pizza, Deep Dish or Old Country Thin; also a couple of salads and pasta dishes.
My favs are probably the Santina Sausage and the Carnivore: the homemade sausage, really makes it. But today, we went with the kids favorites: one large Pepperonni ($19) and one Hawaiian ($20).
Word was spreading fast about the closure in the community, so we figured we would order ahead. We called at 4 PM for a 6 PM pickup, but told us it would have to be 15 minutes later. No problemo!
Upon arrival, another reminder of the sad truth was awaiting. It was a snowy day to make it even worse. LIFE IS SO UNFAIR!
Inside, the place was humming. Half a dozen people were making pies, taking orders, packing them and getting them out the door. The last day was going to be, no doubt, a very good day.
I picked up my order, one of the pies being free thanks to my filled-up fidelity card I remembered to bring (ouf!), and home I went with the very precious cargo: our last Chelsea Luigi pizza!
These were golden beauties. First and foremost, the dough is great. Nice and crispy, not doughy at all, with fennel seeds to give it some oumph. Just great stuff. The sauce is a tad on the tangy side.
The toppings proportion is good, if a tad uneven. Nothing mechanical here, not even methodical. That’s fine by me, it gives it a rustic feel. If you like your pizza with a lot of toppings, you may find these a little lacking, but I find that it strikes the right balance. I mean, how much pineapple does one want on a pizza anyway? On the meat side, the pepperoni is not too greasy, good quality stuff. The ham cubes were meaty and juicy.
Very good pizza indeed. We may have to go to Wakefield soon!
UPDATE – May 1st, 2021 17:42
It looks like something will happen soon with the location, thanks to Geneviève Parent and her partner Roberto Caverti.
Chef Caverti was most recently the head chef at La Squadra in Gatineau. Caverti started his career as a Pasta Chef at Timo Restaurant in Isles Beach, FL, before working in a few other establishments, including Acciuaga in London, UK, la Madonnina del pescatore and the Ristorante MOMA in Italy. He then moved his craft to Chelsea and worked at both L’Orée du Bois and Les Fougères.
Rest assured, Waffler nation, that we will monitor closely!