1433 Corydon Avenue
Neighbourhood: River Heights
Bonfire Bistro is one of those neighbourhood haunts that the locals would probably prefer to keep on the down low.
If everyone knew how good this bistro was, no one would ever get a table.
As it is, this River Heights eatery is a very popular spot. Arrive early on Friday and Saturday evenings if you have to make it in time for the puck drop, the curtain rising or the opening credits.
If you’ve got no pressing engagements, settle in for a little linger over an outstanding wood-fired pizza, pasta or daily special. The pizzas are all made inside the large stone oven at the back of the main dining room.
Modern pizza ingredients like Serrano ham, fennel, pear, Stilton blue cheese, arugula, balsamic glaze, hot Italian sausage and preserved lemon make the cut here. Choose from nine customized pizzas. Even though you might recognize some ‘classics’ (think pepperoni, Hawaiian, Margherita, vegetarian and mushroom), all the pies have been modified and jazzed up with additional, out-of-the-box ingredients. Five of the nine pizzas also bring the heat.
Enter the Spicy La Bomba Chicken pizza. A generous layer of spicy La Bomba sauce starts the madness. Fresh roasted red peppers, a generous helping of fresh jalapeño slivers and scads of chicken breast tossed in additional spices come next. (Confession: I couldn’t tell if the heat was just coming from the sauce or the chicken, or both.)
A canopy of oozing mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of cilantro topped the pie. Drizzles of yogurt citronette were definitely there but hard to discern on my scorched tongue.
Bring the heat. No wimpy pizzas, I say. When Bonfire says ‘spicy,’ they mean it. You’ve been warned.
Pizza is just the beginning here. Bonfire has a great menu of pastas and entrées too. Daily specials are worth a try as well. Take a look at the menu here.
Also of note: Bonfire Bistro has some of the best food photography around. One look at the website and you may find yourself heading straight there. (Even as I write this post I’m planning my next visit.) The photos are fantastic and the real dishes certainly live up to their pictures.
Insider’s tip: Bonfire Bistro doesn’t take reservations.