Just last summer I found myself alone in Florence, living out my own "eat pray love" moment after a mother daughter trip fell through. Not so bad, I thought... It was as though I had just been whisked away to some culinary wonderland, and with no one to stop me, I was free to live a life of gluttonous, carbo-loading pleasure. Pastaaa, prosciutto, gelato, tartufo (the list goes on and on...), and after five days of intensive art history classes, I conjured up quite an appetite for slow Italian cooking. I fell in love; the florentine "spritz" and oven baked pizzas had become my favourite afternoon snack, and needless to say, I was already feeling nostalgic on my flight back.
With that in mind, you can imagine my excitement after having just landed on the runways of Trudeau, when my friend picked me up from the airport and whisked me straight to the charmingly local, perfectly intimate Italian bar a vin, Dolcetto & Co, that had just opened its doors in my neighbourhood.
Dolcetto offers a helpful - and deeply flavourful - reminder of how simple Italian cheeses (think creamy burrata or fragrant boschetto al tartufo) prime the palate for a fantastic meal. They also get that a healthy selection of thinly sliced hams, like a plate of rich bresaola, homemade porcetta, and prosciutto di parma, make for the perfect, dynamic, start to any good dinner. After a plate of charcuterie, move to the antipasti, trying (you must!) their cream soaked gnocchi, with its perfect, buttery texture; it is so divine - I've had friends re-order this plate for dessert. And after you're done cleaning out the gnocchi dish, try your hand with some of their hand-made, oven-baked pizzas...my favourites are the carmelized onion and eggplant, prosciutto and arugula, and simple but always pleasurable margherita with burrata.
My only last recommendation would be to make sure the wine is flowing, the conversation is good, and the night is slow. Drinks at Dolcetto are good, so start (or even finish!) with a cocktail. Sit at the bar or at a window-side table for a perfect date. Move to the communal table if you're surrounded by good friends or family. Don't rush; enjoy the effortlessly sophisticated art of a good Italian meal. After all, that's what Dolcetto is all about.*
Dolcetto Bar a Vin Italien | 151 Saint-Paul Ouest (corner Place Royal) | Montreal QC H2Y 1Z6 | 514-419-8522 |