The Divas have their favourite spots and you can almost always count on us being in Little Italy a few times a week. What can we say, when we love a spot, you can’t get rid of us. The team behind Montreal staple Buonanotte recently put their efforts into a new venture on St-Laurent Blvd called Porchetta. The concept is simple and straightforward, to bring classic Italian street food to Little Italy. And who are we to argue with that?
On a lovely day off from work, Diva #2 and a friend decided to check out the newest addition to St- Laurent Blvd. Diva #2 instantly felt at home, with Italian music playing in the background and a bowl of raw chestnuts on the table; sometimes we can be very ethnic. We started with homemade mortadella and panelle, which is a chickpea fritter. All very Italian!
The mortadella had large pieces of pistachios and black pepper inside it, and it was creamy and light in taste, a nice balance. The panelle were crunchy on the outside with a soft inside, a nice alternative to having slices of bread on the table.
The cold porchetta is thinly sliced and it’s served with salsa verde and grated horseradish. The salsa verde added a nice subtle acidity to contrast the horseradish, which did not overpower the dish or take away from the flavour of the porchetta. But more about their perfect porchetta, it had a thin layer of caramelized fat around the pork that just melted in your mouth.
Jon, one of the chefs at Porchetta, asked if we were interested in trying the tripe dish. Diva #2 was game but she looked at her friend and he simply said “I’m Asian, we eat everything!” and with that, a piping hot dish of tripe in a tomato stew hit the table. It was hearty and spicy, made with potatoes, two different types of beans, celery and tomatoes. It tasted like something you would eat at home, well an Italian home, and that’s how the chefs want you to feel when eating at Porchetta.
Porchetta has a lot of side dishes and will be introducing new ones along the way. The chicory is a bitter green sautéed with anchovy, garlic and chili for a little bit of heat. It was topped with toasted breadcrumbs which added a nice texture. We also tried Porchetta’s homestyle potatoes, and they were delectable. The potatoes are prepared simply with rosemary and garlic and, of course, some of that porchetta fat! They’re tender and a little crispy around the edges.
Now this is a sandwich! A Portuguese bun is filled with slow cooked porchetta, the cracklings, salsa verde, hot peppers and aioli. It’s definitely a filling sandwich and even when you’re full, it’s hard to put down. The condiments soak into the bread but don’t make it soggy, the bun holds up. The meat is tender and the cracklings are a nice crunchy contrast.
Now in full food coma mode, Jon was gracious enough to show us the kitchen which houses their computerized oven which can hold up to 30 porchettas at once! They also share the kitchen with Buonanotte Catering. And if all that wasn’t enough, they plan on introducing new menu items and once they get their liquor license, they even told us that they’d love to start 5 à 7s.
Porchetta serves simple, homemade Italian food made with quality ingredients that produce great dishes, whether you take the food to go or sit at one of their long tables. It’s no surprise that the geniuses behind Buonanotte opened such a fabulous Italian eatery. Just another reason for the Divas to be in Little Italy!
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 6887 St-Laurent, Buonanotte Porchetta Montreal, Chickpea Fritters, H2S 3C9, Homemade, Italian Street Food, Little Italy, Little Italy restaurant, Montreal italian, Montreal Restaurant, Mortadella, Panelle, Porchetta, Porchetta Montreal, Porchetta Sandwich, St- Laurent Montreal, Take Out, Tripe