Porchetta is the meat of the Gods, it’s fatty, tender and full of flavour… if done right! And though most excellent porchetta restaurants can only be found in Little Italy or in the East End, there is now an exception to that rule. Porco is located on Monkland in NDG, making porchetta more accessible to the downtown core. We were there for their opening event and we can’t wait to go back for more!
We started with an Aperol Spritz in that lovely Italian aperitivo style, and later moved on to a lemon cocktail with pear nectar. When we walked in we were greeted by a sexy salumi and formaggi table; can salumi and formaggi be considered sexy? We certainly think so! Porco always has Salumi & Formaggi as an appetizer, with three types of local and imported cured meats, and two types of cheese.
Other appetizers include a crostinis menu that sound absolutely scrumptious including an herbed ricotta and marinated mushrooms crostini, a cherry tomato confit and cannellini bean purée crostini, an anchovy garlic butter crostini, a fontina cheese and porchetta crostini, etc. Our mouth is watering just picturing these perfect little bites!
Though the appetizers and cocktails are important, if you’re coming to Porco, you’re coming for the porchetta. The porchetta at Porco was not too greasy, and the right amount of fat with bites of crispy skin. You can choose to order it sliced, which is how we had it, or in a sandwich with crotonese cheese, and a homemade spicy spread that has some serious spunk.
If porchetta isn’t your thing, although if this is the case you have issues, other sandwiches include a Cubano sandwich which sounded delightful, a chicken sandwich, and pickled vegetable and cheese sandwich for vegetarians. Sides include fries, the Porco poutine with porchetta, and Italian coleslaw with radicchio and fennel. You can eat in the restaurant or take your spoils to go to enjoy elsewhere.
Porco also has a variety of salads, and at the media event we enjoyed a refreshing green salad with plenty of arugula, parmigiano and homemade croutons. It was citrusy and delicious, a nice digestif to all the porchetta. But Porco isn’t just about the porchetta, they blew our minds with their pork Milanese. A pounded chop was breaded with bagel crumbs, parmigiano and herbs in a pecorino sage sauce.
The pork Milanese was incredible, full of flavour, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with the perfect accompanied sauce. We had this with a side of basil cavatelli, their pasta of the week, in a perfectly seasoned tomato sauce with creamy ricotta for that added bit of decadence that we love so much about Italian cuisine. Porco is so much more that a porchetta lunch spot, don’t let its casual interior fool you, this is a place to return for dinner!
For dessert we were served bomboloni in a small cast iron pan. These deep fried doughnuts were topped with porchetta fat that was made into sugar and caramel. It sounds intense but we promise that it was delicious, but perhaps we’re gluttonous like that!
Porco added a nice splash of Italian to NDG and made delicious porchetta accessible to another part of town. Rumour has it that their brunch is also to die for, we assure you that we’ll have to try it and let you know everything about it!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 5674 Monkland, Aeprol Spritz, basil cavatelli, Bomboloni, Brunch, Charcuterie, Italian, Italian brunch, Montreal Brunch, Montreal italian, Montreal porchetta, Montreal Restaurant, NDG restaurant, Porchetta, Porchetta Sandwich, Porco, Porco Montreal, Porco NDG, pork Milanese, Salumi, sandwich