Bellatrix had gone to Pizzeria Magpie with her Mate on a random weeknight. When she told Whitey and Diva #1 in the lunchroom that it was packed late on a Wednesday night, and that it may rival our much loved Pizzeria Geppetto… well we simply had to go sooner rather than later. So on a Thursday after work, the three of us went to Magpie in the Plateau to indulge in some delicious pizza. Months ago, one of our readers had also recommended Magpie, but we had never gotten around to going. Tradition is that when Whitey meets a deadline that required a lot of overtime during the week, she tells Bellatrix and Diva #1 that she needs to, in her words, go on a “bender” and just go out and make some bad decisions. Too much alcohol, lots of food and a bunch of hazy memories.
Magpie is very plain looking, a casual setting like most pizzerias, which is what we had expected. The large wrapped pieces of charcuterie meat hanging from the ceiling near the bar were deceptive because when Whitey asked why there was no charcuterie plate on the menu our waiter told us that they had taken it off and were likely going to bring it back for the summer. Damn we wanted those cured meats after seeing them drying so nicely above us… bad form Magpie; you teased us!
Other than Diva #1, the other gals don’t eat oysters, what a travesty of humanity but not a real issue because Diva #1 ordered half a dozen to eat on her own. Magpie offers a good variety of oysters, and these Conway Cup oysters were juicy and meaty and served with vinegar and lemon. We couldn’t decide which wine to order and our phenomenal waiter brought us two open bottles to try and assess. He was really nice and Bellatrix was being finicky, but he still indulged kindly in her demands. We loved him and even when we said in passing that we were splitting the pizzas, he brought them to our table for us to see, and then split them for us onto separate dishes!
We had the housemade ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta. The tomato sauce was delicious and the bottom of the plate had a touch of extra virgin olive oil for extra flavour, it was absolutely delightful. Magpie’s ravioli was a great way to start our meal. On an earlier visit Bellatrix had had the meatball appetizer and she said that they used the same tomato sauce which made it absolutely splendid. They also had a mushroom risotto as a special of the night and Diva #1 regrets not ordering it too. We did not expect their ravioli to be so enjoyable, yes they are an Italian restaurant but their specialty is pizza and not pasta.
We also ordered the beef tartare which came with a raw quail egg that added another element of richness when we blended it with the cubed pieces of fresh beef. The parmigiano shavings were a generous amount and the entire tartare sat in a small pool of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Crostinis and arugula littered the plate and we were soon licking it clean. Although Magpie did not have many appetizers, we were impressed with what we ordered and were eager to try the pizzas, which are their specialty.
Diva #1 and Whitey decided to split two pizzas; the first was the goat cheese pizza with crispy pancetta, basil and that delicious tomato sauce from the ravioli. At this point Diva #1 asked the waiter what was the secret within the tomato sauce and he answered that Magpie only uses San Marzano tomatoes. Well we were impressed! The first pizza was topped with lovely peppery arugula which added to its freshness. Couple the arugula with the spicy Italian oil that we asked our waiter for and you had perfection. Bellatrix recommended that we add bocconcini to our pizza, and though Magpie charges 3$ per addition, when we saw the amount of bocconcini that was on our pizza, it was very reasonable. We really love cheese and Bellatrix’s Mate’s family makes their own so it is very hard to impress her, and she had raved about it. The bocconcini were very fresh and flavourful, and tasted more like mozzarella di bufala than the usual more flavourless bocconcini.
Our second pizza was a delicious artichokes pizza with spinach, fontina cheese, pecorino Romano and more of their tomato sauce. Diva #1 usually prefers white pizza as opposed to tomato sauce based pizza but not at Magpie’s. The pizzas at Magpie were not heavy on the tomato sauce and the sauce itself was fresh tasting as if the vat of tomato sauce had been made in the height of tomato season in Italy. We were impressed, they were not stingy on the fontina and their crust was delicious too and tasted like herbed garlic breadsticks.
Bellatrix had ordered the margarita on her first visit and it goes without saying that if she was so eager to return within the week and order the same pizza, well then Magpie is well worth the visit. You really tasted the freshness of the bocconcini in this simple pizza which had a tomato sauce and basil base. The prices at Magpie are very good too and our only regret was that they did not have more appetizers on the menu, instead they had a few salads, but that rarely impresses The Divas.
We drank too much wine and Whitey and Diva #1 headed to Garde Manger to See Ms. Garde Manger and other regulars that we had promised to visit. The joke of the night was that Diva #1 and Whitey were only going for one drink and that’s it… except we had one drink at a few different bars in Old Montreal. One drink, three bars… not our best. One of those bars included Philemon where we brought these lovely gentlemen from the Niagara region who we found roaming around St. Paul in Old Montreal. Never a dull moment, we chatted them up, they bought us a drink and we ended our night a little worse for wear, instantly regretting that we had such a late and alcohol ridden Thursday night when we had to wake up for work in the morning. Needless to say that Whitey was dealing with her alcohol heartburn by drinking out of her famous pepto bottle in the morning…. Classy? We think so.
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 16 Maguire, Artichokes, Bar, Beef Tartare, Bianca, Bocconcini, Caesar Salad, Capicolla, Charcuterie, Cocktails, Fontina, H2T 1B9, Homemade Ravioli, Italian, Kale, Magpie, Magpie 16 Maguire, Magpie Maguire, Magpie Mile-End, Magpie Montreal, Magpie Pizzeria, Magpie Pizzeria Montreal, Magpie Plateau, Maguire, Margarita, Meatball, Meatballs, Mediterranean, Mile End, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, oysters, Pancetta, Pizza, Pizzeria, Pizzeria Magpie, Pizzeria Magpie Montreal, Plateau, Plateau Mont-Royal, Ravioli, Reservations Needed, San Marzano tomatoes, wine, Wood Burning Oven