French cuisine may be the most popular fare in Montreal, but over the last several years, Italian restaurants have been on the rise with chefs bringing both northern and southern Italian influence to this cultural capital of Canada. Here are some of the best Italian restaurants in Montreal.
They may be known best for their authentic wood-fire oven pizzas such as the prosciutto e rucola (a red-sauce pie with prosciutto, arugula and fresh mozzarella cheese) or the focaccia salsiccia e rapini (a white pizza with Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella cheese, rapinis, olive oil, fine herbs and basil), but Artigiani Pizzeria Ristorante’s pasta dishes are equally noteworthy. Try the tagliatelle al funghi trifolati (a pasta dish mixed with mushrooms and truffle oil) or the orecchiette al ragu di cinghiale (orecchiette pasta with a wild boar ragu).
Artigiani Pizzeria Ristorante, 4657 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2J 2L5, Canada; +1 514 564 5842
Expect fine dining in a contemporary setting with exposed brick walls and a laid-back vibe at Quattro, a trendy new spot opened by three Italian gentlemen who have been best friends since childhood. Their knowledge of wines and authentic Italian cuisine makes the menu one of the best in old Montreal. They offer everything from the classic spaghetti alla puttanesca (complete with tomato sauce, garlic, chilies, anchovies, olives, capers and confit octopus) to scaloppini di vitello, veal scaloppini with white wine and lemon. Finish off the night with the tiramisu or granita.
Quattro, 17 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; +1 514 903 2909
Il Campari Centro offers high-end Northern Italian fare in an elegant backdrop with wood paneling and white linen tables. Boasting delicious and traditional classics such as Ossobuco alla Milanese (cross-cut veal shanks in a white wine and broth sauce) and gnocchi al Gorgonzola e noce (homemade potato-pasta with Gorgonzola cheese and nuts), this place is especially known for their veal scallops, offered in six different sauces including a Marsala wine sauce, Saltimbocca (with Italian prosciutto), or “Alla Parmigiana” (breaded with tomato sauce and cheese).
Il Campari Centro, 1177 Rue de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; +1 514 868 1177
A wine bar with an old-time feel, guests can enjoy live jazz music seven days a week, top-notch Italian cuisine and an extensive wine list completes a meal at Modavie. For pasta dishes, try the lamb cavatelli with tomatoes, fennel and Parmesan, or the mushroom risotto with porcini and Parisian mushrooms. For meats, the salmon steak with mint sauce and sour cream, the duck confit with caramelized onions, or the rack of lamb in a fine herb sauce with goat cheese, potatoes and vegetables are all winners.
Modavie, 1 Rue Saint Paul O, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; +1 514 287 9582
La Campagnola is a charming, rustic spot passed down from generation to generation, serving authentic Italian cuisine that’s fresh and tasty. You can enjoy individual or family-style dining with dishes such as spicy penne with garlic, oil and rapini, traditional lasagna, or tortellini with mushrooms, shallots, cognac and a rose sauce. The menu also offers thin crust pizzas (try the clams and lemon with Parmesan, roasted garlic and parsley) and a variety of meat dishes (veal scallops, grilled racks of lamb and a filet mignon). It’s BYOW (bring your own wine).
La Campagnola, 1714 Av Dollard, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; +1 514 363 4066