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Looking for Montreal's Best Italian Restaurant

c
CCKaufmann Dec 4, 2009 11:21 AM

Hi everyone,
I'm looking for the best italian restauant in montreal in a mid-range price category. It needs to be on the island, and ideally close to downtown. I'm open to suggestions with regards to the food type, but not pizza...
Thanks

  1. m
    maisonbistro Dec 4, 2009 11:40 AM

    Le Latini (pricey), Da Emma (Old Montreal) are old stand bys- but I have been to neither in the recent past so can't comment on what they are now.

    1. m
      montreal traveller Dec 4, 2009 11:53 AM

      Da Emma in Old Montreal is great, also like Lucca very much in little Italy

      1. e
        Evilbanana11 Dec 4, 2009 12:01 PM

        I like Lucca and Cafe via Dante.

        www.cafeviadante.com

        1. NickMontreal Dec 4, 2009 12:42 PM

          IMHO Il Mulino offers some of the best Italian food in the city. Mid range? Not quite. Close to downtown? That depends what you call close. Worth it? Hell yes.

          I'll tell you what I like about it - it follows with the whole ethos of Italian food. Freshness and simplicity are the pillars of Italian cooking and Il Mulino respects that. To the point where some of the items on the menu can seem a little insipid. Like a dish of gnocchi with pomodoro and basil for instance.

          But your first bite will show you that it's anything but boring. It's just good flavours, unadorned and balanced.

          What's more - the interior is charming and intimate. I'd say it could seat 50 people max... It's the kind of place where you can expect a nice converstaion with the owner...

          Definitely one of my faves... I was meant to go there tomorrow but they were full! Grr!

          1. carswell Dec 4, 2009 12:45 PM

            Via Dante and, especially, Lucca in Little Italy used to be my go-to places. Haven't been to either in a while and both have gotten some mixed reports.

            Graziella in Old Montreal is excellent though arguably a little pricier than mid-range.

            While I've not yet made it to Salute (234 Laurier West, 514 273-9378), it'd be on my short list if I were in your shoes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: carswell
              cherylmtl Dec 4, 2009 12:58 PM

              Consider yourself lucky that you haven't been to Salute yet, Carswell. IMHO it shouldn't be on anyone's short list. It's not really Italian - it's offers dishes that are Italian, French and Spanish - it can't seem to make up its mind what it really is. I ate there a few months back with a group of friends (on a strength of a glowing review in the Gazoo -a mistake I won't make again), and found the food ordinary, and the service poor. The meals we had bore no resemblance to those we had read about in the review...
              Da Emma, on the other hand, would definitely be on my short list. I had a great meal there last year. Another option (although not quite as Italian) would be Liverpool House.

              1. re: cherylmtl
                carswell Dec 4, 2009 01:47 PM

                Thanks for the heads-up, cherylmtl. Interestingly, it wasn't just the Gazoo that raved about it, though.

                Can Da Emma be called moderately priced since they moved to Old Montreal? Certainly not Latini expensive but still...

            2. g
              gradstudent_gourmet Mar 17, 2010 05:16 PM

              Would anyone care to cast a vote between il mulino, via Dante and Lucca? or can anyone provide information that would help me choose between them? And how might these compare to primo and secondo?
              In case it helps, I'm looking for a place to have dinner with my parents, who will be visiting for easter weekend.

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