Montreal is home to generations of Canadian Italians. We love to eat, but unfortunately many restaurants that claim to serve authentic Italian cuisine, leave us feeling underwhelmed.
Having lived in Montreal for 17 years, I had yet to visit the famous Ristorante Buonanotte – a restaurant mind you, that has graced Montreal’s Main with its presence for over 25 years.
Despite the continuous turn-over of restaurants on The Main, Buonanotte has outlived dozens of competitors. Ristorante Buonanotte proves that survival is an attainable goal, and reminds us that authentic Italian eats are accessible and on-trend.
I must admit, when I was originally invited to try out the spring menu by Buonanotte’s most recent hire, I was a bit skeptical. The supper club life was never something that I actively sought out and I avoided them at all costs – largely due to the crowd they attract. Full honesty brought to you by: Nudabite.
I sat in good company during the media tasting among some of Montreal’s most creative food bloggers, the ones who keep it real, honest and classy (just don’t give us too much wine). Yes, it was a good night, and I am pleased to report that the experience at Ristorante Buonanotte was not only positive, but I’m starting to consider myself an unofficial ambassador to the restaurant.
Executive Chef Marco Bertoldini graced us with a menu that looked like an artistic modernized Italian spread with traditional flavours. The fresh, seasonal ingredients were rich with flavour and our wine complimented each dish nicely.
We started off with an artistic charcuterie platter. On display was pistachio decorated mortadella, duck prosciutto and local Quebec cheese that was light and creamy (+A for the local factor and amazing taste combination).Charcuterie: Duck Prosciutto, Mortadella, and Quebec Cheese
Next up was the Frisé Spring Mix Salad with squash and pomegranate. Though this dish was created with spring in mind, it would also work perfectly on a summer menu and last you right up until September. The dish was fresh, light and packed with rich flavours, even considering the lightness factor.Frisé Salad with Squash and Pomegranate
Fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and spring pea shoots is a salad I would eat any day. The walnuts were a nice addition, although if you are considering replicating this dish at home, slivered almonds would also work.Heirloom Tomato Salad with Spring Pea Shoots, Walnuts and Cheese
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love pizza. Below is the White Pizza (note: white since there is no red sauce). This dish was packed with heirloom tomatoes, sliced asparagus and thinly sliced, oh-so delicate Iberico lardo reminded me what dreams were made of. I could eat two of these, easily, however I maintained awareness that the company I kept likely wouldn’t appreciate this.White Pizza with Asparagus, Tomatoes and Iberico lardo
Spring season means fiddlehead season, which means Jes is a happy gal season. Although I have been avoiding pasta like the plague (umm, summer body, anyone?) that quickly faded once I was faced with this beauty. Some call this defeat, I retort with good eats.
Everything about this pasta dish was on point: saffron pasta, pork sausage, fiddleheads, with a citrus finish and toasted breadcrumbs? Yes please!
Fish is a big part of Italian cuisine. While I don’t often eat Sea Bass, I certainly did that night and it was delicious. The celery root purée with peas complimented the Sea Bass, crust and all.Sea Bass with Celery Root Purée, Peas & Pickled Onions
An authentic Italian dinner would not be complete without the traditional cured meats and olives platter to round off the dinner service portion. The combination of mortadella, prosciutto, marinated eggplant, salami, artichokes,prosciuttini and coppa didn’t last long, despite the fullness of our bellies.Charcuterie Platter
No matter how full you find yourself at an Italian family function, you are always expected to finish dessert. Oy, always up for a challenge!
Of course the wine was starting to kick in by this point, and in typical media form we maintained an ‘all for one and one for all’ position on this dinner. And we were owning it.
First up was the chocolate and pear cake, followed by tiramisu. Layers for days, and I’m lucky I managed to snag just one bite!Chocolate and Pear Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Tiramisu before Tiramisu after
Lastly, what meal would be complete without gelato? We’ve come this far, might as well see it through to the finish line, right?
So good, so fresh, and so tasty. But it’s enough now…please. Another bite, and they’ll have to roll us out the door.Gelato for dessert? Yes please.
At the end of our meal, we were given a tour of the wine cellar (does this count as post-dinner exercise?) The vintage on some of those wines are older than I am, which left me feeling young and carefree. Buonanotte has a 2-glass designation by the prestigious Wine Spectator, which brings absolute world class status as they are recognized for their wine cellar and pairing expertise. Co-owner Lino Lozza is the architect of Buonanotte’s wine cellar, as he is immensely passionate about wine.
Special thanks to Fred Avertick for organizing this lovely tasting and Executive Chef Marco Bertoldini for preparing a lovely dinner. I hope these photos did your menu justice.
Ristorante Buonanotte is a dining experience not to be missed. If you’re like me and have never been, make a point of stopping by. Trust me – they know what they are doing.
3518 Saint-Laurent Boul
Montreal, Quebec H2X 2V1
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