***Sadly this Restaurant is Closed***
Little Italy has some of the best restaurants this city has to offer. There are spots that specialize in pizza, the freshest pasta, the juiciest porchetta, classics like osso buco, a perfect espresso and not only gelato, but soft serve ice cream. Café International is an Italian restaurant specializing in paninis, pizzas and salads right on St-Laurent boulevard in the heart of Little Italy.
Instead of getting the usual, we allowed the restaurant to spoil us with what they consider their specialties. The crostini with their homemade prosciutto, mozzarella di bufala, a butternut squash compote that added the perfect amount of sweetness, and tomatoes with arugula was out of this world. P’tit Soeur is lactose intolerant so they replaced the mozzarella di bufala with avocados for that creamy texture. The crostini itself was perfectly grilled, the ingredients piled high and the butternut squash compote was simply heaven.
We’ve had the grilled chicken salad for lunch at Café International so we had a good idea that we would enjoy their salads. Our next course was a refreshing salad with spinach, julienned green apples and red onions, fennel and pecans. A delicious light summer salad, it really hit the spot and opened up our appetite.
A gorgeous cutting board with prosciutto cotto, which is cooked prosciutto, a few pickled vegetables and a drizzle of aioli was next to arrive. Also homemade, the prosciutto cotto was divine, with just a little aioli for an added bit of flavour. We didn’t see these dishes on Café International’s regular menu and they really need to add them because we were really enjoying everything that we ate.
We were asked if we preferred grilled or fried calamari, always grilled if we have the choice. The calamari was grilled to perfection, not rubbery at all. Tossed in a bruschetta topping and capers, the calamari lay on a bed of mixed greens. A generous portion, it was very fresh and perfect for a hot summer day.
Our waiter warned us that the next dish would take a bit of time, this didn’t bother us at all because we were getting rather full. When the fresh potato gnocchi arrived at our table we fell in love. Since P’tit Soeur was lactose intolerant the chef made a fresh batch of potato gnocchi without any parmigiano in the dough. Each individual gnocchi was light and the pomodoro was made of fresh crushed tomatoes. It was heaven!
It’s funny because Café International is known for their pizza but it was our least favourite dish out of everything that we tried. The funghi pizza was decent but there are better places for pizza in Little Italy. Nothing particularly astounded us about their pizza, unlike their other dishes that we very much enjoyed. We hope that the specialty dishes that were not on their regular menu become staples at Café International.
We were too full to move but we finished our meal with a nice cappuccino and cannoli. The cannoli was not heavy with ricotta, but light and enjoyable. The shell was crunchy, we hate a soggy cannoli shell, and even P’tit Soeur who’s lactose intolerant stole a bite of the cannoli because she was too intrigued not to.
Café International, you surprised us! We thought that we knew what you were all about, a few pizzas, paninis and salads – we thought you were just a cute little lunch spot but you’re so much more! We hope that everything we tried turns up on your regular menu, MmMmMm!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 6714 Boul St-Laurent, Café International, Calamari, Funghi Pizza, Gnocchi, gnocchi Pomodoro, Grilled calamari, Grilled Squid, H2S 3C7, homemade prosciutto, Italian, Italian Restaurant, Little Italy, Little Italy restaurant, Montreal, Montreal italian, Montreal Restaurant, Pizza, Prosciutto, prosciutto cotto, Salad