Looking for Montreal's Best Italian Restaurant
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...
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.
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!
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.
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.