536 Duluth E. Mont-Royal or Sherbrooke métro. BYOB
RESERVATIONS: 985-5720. HOURS: I I a.m.I I p.m. 7 days a week. NO-SMOKING SECTION: Yes. WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes. PRICESTABLE DHÔTE: $10.80$16.80. CREDIT CARDS: Visa, Mastercard, Amex..
Pizza Nostra remains the conundrum it has been since we first visited, years ago now: while their printed menu is composed solely of pasta and wood-fired oven pizza, the table dhôte is almost entirely cuisine française.
From the street, the warm look of the recent redecoration lifts Pizza Nostra above the brochetterie competition on Duluth. The halogen lamps, the mustard and dark blue walls with dark plum/burgundy details, and the use of dark wood and massive plants help to create an airy, elegant look (Au Tarot belongs to the brother of the owner here, and one can see the family resemblance here in the new decor, if not the food). Although the front room and the long hall are the best places to sit, the back room has been improved considerably by the renovations, and is now really quite cozy.
The table d'hôte typically offers French dishes, such as magret de canard, bavette de boeuf, entrecôte sautée, sauce aux échalotes et moutarde, longe courte d'agneau au thym et au bleu danois, cuisse de canard confit with mango. Recently, we had a light and creamy escalope de saumon, as well as a perfectly serviceable Roman saltimbocca of veal, quite savoury, with prosciutto and sage overtones. All plates come accompanied by perfectly steamed vegetables, as well as a sort of gratin dauphinois (potato gratin).
All in all, the management is trying hard here, and while it cannot be easy for a creative chef to put out the same pastas and pizzas every night, one senses the chefs are giving their imagination a little freer rein in the table d'hôte. Bravo!