Happy Birthday Vegan Vixen! Vegan Vixen is one of Diva#1’s oldest friends, this year we celebrated our 26th birthday only a few weeks apart. We are both Taurus which means that we can be pretty difficult, but somehow, we get along fabulously.
Ten years ago, when we first became friends, we had spent our birthdays together. Our trip down memory lane included reminiscing about our Sweet Sixteen parties, Vegan Vixen’s at a classy hall and Diva #1’s at Le Skratch! (Thanks dad), giggling over one fine drunk night in 2003, all the silly things that we did in high school, when Diva#1 wrote the school play and Vegan Vixen had a main role, etc. The road down memory lane is a joyous one….
Vegan Vixen wasn’t sure if she wanted to celebrate her birthday but Diva#1 had heard about a new pizzeria with a mozzarella bar and she was dying to go. Not being a real vegan, but a part-time vegetarian, Vegan Vixen was happy to try this new restaurant and mozzarella bar. We showed up with two of Vegan Vixen’s friends and Bellatrix for a night of delicious Italian food and copious amounts of wine.
What is really original about Mangiafoco in comparison to other pizzerias is their list of cheeses, coupled with a list of cured meats and other side dishes like sun dried tomatoes, truffled peaches, etc. Bellatrix and Diva#1 were very happy to see this and could not decide what to start with. Vegan Vixen’s friends ordered their own antipasti and we were soon enjoying a variety of Mangiafoco’s delights.
Diva #1, Vegan Vixen and Bellatrix had ordered the mozzarella di buffala afumicata, which means smoked, with marinated mushrooms, spicy marinated eggplants and a tomato basil salad. The menu listed two types of mozzarella di buffala, burratina, gorgonzola, etc all offered in different sizes in grams. For those less informed about the beauty of Italian cheeses each cheese came with a description that would state if it is creamy, buttery, rich, mild, etc. This was an impressive part of their menu.
The marinated mushrooms and eggplants were delicious and perfectly paired with the flavourful cheese and tomatoes with basil. The antipasti were served country style in their unceremonious presentation in generous amounts but on a modern slate.
Vegan Vixen’s friends ordered burratina cheese and once again with tomatoes and basil but this time with salami too. We stole a slice and were blown away by the freshness and sharpness of the taste. Sadly Diva#1 did not order any meat in her antipasti out of respect for Vegan Vixen’s birthday. The Divas always feed her meat by peer pressuring her or getting her inebriated enough that we convince her it is tofu, but since it was her birthday Diva#1 chose to behave. We shared a vegetarian plate in her honour!
Similar to how they describe their cheeses, Mangiafoco’s charcuterie list also had a blurb describing each meat as salty, delicate, light, nutty, etc. This was helpful because we did not know all the cured meats that were listed and it keeps people from asking their server a million questions or ordering something that they wouldn’t like.
Bellatrix, aka meatballs to her close friends, was very excited to see meatballs on the menu. When Vegan Vixen went out for a cigarette break with her friends, Bellatrix quickly ordered the polpetti al forno as an appetizer. The veal meatballs with parmesan are cooked in a wood burning oven and covered in tomato sauce with parmigiano and basil on top. Diva#1 and Bellatrix shared this meaty delight and though Vegan Vixen caught us in the midst of eating meat, she just laughed because she knows that we will never be vegetarians. It was a great dish, served in a silver bowl and we used bread to dip into the tasty tomato sauce.
Diva #1 knew which pizza she wanted the second she saw it on the menu. The deux champs pizza had no sauce, but olive oil with morel mushrooms, shitakes, generous amounts of parmigiano reggiano and drizzled in truffle oil. The pizza was magnificent, decorated with parsley (although Diva#1 would have preferred basil) but it was wonderful. The truffle oil did not stand out but Diva #1’s addition of the burratina on top made the whole pizza even more spectacular. It was light because of the lack of tomato sauce but made richer with the addition of the burratina. Not to mention that the pizza already came with mozzarella so it ended up being a cheesy wondrous delight.
Vegan Vixen’s friends shared the veal meatball pizza. How did Bellatrix not order this? It came with a fresh cream with a garlic confit, sautéed red onions, sun dried tomatoes, basil and parmigiano reggiano. Though we just met the girls, Bellatrix and Diva #1 stole a bite, for the good of the blog of course! Cooked to perfection, the veal meatballs were rolled into tiny balls on a tomato sauce based pizza. The crust was perfect and we were further impressed with Mangiafoco.
Bellatrix had her eye on the L’Uomo pizza made with bacon and saucisson which is a dry cured sausage that looks more like a charcuterie meat than the usual Italian sausage. Diva#1 often gets tired of the same boring Italian sausage which is often overcooked and found on Italian pizzas. This salami-like saucisson was a refreshing change and amazing combination with the bacon. The pizza was topped with minced green onions, parmesan and mozzarella and under all of those beautiful ingredients was their great pizza sauce. We were impressed and Bellatrix is usually a pizza snob having been to Italy many times and never finding Montreal pizza quite to her satisfaction.
Vegan Vixen’s love of vegetables made her create her own pizza. She ordered a tomato sauce based pizza, with morel mushrooms, shiitakes, mozzarella and basil. The Divas were hoping that she would add some prosciutto but she controlled herself and stuck to her vegetarian pizza. The pizza was delicious and she seemed very happy celebrating her birthday, enjoying the food and drinking tons of vino.
For dessert we ordered almost everything they had; we were a bunch of girls with hearty appetites. The tiramisu came in a little mason jar and though Diva #1 is not a huge fan of tiramisu, it was an enjoyable dessert, but nothing spectacular.
Our two other desserts included a slate topped with dollops of mousse with chocolate ganache and some brownie. It was rich and very chocolaty, though it looked droopy and melted, it was tasty. This was perfect when paired with their bitter cappuccino. Our last dessert was an apple crumble which Diva#1 never got to try. At this point we were more interested in more wine than necessarily enjoying dessert so though the picture looks fabulous the Divas have no opinion on how this dessert tasted. Since we cannot trust vegetable loving Vegan Vixen to review the apple crumble we choose to say it looked delish. We cannot always be perfect…
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 105 St-Paul, Alexandre Brunet, Antipasti, Arancini, Bar, Black Truffles, Burratina, Carpaccio, Charcuterie, Cheese, Cocktails, Eggplants, Enoteca, Foie Gras Arancini, Gorgonzola, Gravlax, H2Y 1Z5, Italian, Jean-Cédric Morency, Jeff Stinco, Late Night, Lunch Menu, Mangiafoco, Mangiafoco Jeff Stinco, Mangiafoco Montreal, Mangiafoco Old Montreal, Marinated, Meatballs, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Mozzarella, Mozzarella Bar, Mozzarella Di Buffala, Mushrooms, Old Montreal, Old Port, Pizza, Pizzeria, Polpetti, Porchetta, Prosciutto, Salami, St-Paul Ouest, Terrine de Porc, wine, Wood Burning Oven