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Pi Gourmet – Restaurant Review

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Pi Gourmet – Restaurant Review

Name: Pi Gourmet
Where: 10 Kings road
Average Price: Around $50 with drinks and dessert.
Suggested dishes: The Genius Pizza

Hours:
mon – thu 12p – 10p
fri – sat 12p – 11p
sun 4p – 10p
Rating: 4/5

Pi Gourmet has quickly become an institution in the St.John’s restaurant scene, and for good reason. After decades of pizza franchises offering carbon copied, personality free takes on pizza, and quick and cheap mom and pop joints providing a drunkard’s sloppy fix after a night on George St., it was high time the city had a unique pizza experience. Opened in 2008 by well known local chef Meaghan O’ Dea and local businessman Dave Hopely, Pi struck a chord with St. John’s and its rapidly expanding foodie market practically overnight. Three years later, Pi is still packed nightly and its pizza has even competed internationally in a competition held annually in Las Vegas, two years running.

Amid all the hype, Pi has kept its feet firmly on the ground. A colourful resturant with open space, bright walls, and hip decor, its walls are lined with local art and an eclectic music mix adds to the atmosphere. In a nod to its name, the border on Pi’s wall is actually the matematical constant Pi(3.14…) itself, while several of the pizzas on the menu are named after ancient greek mathematicians. The servers are outgoing and knowledgable about the menu, at times they are downright excited about certain menu items and specials and make great recommendations. Their down to earth way with customers makes one feel at ease during a visit to Pi. The staff are all obviously good friends which also adds to the casual, warm, and laid-back atmosphere there.

Then there’s the food, the “Pi” if you will, and there’s much more to Pi Gourmet than just pizza. In addition to over 15 varieties of pizza, there are 11 bases/sauces, 28 veggies, 8 meats, and 6 cheeses, plus vegan crust and cheese is available to customize your own. There is also 6 varieties of pasta and 4 salads. Pi also sells freshly baked loaves of homestyle bread which is the kind they serve in house, plus they’ve recently started selling their sauces as well. It’s this accommodation and accessibility to their clientele that has made Pi a fixture in downtown St.John’s.

With such a great menu, it’s pretty hard yo narrow down the standout favorites but there’s certainly some items they’re known for. One of the standouts is their pizza known as The Genius which eats like a gourmet garlic fingers with it’s olive oil garlic base topped with baby greens, leeks, minced hot peppers, pear and onion compote, bacon and feta. Another standout is the Szechuan Chicken, a spicy satisfying pizza with a habanero-infused tomato base topped with baby spinach, roasted red pepper, red onions, chicken and pineapple chunks. For a more standard pizza, Pi does The Classic, and they do it well with a herb tomato base topped with pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms and sliced fresh tomatoes.

If you’re looking for lighter fare, try a Mediterranean salad, a blend of lettuce with green peppers, red onion, artichoke hearts, olives and fresh parmesan, topped with their fabulous dressing, which is made in house and used as a pizza base as well. Another lighter option that is full of flavor is their Mulligitawny, a mildly spiced, curry chicken soup which sells out quite fast,once word gets out that a pot is on. Widely reputed to cure what ails you, the soup pairs well with Pi’s garlic cheese bread, which is much better than any garlic bread you’ve had at some most pizza resturants.

To cap things off, if you have room, do ask your server what is available for dessert, whatever it is, you won’t be disappointed, at all.The best of the best, as every dessert there is good, include carrot cake with brown sugar icing which is rich without being too heavy, and Pi’s amazing cheesecakes in Creamsicle and Pineapple Crush flavors. All desserts are whipped up by owner Meaghan O’Dea and are a fine sendoff after a sumptuous meal at Pi.

Pi is open Monday toThursday from 12pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 11pm, and Sundays from 4pm to 10pm.Call ahead to book a table, it’s often bustling during supper hours and very much on the weekend, but it’s well worth it. Feel free to check at their online menu at http://gourmetpi.com/.

Review By: Vanessa Wade

THE SCENE


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