Bernard ave. is one of our favourite streets in Montreal, it’s packed full of cafés, little shops, the Outremont Theater and restaurants. It’s picturesque and simply darling – and we love going there for a stroll in the summer. Pinokio restaurant (formerly Le Petit Italien) is an Italian restaurant that’s located on Bernard ave. in Outremont. They even have a food truck with Italian paninis, a gnocchi ossobucco poutine, and more!
Right away we noticed all the jars of homemade tomato sauce on a shelf against one of the walls. We just wanted to take a jar home, the sauce was so red and tantalizing. We also noticed how big the menu was, with a separate section for charcuterie, cheese and grilled vegetables; perfect if you want to share a small bite with tons of wine in that Italian fashion. Our waitress told us the house specialties and we happily complied!
Out of all the appetizers she recommended the snow crab tartare, which delved away from the usual salmon or tuna tartare, which was a refreshing change! A generous potion, the snow crab was fresh and flavourful with tons of perfectly ripe avocado and coriander. Covered in fresh crispy greens, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and turmeric oil, it was definitely a very unique tartare. We were soon eating the tartare with a fork and leaving the crostinis behind!
We were tempted by the beef tartare but we decided to try their cheese platter since they make some of their own cheeses. The platter was very large for two people, they definitely did not skimp out on the cheese. Pinokio’s homemade ricotta with fine herbs tasted more like a goat cheese than ricotta, and was delicious. We also enjoyed a large serving of creamy mozzarella di buffalo with fresh basil, parmigiano reggiano, aged 24 months, and a creamy gorgonzola.
We were very much impressed with the portions at Pinokio, they were more than generous. We were actually full after our appetizers and we were quite happy that our waitress had recommended that we get the half portions of pasta. When we were ordering we didn’t think that this was a good idea but we followed her advice anyway.
The penne with Lac Brome duck confit and porcini mushrooms was delicious. The sauce was an au jus sauce made with the juices of the duck confit and a touch of cream. It was simple and exactly as we expected it to be with fresh Italian parsley, chives and green onions. Arugula and fresh parmigianno topped this dish, our only complaint was that there were so few porcini mushrooms, it was really all about the succulent duck. They even have a similar dish at their food truck, we can’t wait until we catch their truck roaming around Montreal!
Sweet Pea ordered the farro risotto with wild mushrooms, black truffle and parmigiano reggiano. The farro risotto added a chewy earthiness to this dish that paired well with the wild mushrooms. The taste of black truffles was just a hint, we love truffles so we can never get enough and again the dish was topped with arugula and parmigiano reggiano. The farro risotto made this dish more original than the usual wild mushroom risotto.
We were too full for dessert but we were whole heartedly recommended the crème brûlée so we couldn’t resist! It was the perfect creamy texture, more mousse-like than anything else. We left Pinokio bursting at the seams. The portions were big and the food was delicious – this little gem on Bernard ave. even has a terrace, which we know will be bustling in the summer!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 1265 Avenue Bernard, Cheese Platter, crab tartare, Duck Confit, H2V 3M8, Homemade ricotta, Italian, Italian Restaurant, Le Petit Italien, Le Petit Italien Montreal, Montreal italian, Montreal Restaurant, Outremont, Outremont Restaurant, Pasta, Pinokio, Pinokio Montreal, Risotto, Snow Crab, Tartare, terrace, Truffles, Wild Mushroom Risotto