La Scarpetta4525 Parc Ave
Montreal, QCH2V4E5 Scarpetta – Literally means a small shoe in Italian but it is also an expression “fare la Scarpetta” which means to mop up the sauce from a plate of food with a piece of bread. One of the best meals in a long time. I am so excited to return. As far as I knew there were no real traditional Sicilian restaurants in the city before this one. Sicilian food is Italian of course but with Greek and North African influences – making it truly unique & exciting.
You won’t find the over-done Italian, mass population pleasing dishes here. Actually they are, but the mass-population just doesn’t know it yet 😉
My father is Sicilian and loves food. He always talks about the traditional dishes he loved as a child so obviously, he and my mother joined us 😉 I think if I had gone without him, he would have stopped speaking to me.
As you can see from the picture above, it is modern but warm, with the mixture of wood and a sleek minimalist design. They have a nice looking bar & glass wine cellar in the corner. The noise level is vibrant but not overwhelming. They have a nice terrace in the summer which extends the restaurant a little as it isn’t a big place otherwise.
Thumbs-down for the parking situation. Give yourself time to find parking but do not let this discourage you from going. I enjoyed my meal too much for that to affect me. We are always running late so my husband gets fed up and always parks illegally when we go. “if we get a ticket , it’ll cost just a little more than paying for parking, right? I am excited and hungry so I agree with this reasoning. He could park on the grass at Parc Mont-Royal, for all I care. (Mont-Royal is practically next door)
I started with a cocktail, a Bellini. It is girly and wonderful. Its made with Prosecco and peach nectar, served in a champagne flute with a tiny wedge of blood orange on the rim. The wine list is different, it includes some nice private imports so its nice to discover the wines they have on offer. They even feature wines from Portugal, which was nice.
For my main I chose the hangar steak. I have a personal rule never to order steak at an Italian restaurant because I have been disappointed. Steak is usually best at a steak-house. However our lovely waitress made it sound so appetizing that I switched my order from pasta to the steak. I was so pleased with my choice. The piece was a reasonable size, not “a la Fred Flinstone” It was so flavourful and satisfying to my taste buds. The exterior was a little crispy, every-so-slightly charred with a lightly salted-buttery flavour. It was cooked to perfection and served with oven-roasted potatoes.
My husband had the rabbit, served cacciatore-style, cut into pieces, in a thin red sauce with olives scattered here and there. He loved it!
Our fellow diners, my parents, had the pasta with sardines, pine nuts and golden raisins & the gratinato of artichoke and eggplant, which is basically like Eggplant parmesan with artichoke. Both were thoroughly enjoyed with only one complaint – the buccatini pasta were too “al dente” but that is just a matter of taste.
For dessert we had cannoli Siciliani and the Springi. Springi are fried dough balls, ‘beignets’ traditionally served, rolled in granulated sugar or honey. They’re a lot like greek doughnuts called loukoumades. La Scarpetta makes a lighter, airier, more modern version but they’re still fantastic! However, you must like the taste of orange zest as it is very prominent.
This cuisine was a great discovery. I hope you go.