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Jul 7, 2010 01:07 PM

Le Latini : An Overpriced Disappointment

Looking for someplace to eat before a Jazzfest concert last Sunday, my wife and I decided to try Le Latini, for the first time.

We had a great table outside by the pond. Decided to start with a couple of Kir Royales. Fairly nice, but I wonder if it is uncool to ask the price before ordering such a drink; they were $18 each, and they did not use Champagne.

They did not have the stuffed zucchini flowers we asked for, so my wife had the lamb sausages while I had the white asparagus. The sausages were unexceptional, and a bit too spicy hot. The asparagus dish consisted of a few spears with a light coating of grilled cheese, and about six slices of very nicely sliced prosciutto. All for $18; really pricey.

My wife decided to go cheap and ordered the cheapest dish on the menu: spaghetti with black pepper and cheese. That was it. For $24!

I had the veal scaloppini. It was not as tender as I would have liked, and was oversalted. $36. I looked at other items on the menu; I love lamb, but was not about to order the rack at $68 at a resto unknown to me - a wise move, evidently, considering the quality of the food.

I have go mention here that the service was really good.

With 2 iced teas the price for that disappointing meal before the tip was $178. We both agreed that we should have planned better, arrived in Montreal earlier, and eaten at Europea or Milos, where we would have eaten well for that money.

Le Latini was really overpriced, and the quality is lacking. Considering we were a bit pressed for time we should have opted to take out from the food court at Complex Desjardins, bought a bottle of real Champagne from the SAQ, and shared that in our room at the Hyatt. It would have cost us less than half as much and would have been more enjoyable; food court food is never disappointing as I never expect much.

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  1. I went to Le Latini for lunch after a nearby conference last year and regretted also. I'm not sure if it just went downhill as the food used to be great, but I found it a major rip-off. Overpriced for sure but the food was not up to standards for half of what they were charging and I found the whole atmosphere pretentious and not to my liking. I should've just gone to Chinatown. I wouldn't go back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: OliverB

      I SOOO agree.

      I went there last Sunday with 3 other people.

      We made the reservation days before on Open Table. We originally wanted a 5 pm reservation since we were going to a show after but all the tables at 5PM were already we chose 4:30.

      When we got there, the door was locked and the place was empty.

      We then saw some staff looking at us as if we were aliens. Finally, someone came to us. When we told him we had a 4:30 reservation, he said they only open at 5...
      On the opening hours sign at the front door it even says that they open at 4 pm. He said they had new management and the times were changed. They had our reservation days before. Someone should have called us! Never once did he apologize. I felt SO irritated.

      They finally let us in but did not serve us until 5.

      They started with some stale grissini bread sticks...

      I ordered the prosciutto and melon as an appetizer. This was offered up by the waiter - it was not on the menu so I didn't know the price. I figured it couldn't be much more than $12. Was I ever wrong. When we go the bill I checked - $26.00! For that I got 2 smaller-sized wedges of cantaloupe and maybe 6-8 slices of chewy prosciutto. It was good...but not THAT good.

      For my main I ordered the gnocchi. I'm sorry to was disgusting. Just the smell of it turned my stomach. That was another $26 down the drain.

      The other 3 people took the table d'hote. We ordered 1 bottle of wine and 2 bottles of Pelligrino. With tax and tip the bill pretty much came to $400.00. What a waste. We could have had a feast at any one of the high end restaurants (with amazing ambiance) at the Dix30 in Brossard for less than that.

      Le Latini could use an overhaul. It's way too 80's for me.

      I had a terrible overall experience and will NEVER go back.

    2. An interesting report on Moreno de Marchi appeared in last Saturday's edition of La Presse along with a last minute update stating that he had just ended his 30-year association wtih Le Latini.

      1. Next door resto Nizza would have been a better bet.

        1121 Anderson, Montreal, QC H2Z 1M1, CA

        1. Nice post, I agree on all points.
          I always drive by Le Latini when looking for parking for Chinatown and wonder how they stay open. I figure the clientele is of the "The-food-doesn't-matter-and-I-ain't-happy-unless-I-pay-way-too-much-for-a-meal" group...

          1. I had a business dinner there last night with 6 colleagues and I agree with the title of this post; I would never willingly go there much less pay premium prices for average food.
            They had a set menu for us to choose from; 5 of us decided on a ''fondente di bufula con porcini'' as a primi and scallops seared on the ''plancha'' as a secondi.

            Let me start by saying that the bread and breadsticks were somewhat old-tasting.

            The primi of fried mozzrella with a mushroom sauce was one of the worst things I've eaten lately:
            -the batter that it was dipped in before frying tasted stale
            -frying mozzarella isn't a great idea to start with
            -the mushroom sauce was very woodsy and overpowering for the cheese

            The seared scallops were good and were served with some creamy spaghetti reminiscent of carbonara but I would never pay $55 for such an average dish.

            Lastly, they served a phyllo cup with fruit salad and a dollop of cream as dessert. The fruit salad consisted of raspberries, strawberries, pear, kiwi and blueberries. Since I am allergic to kiwi, I asked the waiter if the green fruit I saw poking through was indeed kiwi. He said no and walked away!! My colleagues confirmed that it was indeed kiwi and the head of our table tried to flag some body down to no avail. A few minutes later, the''head'' waiter showed up and asked what the problem was and I explained. He told me would I like something with berries only. I said yes...well, I got a plate of cut strawberries and raspberries. No phyllo cup, no cream, NADA. This is a high end restaurant?? To boot some of the raspberries were moldy! Ugh!

            The service was brusque and incompatible with what you would expect from a restaurant of a certain caliber. le Latini is way past its peak; it's tired and old and I won't be returning any time soon!