Osteria Venti – Fine Italian Cuisine in Old Montreal

Venti Osteria is a fine Italian restaurant located in Old Montreal. It serves up delicious and slightly pricy food. But the overall atmosphere is warm and welcome. And the food is amazing! I’ve always been skeptical about expensive Italian food because I don’t think they are that much different from each other. But Venti Osteria truly blew my mind!

We went during Montreal a Table event and tried their $39 table d’hôte menu.

Venti Osteria

Venti Osteria

Venti Osteria - Bread

Venti Osteria – Bread

Antipasto

The tuna is super delicious! All the ingredients added to the flavor of the tuna and the acidity of the olives is perfect with the fish. This is probably my favorite dish of the night.

Venti Osteria - Crostone di tonno Olive oil poached tuna, olives, celery, onions and parsley

Venti Osteria – Crostone di tonno
Olive oil poached tuna, olives, celery, onions and parsley

Veal tail is a bit exotic for me. I feel it’s lacking a little bit of flavor. But the tail is cooked very well and melt in the mouth.

Venti Osteria - Coda alla vacinara Braised veal tail, soft polenta, marjoram

Venti Osteria – Coda alla vacinara
Braised veal tail, soft polenta, marjoram

Intermezzo

This is surprisingly spicy. But very good.

Venti Osteria - Fusiloni al pommodoro piccante e basilico Spicy tomato and basil fusiloni

Venti Osteria – Fusiloni al pommodoro piccante e basilico
Spicy tomato and basil fusiloni

Piatti

All of the main dishes are well prepared and very flavorful (and filling!) My favorite would be the shrimp on the trout!

Venti Osteria - Trotta allacqua pazza Poached trout with a fish broth, tomatoes, garlic, shrimps

Venti Osteria – Trotta allacqua pazza
Poached trout with a fish broth, tomatoes, garlic, shrimps

Venti Osteria - Ossobuco con fregula alla milanese Ossobuco alla milanese with fregula

Venti Osteria – Ossobuco con fregula alla milanese
Ossobuco alla milanese with fregula

Venti Osteria - Fettucine ai funghi Fettucine with wild mushrooms ragu and roasted duck

Venti Osteria – Fettucine ai funghi
Fettucine with wild mushrooms ragu and roasted duck

Dolci

At this stage we were already so full that we thought we couldn’t eat another bite. But the tiramisu was light, moist and fluffy, we finished it all… Such piglets we are…

Venti Osteria - Tiramisu al Frangelico e Galliano Tiramisu with Frangelico Galliano

Venti Osteria – Tiramisu al Frangelico e Galliano
Tiramisu with Frangelico Galliano

Venti Osteria

Venti Osteria

Overall, this is a great spot to try some delicious Italian food! Not another tourist trap in old Montreal. 🙂

Osteria Venti

372 St-Paul Ouest
Montreal, QC H2Y2A6
(514) 284-0445
http://www.osteriaventi.com/

Osteria Venti on Urbanspoon

Nora Gray – Fine Italian Cuisine

Nora Gray serves up delicious and original Italian Cuisine. It’s located in a quiet corner on St-Jacques and feels more like a neighbourhood bar than a high end restaurant and made us more at ease when enjoying the good food. This is the atmosphere the owners are trying to create, like a relaxed dinner party at home rather than dining out among people in spiffy outfits.

The owners put a lot of effort into the ingredients. If you are passionate about eating healthy, organic and local, this could be the place for you.

The three appetizers recommended to us by the waiters are all light, refreshing and a bit surprising in terms of the combinations. I’m not a connoisseur of Italian cuisine, so I couldn’t tell if any of these were already done before. Especially the trotter croquettes with pickles and peach mostarda. On first bite, the salty, sour and sweet seem to clash, but it got strangely addictive afterwards.

Trotter croquettes, pickles and peach mostarda

Trotter croquettes, pickles and peach mostarda

Beet and melon salad with mint and farro

Beet and melon salad with mint and farro

Grilled zucchini with zucchini flowers and ricotta

Grilled zucchini with zucchini flowers and ricotta

 

I skipped the pastas and went straight to the main dish. But my friends all said the lobster ravioli is worth a try.

My personal favorite is the lamb. The restaurant normally gets a whole lamb and that night they were serving the legs. It is just the perfect amount of rare with lightly seared outside. I don’t know what the ingredients are for the sauce, but it played very well with the lamb. I did not find it has the usual “lamb taste” that might put some people off. It’s simply tender and flavorful.

Kamouraska lamb, summer polenta and vegetables

Kamouraska lamb, summer polenta and vegetables

Grilled cauliflower steak with smoked lentil vinaigrette

Grilled cauliflower steak with smoked lentil vinaigrette

Tuna puttanesca with romanesco

Tuna puttanesca with romanesco

The dish that took the second place is the ribs! The meat was just falling off the bones and melting in the mouth. Totally worth a try!

Ribs with red pepper sauce, caponata

Ribs with red pepper sauce, caponata

 

I have to mention that Nora Gray has an impressive wine list as well. Unfortunately we didn’t get to explore it much during our visit. For wine lovers, I’m sure you will be able to find new favorites by chatting with the sommelier and hearing his recommendations.

Bar

Bar 

 

Nora Gray

1391 Rue Saint-Jacques Montreal, QC H3C4J4

(514) 419-6672

Nora Gray on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Papillon

I was simply strolling in old Montreal along St-Paul street with a friend when we stumbled across this restaurant. The charming part that caught our eye was the cute terrasse. It seemed like a good choice in a nice sunny day.

And the food didn’t disappoint either. They have two set of menus. Regular menu with Italian food, and a table d’hote with French cuisine.

The soup of the day was cream of squash and sweet potato. I simply love sweet potato in any type of dish. And this soup has a rich creamy taste and goes well with the bread served on the table.

The main dish was pork loin with stuffed cranberry and blueberry. The sweet sauce complements the pork quite well. And the meat is tender and moist.

I also had a nib of my friend’s coq au vin. It’s quite tasty as well and I could surely taste the wine.

Cream of squash and sweet potato

Cream of squash and sweet potato @ Restaurant Papillon

Pork loin stuffed with cranberry and blueberry

Pork loin stuffed with cranberry and blueberry @ Restaurant Papillon

I know old Montreal area is filled with both tourist trap restaurants and good eats. Reviews can sometimes seem confusing because people have different tastes. However, I would say this one is worth a try if you find the hot famous restaurants around are all booked up. 🙂

Restaurant Papillon

Address: 85 Rue Saint Paul Est, Montreal, QC H2Y 1G6
Phone:(514) 866-0440

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