I had been eyeing Sasso for a few months now. I don’t really live near this neck of the woods so it was a bit of a strain for me to get to easily. However, when the opportunity arose, you had better believe I took it. My girlfriend and I decided to head over for a quick bite to see what it was all about. Overall, I was impressed by many aspects of the restaurant. The vibe, the wait staff, and the composition of the menu; everything is pretty great. A lot of great culinary ideas; Sasso was really set apart from the typical restaurants in the area. Their ingredients and menu options make this place a must-try.
We were absolutely starving by the time we got to the restaurant so the aroma wafting throughout the place was intoxicating. A wood-fired stone pizza oven will often do that to a restaurant. One of the girls met us at the front door and promptly sat us in a cozy booth near the front of the restaurant. She gave us a quick rundown of the specials, gave us menus, and left us to peruse the options.
There is one major flaw with going to a restaurant when you’re absolutely starved: You don’t think clearly. Everything seems like a great idea and you don’t usually end up picking what you really want. In this specific instance, I went to a pizza place with a stone oven and ended up getting a chicken sandwich. Now there is a small amount of reason behind this; I knew I would get to try my girlfriend’s pizza and I wanted to cover as much ‘reviewing ground’ as possible with one single visit. In this case, it went somewhat poorly.
I ended up ordering the ‘The Bird’ which is a fried chicken sandwich served with BBQ mayo, slaw, and pickles. All the sandwiches or ‘Sang-wiches’ on the menu come with a choice of two sides; this is where I made my critical error. I opted to try two of their salads: The Weed, eh? salad which is a dandelion salad with goat cheese and quinoa in a prosciutto and rhubarb vinaigrette and the Spring Potato salad which was new potatoes, coal-roasted onions, spring vegetables and a tarragon-green onion vinaigrette. The dandelion green salad was to die for. Absolutely delicious and extremely well balanced. The Spring Potato salad was not enjoyable at all. The waitress did say that it wasn’t your typical creamy mayonnaise-based potato salad which I fully understood. However, this was just poorly put together. This salad was flavorless, bland, and inedible. I rarely leave food on my plate but this was just lackluster. Definitely should have gotten double dandelion salad.
As for the sandwich itself, the chicken was juicy and crispy; done low and slow for a perfect coating. The bun was great, and the slaw was decent. Overall, it was missing something. The coleslaw maybe needed to be incredible or something. All in all, I was a bit disappointed with this dish as I had said previously. I guess I’ll just have to go back!
My girlfriend on the other hand, she ordered properly. She ordered a pizza called the ‘Cristian Carbo’. This was a bianchi pizza (white pizza) with maple bacon, garlic crumb, and a hen egg. Typically, this pizza would come with edamame beans on as well but we opted against that. This pizza looked absolutely stunning when she delivered it. The pizza is served with a knife to puncture the hen egg that’s been cooked on top of the pizza. I managed to get a quick video of this before it was popped so I could forever remember the lovely experience of a yolk covering a freshly baked pizza. The crust is the absolute star of the dish. It’s chewy, crunchy, light, and heavy… it defies description. It’s pretty magical. Any crust that’s been fired in a stone oven is going to have some serious depth of flavor, but this one is on the money. The pizza was delicious and flavorful; whatever ‘garlic crumb’ is, it’s delicious! Adds a great textural component and a ton of garlic flavor. The only downside to the pizza was that the egg was just barely undercooked so there was a bit too much ‘egg goop’ on the top. It was definitely little too goopy for us so we ended up scraping it off.
The bottom line is that the pizza here is incredible, the service and atmosphere was great, and it has a unique and explorative menu. Definitely worth checking out. Anyways, if you’re in the area and feeling like a quick bite, check it out!
1595 Upper James Street