1145A de Bullion St. (front of building is on Rene Levesque)
Open weekdays from 11 a.m. to midnight; Sat. from 5 p.m. to midnight. Closed Sun. Licensed. Major credit cards. Wheelchair access. 861-8122.
Revisited this downtown property after a two year absence. Beautiful redo of both dining rooms, one smoking, the other not. Staff almost falling over each other to take coats and escort to table. Menu presented and drink orders taken in a nanosecond.
It may not be very Italian, but the following ranks in this humble correspondent's culinary hall of fame. With our aperitifs came Montreal'sno make that Canada'sstill wrong, North America's best deep fried chicken wings. Succulent, lightly battered and deep fried to perfection. Served with a wedge of lemon only and, quite frankly, they didn't even need that! Oops, almost forgot about dinner!
Was not in an experimental mood, so ordered that old standby, shrimp cocktail. Six large shrimp, perfectly cooked, over a small bed of crisp lettuce and a cocktail sauce to die for. Not too hot, not too bland, just right. Yes, the small things matter! Straticella with good chicken broth and served hot. Just the right portion size of each.
Spouse's linguini with white clam sauce was very good. Pasta al dente and not swimming in broth like so many others. Only slight downside was a slight "fishy" odor from the clams. My "Dover" sole may not have seen the "White Cliffs" in a little while, but was perfectly presented (no bones), served meunière and just slightly overcooked.
No dessert here either, but coffee, again, was excellent.
Gripes? Pretty good bread served with butter in those horrid plastic tubs plopped into a basket. Inexcusable in a restaurant of this caliber, but so many do it.
Kudos? Warm staff and dependable if conservative kitchen. Nice crowd of customers and staff. Mille grazie!
Food *** Decor **** Service **** Cost $$$
Reviewed by Joe Mathews