Dolcetto was not one of our favourite restaurants, however, once Chef Adam Zaitouni took over the kitchen, our opinion changed. We once wrote off Dolcetto as another restaurant that was popular because it was located on the busy side of St Paul in Old Montreal. We returned with low expectations but willing to give them another try since we knew the chef and loved his cooking.
Dolcetto always had a fun, trendy décor that was reminiscent of coffee shops and little bistros in NYC. Their design hasn’t changed, with their chandelier made of bottles and fun lettering spelling out Dolcetto on the wall. We were back for a media tasting and happy to see that we were trying so many dishes. We started with a few cocktails, all refreshing and on the strong side, just the way we like them! The evening had started out quite well.
The menu was a mix of new dishes and their classics which in our opinion, the chef had perfected. The prices are more than reasonable, very affordable by Old Montreal standards and the plates are perfect for sharing, so you can have a bit of everything. The majority of the ingredients and products are Italian, including the private import wine list which we had a chance to enjoy.
The antipasto misto platter was pure heaven, you can choose to order your charcuterie and cheeses individually, or you can order the platter and Dolcetto will place various cheeses, cured meats and adornments together for you. Among their charcuterie they offer: prosciutto di parma, bresaola, salame di Milano, prosciutto cotto, n’duja and coppa – honestly we couldn’t stop eating the massive platter that was prepared for the event. As much as we loved the charcuterie, heaven is in a cheese platter. Again, Dolcetto gives you many options that you can choose from or that they will include in your antipasto platter: burrata, mozzarella di bufala, boschetto al tartufo, Parmigiano Reggiano, pecorino pepato, taleggio and gorgonzola. Their boschetto al tartufo that not only tasted like truffles but smelled like them was our favourite, and burrata being a very close second.
We were quite full from that delectable platter but the dishes were so intriguing that we were eager to try more! The black squid ink cannelloni was stuffed with swiss chard, mushrooms and goat cheese, served in a cream sauce with pistachios. The textural element with the addition of pistachios was something that we love in a dish, the flavours worked well together, but you need to love the taste of goat cheese because it’s very apparent in the dish – and we do!
Our favourite of the pasta dishes was their homemade roasted squash ravioli with parmesan and almonds in a brown butter sauce with crispy kale as a topping. We absolutely adore squash ravioli in a brown butter sauce – and this was no exception at Dolcetto. As a side dish we received the lamb and pistachio meatballs with a marinara sauce and pecorino, we aren’t big meatball fans but the meatballs were tender and the marinara sauce flavourful. And we love the addition of all the nuts on their new menu!
And then came the pizzas, something that Dolectto had not impressed us with in the past. Fret not dear readers, with Chef Adam Zaitouni at the helm, we loved the revamping of these Dolcetto classics. The marguerita with bufala and basil was simple and delicious, but the real gem was the Bianca pizza with butternut squash, gorgonzola, pancetta and caramelized onions. The pizzas are small, again, perfect for sharing, and you should order two of this one!
We also tried the Bianca pizza with wild mushrooms, more of that delicious tartufo, goat cheese and arugula, they were generous on the truffles, which we love to see. To be honest we were too full once the last pizza hit the table, the prosciutto pizza with fior de latte, cherry tomatoes and arugula looked amazing and our neighbours ensured us that they enjoyed it but we couldn’t put more food in our mouths!
There was a lot of leftover and our wonderful waitress told us that they give a lot of leftover food to homeless people in the area, this definitely motivated us not to take our leftovers home and honestly they’re gems for doing that. So much food goes to waste but Dolcetto’s staff helps make their lives a little easier. For dessert we tried the cinnamon and cream bombolones, we’ve been spoiled with spectacular bombolones so though they were good, they did not go beyond our expectations.
We’re so happy that we gave Dolcetto another chance, with Chef Adam Zaitouni at the helm this restaurant went from decent to wonderful. The small plates are perfect for sharing, the prices are very affordable by Old Montreal standards and the flavours come together in some unique dishes.
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 151 Rue Saint-Paul O, antipasto platter, Bianca Pizza, black cannelloni, Charcuterie, Cheese, Dolcetto, Dolcetto Old Montreal, H2Y 1Z6, Homemade Ravioli, Italian, Meatballs, Montreal, Montreal italian, Montreal Pizza, Montreal Restaurant, Old Montreal, Old Montreal Italian, Old Montreal Restaurant, Pizza, Prosciutto, squash ravioli, Tartufo