Tasting gourmet pizza across the National Capital Region: Geneviève Brisson attends Pizza Night at Art is in Bakery

Geneviève Brisson is a master’s student in communication at the University of Ottawa, working on a thesis on gastronomic tourism. An Ottawa native, she has an appetite for discovering everything the National Capital Region has to offer, especially its burgeoning food scene.

News that Art is in Bakery was hosting a Pizza Night had me bubbling with anticipation.

While I had been a huge fan of their bread for a long time (like most people in this city who have had a chance to sink their teeth into its goodness), I had only very recently visited their retail location, where I savoured a truly magnificent sandwich for lunch… and had also been unable to leave without a small box of croissants and cookies. Needless to say, I was very much looking forward to tasting the pizza that this now-famous bakery would cook up.

On the evening of Sunday, November 6, I made my way to Art is in Bakery’s nondescript location. It was dark and chilly outside as I approached the place, but as soon as I opened the door, a flood of light and warmth washed over me and I was greeted with live music, animated chatter, and delicious aromas.

Given Art is in Bakery’s popularity, I expected it to be a busy event… and indeed it was! The small space felt a bit chaotic, but it was a space filled with happy people enjoying each others’ company over food, drinks and music. An almost constant stream of customers of all ages – families, friends, couples – came in and out the door as waiters moved about efficiently, calling out people’s orders, cleaning up tables, attending to customers’ needs in a warm and attentive manner, and at times stopping for a brief chat.

The menu of the evening featured three pizzas ranging from approximately $13 to $15, plus one starter and one dessert. Beer from Mill Street Brewery and wine from The Small Winemaker Collection was also on offer.

Since trying to find a spot to sit or stand to eat proved to be a bit of a challenge, I ended up taking in some of the live jazz and enjoying the atmosphere for a while before taking my pizza home to eat, as several other people seemed to be doing as well. Driving back, the pizza’s delightful smell filled the car and I grew eager to arrive at my destination.

I had opted for the pizza with fennel sausage and caramelized onions, which had a tomato-based sauce below its cheesy surface and came decorated with a few basil leaves. I found the medium-strong cheese to be a tad salty for my taste and the onions not at all prominent, but the meaty pieces of fennel sausage were nicely spiced and very flavourful. And while the pizza was quite oily on the surface, its overall flavour was still agreeable. The crust was quite thin, which made the dough nicely crisp on the outer periphery of the pizza, but a bit mushy towards the center. As for the edges of the crust, they were of a pleasantly airy, chewy and soft goodness.

Pizza Night was the first event of its kind held at Art is in Bakery, and judging by the turnout, it seems to have been quite a success! A portion of the evening’s proceeds were also going to a good cause: leukemia research. The staff mentioned that they would like to see more happenings similar to this one in the future – the type where food and art meet for people’s enjoyment.

Count me in.

Thanks for the post! Want to read more about Gen’s pizza adventures? Click here. Have a must-eat pizza suggestion for her? Comment below.