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Quest for an interesting Italian Restaurant

Hello,

Me and my family really love italian Restaurants, and every year, to start off the holiday, I invite my family out for a memorable dinner. I know montreal is not known for its italian culture, but im still wondering if there is any hidden gems. here is what i've tried so far:

Buenna Notte,
Otto,
Grazziella,
primadonna,
Bu,
Bottega,
Bice,
Kabanna,
La tomate blanche,

I am looking for somewhat a great atmosphere ( NOT SUPPER CLUB), but also don't want it to feel like a wake. great food, hopefully handmade pastas maybe pizza too. In toronto, I've really enjoyed Terronni, and i am kind of a fan of all of the battali restaurant I've tried ( Babbo, Mozza, Mozza piezzeria). our last few meals in montreal have been la colombe and Europea, so i'd like it to be a little upscale.

i've had the following possible ideas:

Osteria Venti
Hostaria
Primo & Secundo
Da emma
Il cortile

but pretty much all of them have both stellar review and abysmal one... anyone care of chime in with suggestion that do not involve a plane ticket?

thank you

-----
Europea
1227, rue de la Montagne, Montreal, QC H3G1Z2, CA

Bottega
65 Rue Saint-Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S1K7, CA

Hostaria
236 Rue St Zotique E, Montreal, QC H2S 1K9, CA

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  1. Go for Da Emma - I can't imagine where you'd have read a bad review of that place. It definitely won't disappoint.

    1 Reply
    1. Prima & Secundo or Da Emma are the top bets.

      1. There's a hidden Italian restaurant in the north end of the city that has 2 or 3 tables only. I heard it might be on St-Michel boulevard. They have no signs outside. It's ran by father and son apparently. I would be interested to find out more about that secret place.

        5 Replies
        1. re: maj54us

          Trattoria Senza Nome. There's an old review about this eccentric hidden gem in the Montreal Mirror: http://www.montrealmirror.com/2006/08....

          1. re: letterati

            I thought it was shut down shortly after that article was published...

            1. re: OliverB

              That may well be so. I was just responding to the thread. My grandparents live near there. I'll have to check it out (if I can figure out where it is, given that it doesn't/didn't have any signage advertising itself.)

              1. re: letterati

                9700 St-Michel boulevard is the address associated with Senza Nome, but I've never been myself, so I don't know if it still exists...

        2. This restaurant called Nora Gray is newish but it has been opened by staff from Liverpool House and got an excellent review today in the Mirror. Just putting it out there, seems like it might fit your requirements, only complaint seems to be about the noise level

          http://www.montrealmirror.com/wp/2011...
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/813754

          1 Reply
          1. re: jfprieur

            The food is very good, but the restaurant indeed is very loud, and the service is erratic (at best). It might be a great place for a date night, but I don't think I would bring my family there.

          2. Has anyone been to Primo in the past year?

            I'm thinking about a dinner there next week but haven't read anything good in a long, long time. Has the kitchen remained consistent over the years?

            2 Replies
            1. re: OliverB

              I ate at Primo e Secondo last year. One of the best Italian meals I've had outside of Italy (and better than some I've had there).

              It isn't cheap, but considering it's market cuisine, sourced from the Jean Talon Market around the corner, you're getting primo ingredients. I can't speak to the consistency of the cooking, but it's always had the same chef-owner, Roberto, who lives upstairs, and whose family helps run the place. If that isn't old-school Italian, I don't know what is.