These days, restaurants open and close faster than we can count. However, there are a few stalwarts that have stood the test of time. The Main is home to one such example, Buonanotte, a Montreal staple that has given Montrealers and tourists many stories!
Buonanotte’s success is due in part to their solid team, and to Chef Marco Bertoldini who has breathed new life into their menu. Buonanotte has always been popular as a nightlife spot, and its restaurant has recently been reinvented.
Buonanotte was recently closed for 40 days and we were invited to the media reopening to see what’s new. We started our night with three different cocktails before enjoying endless sparkling wine, along with delicious homemade focaccia topped with tomatoes, caramelized onions and herbs. It was light and served slightly warm and a perfect start to our meal.
You know the Divas love gin so when Chef Bertoldini explained that their house-made salmon gravlax was cured in gin, we got very excited. Thickly cut, the salmon was served with crunchy thinly sliced radishes. More of that crunchy texture also came from the toasted breadcrumbs that went perfectly with the light pesto aioli.
The burrata was paired with in-season squash prepared in two ways. The squash came roasted, skin on, which was our preference, as well as pickled. The burrata was perfection – light and creamy, a great compliment to the candied pecans. This was a great, light dish.
Some of Diva #2’s favourite things appeared in this one dish and they were fantastic. Plump, meaty and earthy snails were served on bone marrow with melted caciocavallo cheese with a side of toast points. Definitely a hearty winter-type dish, we were glad some people at the table were turned off by the idea of snails, which only meant more for us!
The pizzetta is a Venetian flatbread that is cooked in a pan to give it a little bit of crust. It was generously topped with duck confit and lentils. The pickled shallots added a nice contrast to the meat and the smoked ricotta was shaved on top for a light touch!
We also had a veal tartare which is the chef’s take on a vitello tonnato, a classic Italian dish of veal served with a tuna-flavoured mayo. The dish was light, the pickled shallots added a little bite and the sauce had the subtlest hint of tuna, just like a typical vitello tonnato.
You can’t go to an Italian restaurant and not have pasta! We started with a chestnut ravioli filled with squash, in a homemade mosto cotto with crunchy hazelnuts. Mosto cotto is a syrup made from cooking down grapes and it added just the right touch to the dish. Diva #2 even got a second helping after devouring her dish!
The second pasta dish was made with cacao, giving the pasta a light chocolate brown colour. While the chocolate flavour wasn’t prominent, it added a little more earthiness to the dish that was served with sausage and a porcini ragu that was velvety.
Our first meat dish was a bistecca alla Fiorentina, which is a porterhouse cut of meat. It was cooked rare, which is typical, and it was tender it could be cut without a knife! It was served with large onion rings which had a crunchy exterior, that the table fought over. The bistecca Florentine was incredible!
Bison is a leaner type of meat but that does not mean it lacks flavour. Quite the opposite and at Buonanotte, they cooked it perfectly, and no one cared about getting their hands dirty to eat the ribs either!
We also had a fish that was cooked in a salt crust to keep all the moisture in. The fish was flaky and perfect with a simple squeeze of lemon juice. Lino, one of the Buonanotte owners, graciously cracked open the salt crusts and deboned the fish for serving.
“Patate Cacio e Pepe: buonanotte’s cacao e pepe smashed potatoes”
“Veredura: Market vegetables” 8$
All this was served with two sides dishes, potatoes with Romanesco broccoli, peas and roasted corn. It was a nice touch to go along with all the meat and fish, and worked well with all three dishes.
Though we had no room for dessert, once they were on the table, we couldn’t resist. The homemade deep fried oreos were soft and chewy but they didn’t compare to the wonderful vanilla and chocolate tartufo with amarena cherries that Diva #2 absolutely fell in love with. It was smooth and creamy, and pure bliss in even spoonful.
If you’re skeptical about dining at a supperclub, let Buonanotte change your mind. Chef Marco adds his own spin to each dish that makes them memorable. They are also now serving a lunch menu for 18.24$ and a table d’hote menu for 25$ from Sunday to Thursday. Trust us, after 25 years, there’s a very good reason that Buonanotte is still dominating the Main!
Our Rating: Always on Thursday
Tagged: 3518 Saint-Laurent, Bison Ribs, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Bone Marrow, Buonanotte, Buonanotte Montreal, Burrata, Deep Fried Oreos, Fish, H2X 2V2, Italian Montreal, Italian Restaurant, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Supperclub, Pizzetta, Ravioli, Reservations Needed, Salmon Gravlax, Snails, Tartare, Tartufo, Veal Tartare, Whole Fish