Pizzeria Defina, 321 Roncesvalles Avenue, is one of the newer restaurants on the Roncey strip. It is small(ish), casual and "family friendly". Truth be told, the number of ankle biters kind of puts me off as I'm trying to have an adult dinner with a friend but I don't forget where I am; Roncesvalles is family ville.
The space is nice enough. There's exposed brick, gleaming hardwood, bright colours and a massive wood burning oven in the center of the open concept 'pizza area' (all other dishes come from the back of the house kitchen). I don't understand why the music is quiet and Top 40 as it does nothing to enhance the concept of an Italian pizzeria. I'm also confused about the tapas menu and the addition of paella to the main course options. I hate fragmented restaurant concepts.
A Caesar salad ($8) is not really a Caesar salad. Sure there is romaine lettuce, shaved Parmigiano, croutons and bacon but the sweet and tangy vinaigrette dressing and the absence of anchovies, garlic and lemon make this anything but a Caesar. Having said that, it is tasty.
You have a choice between a Napoletana or a Roma crust on your pizza. We are told the former is more chewy while the Roma is thinner and crispier. This is a half truth. The two have the same thinness and are both somewhat soggy. The Roma is not as soggy. Both crusts are a little too charred with the perimeters tasting burnt.
The Margherita ($13) is traditional with a San Marzano tomato sauce, fiore di latte, Parmigiano and basil. The sauce is on sweeter side and there's a little too much of it but it's a good sauce. It passes. There's the right amount of cheese but not enough basil.
The Prosciutto ($16) is another traditional combo of tomato sauce, thinly sliced prosciutto, shaved Parmigiano and fresh arugula. Again, it's good.
Pizzeria Defina fails to impress but it doesn't disappoint.