It’s nice to see that Little Italy is now a little everywhere in Montreal, with authentic, regional Italian cuisine served at new restaurants like Stuzzichi and Osteria Venti in Old Montreal and now Little Italy introducing one of its legendary Italian restaurants to the city centre – Vinizza Osteria Enoteca. The original Vinizza is still up on Jean Talon, but its sister resto opened on Metcalfe last fall. Serving the same Tuscan- and Neapolitan-inspired cuisine, what makes this version unique from the original is its red-hued decor and the impressive, near floor-to-ceiling original artworks depicting such Italian greats as Sophia Loren and Federico Fellini by local artist Louis Boudreault. Another red-tinted element that doesn’t go unnoticed is a very shiny Vespa perched behind the bar.
Once you’ve admired the decor and the artwork, it’s time to admire the menu – the true motivation for a visit to Vinizza being your desire for a divine Italian dining experience. At least, that was mine! I enjoyed an incredible meal from start to finish, but I’ll just leave you with a few of my highlights… A pizza rusticana (mozzarina, portobello, ham and artichoke) as a starter; octopus carpaccio served with thin slices of mango; eggplant and potato parmigiana (amazing! – constructed like lasagne, but without pasta); succulent lamb ragout served on broad pasta (probably my favourite dish of the evening); and for dessert, tiramisu limoncello – a lemony and mascarpone-y delight! The dishes were accompanied by two amazing wines. I can still taste the Smeriglio Baracchi merlot!
If all that fab food makes you feel guilty, you’ll be pleased to find out that for every main dish sold, Vinizza donates a part of the proceeds to l’Acceuil Bonneau. Which makes a second serving of pasta not such a bad idea after all!
Vinizza in Little Italy
150 Jean-Talon Est