It is rare that the Divas don’t know what to eat or don’t have a particular craving. The weather was less than stellar and we were dealing with immature men so we wanted something that would satisfy us. And pasta never falters. We called Brama and asked about their menu which changes according to what they find at the market – a feature that we love in a restaurant. After hearing a description of a few of their plates, we were sold. Marc, who took the time to tell us about the menu over the phone, said he’d be there when we arrived and would take care of us. We arrived at Brama, located on Little Italy’s popular St. Laurent Blvd and were greeted by Marc and seated at a table near the open windows.
Our waiter soon greeted us and told us about their cocktail of the day which sounded too good to pass up. Made with lemonade, Prosecco and vodka, it was the perfect drink to enjoy on a summer night before moving on to a bottle of white wine. The cocktail was garnished with a twist of lemon zest and was very refreshing. Marc later told us that the lemonade they use in the drink is actually made across the street…. simply marvelous! We decided to have only one appetizer since we had our eye on multiple plates of pasta. We decided to try the smoked salmon which was served with a large piece of grilled bread drizzled with olive oil. It was very fresh, seasoned well with fresh herbs, and it had a slight smoke flavour. The horseradish yogurt was clean and delicious and surprisingly the horseradish didn’t overpower the taste.
There was more than one homemade pasta dish that we wanted to try so when it came time to order, we asked our waiter for a small favour. We wanted to try them all so we asked if they could give us half portions of each one to sample. This is something that we’ve done at many fine Italian restaurants. Unfortunately, our waiter returned and said that the chef would not concede to our request. Diva #1 let it be known that we weren’t happy all while Diva #2 tried to calm her down, which is no small feat!
So we ordered three pasta dishes, knowing full well that we would have plenty of leftovers for work the next day. Diva #1 was furious at the less than accommodating chef. Our first dish was gnocchi which were made with ricotta. These gnocchi were very light and made simply with tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella. The tomato sauce made with Heirloom tomatoes was fresh and light with no acidity. There was also plenty of creamy mozzarella di buffalo on top of the gnocchi. The cheese was drizzled with olive oil and fresh basil was everywhere, this dish simply screamed summer.
Next was the campanelle (bell) pasta with duck confit. Not something you see paired with pasta, we thought it was a unique pairing along with the fava beans and pistachio gremolata. The duck was rich and tender and was well paired with the fava beans which were not too starchy. The beans had a crunch to them and they also added a textural element to the dish. The dish also had hints of nuttiness from the pistachio gremolata which is usually made with herbs, lemon and garlic. Definitely a unique and delicious pasta dish, it was also tossed in an aromatic and mouth-watering sauce.
An absolutely amazing pasta dish was Brama’s take on the traditional spaghetti carbonara. First of all it was made appropriately without cream. We tasted it and thought to ourselves “this is how this dish should taste!” The pancetta added the right amount of saltiness and the creaminess came from the perfect mixture of their parmesan broth with egg yolk while the spaghetti is still hot. Brama’s take on this dish was to add in some leeks and just perfect this authentic Roman dish.
Full from the all of the delectable pasta, we chose to split a dessert. Our waiter said the cannoli were hard to beat so we tried one. Sitting in a small pool of caramel sauce, the cannoli was made with homemade mascarpone cheese which was very creamy and had a hint of candied orange peel. This was one serious cannoli!
Marc came to visit our table again and was followed by a tray of shots, as he pointed out, “to help digest”. Who are we to argue! The complimentary shots tasted just like a chocolate chip cookie, it was a mix of Frangelico and Vodka. We were curious about where the large staircase led so Marc took us on a little tour of the restaurant. Upstairs is a private room which can be reserved for a large gathering. You even have the option of playing your own music separate from the music in the restaurant below. There was also another smaller party room on the main floor, hidden away behind sliding doors, complete with a fireplace.
Though Brama has only been open a little over a year, the young restaurant has much to be proud of. The homemade pasta is delicious and the service is top notch. The Divas took home the leftover pasta to have for lunch the next day at work but it never made it that far, we instead had it as a late breakfast, a great way to start our day!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 6701 boul. Saint-Laurent, Brama, Brama Montreal, Cannoli, Carbonara, Cocktails, Duck Confit, Gnocchi, H2S 3C8, Homemade Pasta, Italian, Little Italy, Little Italy restaurant, Montreal italian, Montreal Restaurant, Pasta, Reservations Needed, Ricotta Gnocchi, Saint Édouard, Smoked Salmon, Spaghetti Carbonara, St. Laurent Blvd, Tiramisu, wine