When you hear Wood oven pizza right away you think of an awesome pizza that you just can’t wait to have. That was our thoughts when we heard about Il Focolaio which is located downtown Montreal in front of The Bay in Phillips Square. We’ve always heard about this place and decided one night before a movie with some friends that we would try it out. We figured it’s really hard to mess up pizza so what do we have to lose? It was time for some pizza and a fun night out. We could almost smell the burning wood just by writing this review.
We arrived at Il Focolaio which is located in Phillips Square, Montreal. We were in a group of 6 and it took only a few moments to find us a seat which was impressively fast on a Saturday night. We sat down and were provided with our menus and seen the 75 different types of pizza. This was perfect as it had something for everyone. As you start to look through the options though, you start to see that this isn’t going to be an easy choice. It all comes down to what you’re in the mood for and what it is going to be mixed with. Everyone at the table had a different style pizza at the table but it was putting in the order that took a little long. We had to call over our waiter to let him know we were ready to order as they didn’t come by to check on our progress after we sat down. We ordered our food and then the wait begins. The restaurant was your typical open decor and simple hole in the wall joint. There was nothing special about the painting, floors or even the tables and chairs. It seemed like they were banking on their food to do the talking. The one room piece which was nice is the wood oven in the back of the restaurant but it’s really hidden behind glass. The show piece of the room being covered is not the way to make people see what they are there to experience. At least the open atmosphere leads to a lot of chatting and makes it’s a comfortable restaurant to be in.
We we’re waiting for a bit and talking within the group when things started to get noticeable. We were waiting for roughly 20 minutes and after seeing tables that arrived after us get their food, we were wondering what was wrong. We were sitting near the oven which is located in the back of the restaurant and can see pizzas going in and out but nothing ever coming to our table. The waiters came over and let us know it wouldn’t be too much longer which was good but that wasn’t enough. Another 20 minutes passed and we were almost ready to get up and walk out. It really took 45 minutes to get our food for a group of 6, just really inexcusable.
We finally received our food after waiting so long and were running short on time. You would think an hour and a half would be plenty of time to order food and enjoy a meal but it wasn’t here. It left a sour taste in our mouth but that wasn’t the end of it. Some of the ingredients listed on the menu were not even included on the pizzas we ordered which made the meal even worse. The restaurant really didn’t have their A game on this night. Once we finished our pizzas and asked for the bill, we were offered free dessert which was a nice gesture due to the wait for our food. As we were running late for our movie now, we were not able to accept the free dessert. Our bills were brought to the table and we paid them and ran out of the restaurant disappointed. In the end, this place is probably a really good pizza joint but how can you trust a restaurant that cannot get 6 pizza orders right and made in a timely manner. The pizza we had was great minus the missing toppings but there were too many issues in one meal to say this is a commendable restaurant. This might be the one and only time we try it out as they dropped the dough here. Il Focolaio looks and sounds nice, but once you are in there, don’t expect too much.