Not only David McMillan, owner of Joe Beef, Liverpool House and Le Vin Papillon, has his own restaurants trio, so do Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione too, and Pizzeria GEMA is one of them. As the restaurant is only few blocks away from the Jean Talon Market, the ingredients of their appetizers and pizzas use local products that are available at the market. There are two words to describe their food, fresh and home. Oh! If you are too full for pizza, their homemade ice cream is worth a detour too.
Mama Wang loves pizza, so I thought of bringing her here when she visited Montreal. A friend of mine also raved about it for a long time that it’s the only pizza place that she would crave for. We started with zampina pugliese, which is their homemade Pugliese sausage with sautéed rapini and late harvest red wine vinegar. The portion was a bit smaller than I expected, but the flavor exceed my expectation! The sausage itself was a bit too salty, but rapini toned down the saltiness, a perfect balance.
Instead of going for the pizzas on their regular menu, I opted for one of the three seasonal specials. Zucchini flower is one of the summer vegetables that’s available in Montreal during the months of May and June, normally. This pizza was topped with zucchini flowers, anchovies, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. There’s no sauce for this pizza, but the cheese was as creamy as white sauce! As for the crust, the deal breaker of a good pizza, it was both chewy and crisp.
I’ve also heard good things about their ice cream, which people come just for it! They have a take out windows outside, so people can have an ice cream in hand and sit outside to enjoy the nice summer weather in Montreal. I’ve also seen “frozen custard”, as what others called. The flavor of the day was vanilla and pistachio, which the latter is my favorite type of nut. Without a doubt, we opted for a swirl, so we can sample both flavors. I’m never a fan of any form of ice cream, but this frozen custard (expected to be heavier than ice cream) was mind blowing! I couldn’t stop! It was creamy yet light. My mom was surprised that I had more than one bite and didn’t put down my spoon till the end of the bowl.
Pizza isn’t something innovative, and it requires extra effort to make yourself stand out among millions of pizzerias out there. Not only creativity, but making pizza the way he wants and the way he likes to eat it, I’m sure the customers will like it, because who doesn’t like pizza nights at a friend’s?
6827 St-Dominique, Montreal
Tel: +1 (514) 419-4448