November 29th, 2013
A while back, we dismissed anything on Crescent as a tourist trap.
So when Wienstein & Gavino’s, one of the street’s landmark restaurants (it’s been around for 17 years!) invited us to sample their new menu, we accepted with some trepidation.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a charcuterie platter, antipasti, and bubbles. So far, so good. Next, Executive Chef Giuseppe Sacchetti enthusiastically welcomed us and explained his vision for the new menu. In a nutshell? Italian classics with a modern twist.
And then came more food: Succulent meatballs, homemade pasta, gorgeous pizza… Everything fresh, homemade and, needless to say, delicious.
We left pleasantly surprised, completely stuffed and happy as can be. —Christine Laroche
1434 Crescent St., Montreal, 514-288-2231, Montreal, www.wgmtl.com
July 19th, 2013
Forget the Inferno: Dante is a slice of delicious paradise.
Impasto, a new neighbourhood restaurant on – you guessed it! – Little Italy’s Dante Street, is a joint venture by Chefs Stefano Faita (CBC’s In the Kitchen) and Michele Forgione (formerly Verses, Koko, Osteria Venti and more).
The name translates to “prepare a mixture” and “kneading” in Italian and that says a lot: The restaurant’s breads and pastas are made fresh daily on-site. The menu takes diners on a tour of Italy using local Québec produce, for divine dishes that deliver the very best of both worlds.
Didn’t we mention something about heaven? – Christine Laroche
Impasto, 48 Dante St., Montreal, 514-508-6508.
(Photo courtesy of Julie Perreault.)
July 15th, 2011
The stretch of Notre Dame just west of Atwater has seen a foodie renaissance since Tuck Shop moved in last year.
Now new kid on the block Campanelli is adding to the burgeoning neighbourhood buzz with Italian-influenced sandwiches, salads and coffee. Tangy slices of apple and honey mustard brightened up a savoury prosciutto, bocconcini and marinated eggplant sandwich ($11), while the fresh roll stuffed with cheddar, apple, sundried tomato and homemade veggie-paté ($9.50) offered a satisfying vegetarian lunch. And you’ll deeply regret it if you leave without a buttery slice of tangy lemon tarte ($2.75) or one of their famous Landsdowne Squares ($2.75) for dessert.
Can’t make it that far west? Campanelli-made lunchboxes are also available at our home-office away from home-office, Lili & Oli Café at 2515 Notre-Dame West. —Jennifer Nachshen
Campanelli, 4634 Notre Dame St. W., Montreal, 514-933-7770, www.campanellifood.com
May 13th, 2011
We have to admit, we’re a bit of a foodie groupie. When we find a chef we like, we’ll follow him anywhere.
When Michele Forgione announced he’d be opening his own restaurant in Old Montreal, we made sure we visited the relaxed yet elegant Osteria Venti as soon as possible. Our meal started with the braised octopus with crisp fennel and tangy capers ($12) and the delicious tuna salad with homemade tuna preserves, black olives, tomatoes and cannellini beans ($11). Longing for some comfort food, we opted for the lasagne featuring the Bolognese sauce that won Forgione top honours in the Gazette’s Bolognese smack-down, and were rewarded with a rich and satisfying dish. With no room for a secondi or a dessert, we vowed to return again soon.
Not that we’re a stalker or anything.
Osteria Venti, 372 St-Paul W., Montreal, 514-284-0445, www.osteriaventi.com
September 10th, 2010
Just because we don’t have Mamma to cook for us, doesn’t mean we’re not longing for Italian comfort food
An homage to chef Ryan Dixon’s mother, cozy-chic Restaurant Jane serves delicious dishes inspired by her recipes. First up was a bowl of Mom’s Meatballs ($12), the very definition of soul food, then crispy melt-in-your-mouth crab cakes ($13). After noshing on gnudi (like gnocchi, but made from cheese not potatoes) with chanterelles and smoked turkey ($16), we devoured the Pizza Rossa with fluffy clouds of ricotta topping tomato-sauced crust ($18). We washed it down with summer-sweet strawberry-rhubarb lemonade spiked with Cachaça (Brazilian Hooch).
That's no plain Jane.
Restaurant Jane, 1744 Rue Notre-Dame W., Montreal, 514-759-6498.
August 6th, 2010
Now that Le Petit Italien has launched weekend Dim Sum brunch, our mornings start with a rousing round of dumplings.
Inspired by giant hotel buffets in Hong Kong, owner Alain Starosta has created a primo menu of 15 tapas-style dishes, from savoury to sweet. We cleaned our palate with Rice Crispy covered melon drizzled in lime and olive syrup (from $3), then dug into Italian beans drenched in tomatoes, pancetta and maple syrup ($2.75) and house dumplings with sausage and white balsamic ($4/3). Don’t miss the waffle with strawberry mousse and pistachio nuts ($3.25)—two will do.
Chopsticks before noon? We’re pros after a morning Mimosa.
1265 Bernard Street W., Outremont, 514-278-0888, www.lepetititalien.com
March 12th, 2010
It was bound to happen. Now you can add Kosher-Italian to the list of Montreal’s daring new fusion joints.
But don’t expect red-checkered tablecloths at Il Conté in Monkland Village. With its all-white modern décor, this lounge gets our heartiest Mazel Tov! The alluring menu features over a dozen tempting pizzas, but we love the towering meat lasagna ($14.95), cheesy eggplant parmesan ($13) and pizza al tonno served with an egg in the middle ($14.95).
Could Austrian-Asian be just around the corner? Bring it on.
Il Conté Lounge, 5557 Monkland Ave., Montreal, 514-439-4333.
November 27th, 2009
The most prized Italian imports aren’t always from Prada and Fellini.
Chefs around the world lineup for Italy’s imported white truffles, and these “diamonds of the kitchen” are now being flown into Montreal from the Northern region of Piedmont. For a nibble, we recommend the truffle tasting platters (from $25) at BU.
Part chic lounge, part Euro cantina, it’s the perfect spot for enjoying these little delicacies. Better still, the sommelier-trained servers can recommend a matching wine by the glass (we like the 2006 Chianti Ruffina).
But get there quick. Like the latest Prada It bag, they’ll be gone in less than a week.
Truffle menu at BU until November 30th, 5425 St. Laurent Blvd., Montreal, 514-276-0249, www.bu-mtl.com
June 26th, 2009
Like most sun-starved Montrealers, when days grow long we grab an iced caffè macchiato and bury our nose in Paula Froelich’s latest.
Now that Italian eatery Tredici3 is open after dark, while away the evening hours firmly ensconced on one of its trademark red patio chairs. For a leisurely meal al fresco, we’re munching on grilled calamari salad ($14) and spicy house pepper spread.
Sit, savour, sigh….
Tredici3, 275 Fairmount W., Montreal, 514-509-1341, www.tredici3.com