Last weekend we decided to brave the cold, the line-ups and the inevitably long ride on the 506 streetcar to check out Virtuous Pie on its opening weekend here in Toronto! For those who are unfamiliar, Virtuous Pie is an upscale plant-based and sustainability-focused restaurant that offers an entirely vegan menu of handcrafted wood-fired pizza and ice cream! This is their third location in Canada, with two restaurants already established in Vancouver (and one in the U.S) After drooling over their Instagram and hearing great things from family in BC, we knew we were committed to making the trip!
The food was outstanding and the tiny space beautiful. We did ourselves a small disservice going for dinner on its second night open – we waited just over an hour to be seated at the window bar in a corner. If seated here on the low, backless stools there’s nowhere to comfortably remove a purse, hang a winter coat, or use too many hand gestures! 😉 Our “elbows in” little spot didn’t bother us much, as we’re used to Toronto dining and we were there to eat, drink and dash. Tables and three booths are also available – the seating is truly luck of the draw.
I also completely understand that staff can’t properly guess at wait times, as this is entirely determined by the patrons. Everyone working in the open kitchen area was fast, efficient and in great spirits.
Despite having a tasty tap-beer selection and wine menu, we were bummed that there’s nowhere to post up and have a drink as you await a table.
A few opening night hiccups detracted from an otherwise staffed up, friendly and accommodating service team. We appreciated a dedicated wait line greeter who kept tabs on everyone and took names down for tables. The format at Virtuous is to order and pay for food at the bar, then to take a number to your table. From here, wait staff serve and follow-up with guests. When our table was assigned, we weren’t told to order at the front, and would have waited longer, had I not spotted others being directed to do so already. We also ordered a dipping sauce as a separate follow-up to our full order (we forgot!) and it took so long to arrive that we had to forge ahead and eat our meal without it. These were minor annoyances that wouldn’t normally register with us, but when you’re cold and hangry, they’re noticed!
Amaaaaazing. It was so nice to enjoy a trendier spot and a night out dining, while still enjoying vegan comfort food classics. I had the smoothest, most delicious glass of cab merlot of my life I think – and the food arrived pretty quickly to the table, given how busy the night was.
Here’s what we shared:
Mac n’ Cheese Skillet
Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce, Penne Pasta, Bacon Bits, Fresh Parm
If you’re wondering if this was as tasty, hot, bubbly and creamy as it looks… it was!! The bacon bits and mysterious vegan parm added some sharpness and salty crunch, and the vegan cheese sauce was on point – no sweet or yeasty aftertaste.
Cheddar Cream, Cashew Mozzarella, Queso Fresco, San Marzano Drizzle, Red Onion, Parmesan, Rosemary, Thyme
So delicious! This one had a more traditional pizza flavour and was nice and cheesy. The herbs were an amazing addition, and we spent some time trying to guess what the vegan parmesan was made of -we came up short, but it was so tasty!
Bianca, Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower, Crisp Fried Shallots, Blue Cheese Drizzle, Scallion
As a big fan of buffalo cauliflower wings, I knew we had to get this one! I wouldn’t have minded a little more sauce (either the buffalo or “blue cheese), but it was otherwise deliciously satisfying – and not too spicy.
I will absolutely eat here again – I just might opt for a weekday meal, lunch or take-out. You need to check it out!