Address: 137 Bannatyne Ave
Entrees: $11 – $36
Corrientes—named after the bustling avenue in Buenos Aires renowned for its pizza joints, cafes, bars and bookstores—wears the crown for the best Argentinian pizza in this town.
The specialty here is Argentina’s version of Italy’s finest export. Where chef/owner Alfonso Maury grew up, half the population comes from Italian descendants, so it makes sense that pizza is such a big deal. In fact, in Buenos Aires, pizzerias rival parrillas. Entering the stylish Exchange District space, diners might forget they’re not in one of these South American pizza parlours, surrounded by poster-sized photographs displaying pizza café culture.
The types of pies served have expanded beyond Naples’ origins. Argentinian-style pizza is nuanced, worth getting to know. Topping combos incorporate corn, zucchini, hearts of palm and chopped hard boiled eggs. One bite easily creates converts, the interplay of bitter, sweet and vegetal flavours sparking a culinary awakening for even the most ardent pepperoni-lover.
Crispy crust pizzas are robust and hearty. The menu’s other focus is traditional empanadas—another dish ubiquitous in South America—which also show the kitchen’s prowess with dough. Bechamel and spinach prove to be as winning a combination atop tomato sauce and smothered in cheese on a pizza crust as enveloped in an empanada. Bechamel delicately supports the mash of greens, adding sweet creaminess to each bite. The same luscious sauce is added to a corn mixture accented with salty bacon, caramelized onions and hot oozing mozzarella.
A classic pizza pairing of bacon and tomato, christened the Canadian Flag, delights with each salty-sweet bite. For a more “Corrientes Avenue” classic, try the Banchero. Straight up melty mozzarella between two layers of dough, topped with raw onions, proves to be perfection.
Mixtures of smoked and grilled meats, veggies, pickles and melted cheeses pack layers of flavour (literally) between hefty slices of ciabatta, too.
It’s the smart and quirky mash-ups of ingredients that win fans at this clever spot, whether layered in a crusty bun, on top of pizza, or enwrapped completely in pastry as an empanada. Corrientes pushes our palates forward, in style.