The Fourth Man in the Fire
The Fourth Man in the Fire is a biblical reference, implying a sense of protection from eating out at overpriced restaurants in Toronto.
It's not a far cry from the concept of owner Shant Mardirosian's previous project, Burger's Priest, whose slogan was "Redeeming the burger one at a time."
The restaurant takes over the former Campagnolo space, made over in what Mardirosian calls "pizzeria green" — a classy deep olive, the walls covered in "autographed" celeb photos. Though the decor is old-school with 66 comfy low seats, iPad menus rest on every single wooden table.
With Fourth Man, Mardirosian seeks to get rid of all the things that bother him about restaurants, taking care of diners and staff with equal care (every position is paid $20 an hour).
As such, when you order, tap your card on the back of the iPad and it's automatically sent to the kitchen and paid for.
Another iPad next to the door on your way out prompts tipping options, and there's also a mailbox for cash tips.
One goal was to feed four people for under $100, accomplished with a $97.97 special (taxes included) of an 18-inch pizza, family-size salad, two beers, four glasses of wine, two cans of soda, and a slice of coconut cream pie.
All pizzas ($27), in fact, are 18 inches, done in a loosely retro American Midwest style (think the best version of Domino's or Pizza Hut).
House dough is made with Caputo 00 flour and house sauce with San Marzano tomatoes, cheese a blend of whole milk mozzarella plus three others, every pie typically finished with a frilly shaving of parm.
Italian sausage is made in house too, but we go with a classic pepperoni.
The mildly spicy slices of meat are more flat and greasy than little, crispy and cupped.
The family-size Caesar salad that feeds four to six goes for $16 a la carte, a massive size for one or two priced at $10. Chopped Romaine is accented by an eggless Caesar vinaigrette plus chewy, smoky bacon bits, gigantic spongy croutons and of course, parm.
Coconut cream pie ($9) is made in house, a crusty coconut shortbread base layered with a sort of dense and sweet coconut custard, fluffy whipped cream and toasted coconut.
As for drinks, press a button built into the table, almost like on an airplane.
A drinks cart will be rolled over to you, flight-attendant-style.
Bottles of Miller High Life are just $3.89 with tax, the crisp beer an iconic throwback complement to the greasy, heavy food.
Glasses of Chianti go for $5, dry but still a little fruity and crushable with food.
There's space for a patio seating 29 outside.