How often do we walk through life without realizing we’ve unintentionally placed our blinders on, missing opportunities as we pass? We don’t mean to but when we take the path well-travelled, we run the risk of falling into the grooves worn into place by all the footsteps that have come before us. Even once we realize that we’ve trapped ourselves into a pattern, it’s not always simple to break free. After all, we fall into habits because they’re familiar and familiar is comfortable.
Before opening The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen, located on Broadway in Orangeville, owner Paul had been caught in this same trap, cooking in the same way, suppressing the urge to branch out, because that was the way it had always been done: it’s tradition. Therefore, when The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen opened its doors, he felt that it was time to do something different, to offer customers an elevated experience from what they had otherwise come to know, making The Craft difficult to describe for it isn’t just one thing. It’s not just a pizza place, nor is it just an Italian restaurant. It’s both, and yet more than that.
If I’ve lost you now, let me explain: for many who have discovered The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen during the day time when they serve delicious freshly made that morning pizzas (more on this later, I promise), they think of it simply as a “pizza place”. While it certainly is somewhere you can get pizza, it goes beyond a dim, dingy “pizza joint” or a greasy slab that you grab on your way to watch the latest sporting event. In the kitchen they’re also working to create delicious Italian dishes that take the traditional values and methods of Italian cooking (such as fresh quality ingredients), and reinventing them, taking inspiration from the world that is around them, creating new flavours and experiences. While they certainly respect the traditional, they are drawing it forward, avoiding getting stuck in those worn-out ruts just because they’d always been there.
With table service from Thursday to Saturday, there comes an atmosphere that welcomes customers of all varieties. Whether you’re a couple on a date, looking to savour unique wines you won’t find at the LCBO, or a family trying to have a quick night out before the demands of life start again, you can come into The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen exactly as you are and enjoy a high-quality meal that won’t break the bank, make you feel out of place or cause you to spend your entire evening in one place.
Though it’s not just this loose concept of “fine dining” and “Italian cooking” that The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen is elevating. As promised, I’m back to the pizzas themselves, which The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen work hard to create into an experience as well. As I said before, these are not your quick fast food pizzas tossed out for a sporting event or birthday party; The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen offers five styles of pizza (New York, Neapolitan, Detroit, Pinsa (Romana) and Teglia (Romana)), all with their own specific dough formula (which take 3 days to create) in order to provide you with a high quality, elevated pizza experience.
At 11:00am, when they open, if you’re lucky enough to get into the store promptly, what you’ll find is their display case (the “Pizza Cabinet”) filled with 12 to 14 of these pizzas, with a variety of styles (occasionally you’ll also find a “Jersey Pizza” snuck in), all in a wide spectrum of flavours from your traditional “Pepperoni” to perhaps a “Jerk Chicken”. For anyone lucky enough to come in on time, you can grab one of these slices, a drink & be eating your lunch within minutes. However, you will need to act fast, as these pizzas go quickly and once they’re gone, they’re gone until the next day.
While there are a few of the usual staples, these flavours, as well as the flavours that are offered on their menu for order, are constantly changing depending on what fresh ingredients they are able to obtain and just what they feel like making that day. For many this touch is part of the appeal, there’s a personal feeling in coming into The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen and seeing what they’ve made for you today.
It’s more than just about the food; it’s about what the food has to offer you. It’s the experience of enjoying dining again that draws so many to The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen. So, when you’re ready to branch out and try something different, you know where to find it.
WRITTEN BY: JILLIAN KENT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CORY BRUYEA
RESOURCES: THE CRAFT PIZZA BAR & ITALIAN KITCHEN, ORANGEVILLE