Is it wrong to have a favourite cousin? Because Diva #1 does. He isn’t the nicest cousin, and she doesn’t really know why she likes him so much, but out of her boy-band gang of cousins, he is her favourite. Of course all of her cousins know that she has a favourite, finesse really isn’t a trait that this family shares.
Diva #1, P’tit Frère, Aunty, Uncle, Senior Diva and said favourite cousin went to Primo & Secondo to celebrate this little cousin’s birthday. Located near the Jean Talon Market in St-Édouard, Primo & Secondo has a chalkboard menu that optimizes on all of the fresh produce, meat, etc. available next door at the market.
Before we began ordering we were brought a plate with salami, lupini beans and mache greens. Seasoned lightly with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, this amuse bouche was the perfect beginning to our meal ahead. Different types of artisanal bread and breadsticks were also brought to the table and we knew we were in for a fabulous meal.
Aunty opted for burrata cheese served with beets and a few tomatoes. The dressing was divine, the extra virgin olive oil was potent and the beets lightly pickled. Though burrata is seen on the menu of many fine Italian restaurants in Montreal, Primo & Secondo enhanced the flavour of the cheese with the dressing and beet salad.
Zucchini flower season is all too short in Montreal, and delicious zucchini flowers are hard to come by. Ever so lightly fried, these zucchini flowers were stuffed with cheese and served on finely diced ratatouille. Sprinkled with more cheese, the zucchini flowers were delicious, the cheese stuffing was creamy and the vegetables stewed in tomatoes.
Diva #1 and P’tit Frère were intrigued by the tuna tartare served with foie gras. This is a mix of our favourite things; it is unheard of to find both raw tuna and creamy foie gras in the same dish! The tuna tartare was fresh and dressed in an Asian style dressing, and the foie gras torchon was placed on top with touches of balsamic reduction. It was a very interesting combination of flavours, different from anything that we had tried before.
Senior Diva opted to have the orrecchiette with sausage and rapini as her primi. Primo & Secondo makes each pasta dish conveniently available as a main meal or as a first course dish, in traditional Italian fashion. The orecchiette were cooked to perfection, there could have been more sausage but each bite was still meaty and delicious, and the rapini and baby tomatoes added an earthy element. The sauce was an olive oil based sauce that was seasoned with fresh herbs and delightful.
The winner of the night was the tortellini with porcini and truffles. This pasta dish was absolute decadence. The creamy sauce was rich with porcini mushrooms and black truffles. It was aromatic when it hit the table and Diva #1 and P’tit Frère devoured it quickly. They also had a mushroom risotto on the menu and though we were torn over which one to order, when we tasted the tortellini we had no regrets.
Our love of zucchini flowers knew no bounds at Primo & Secondo. The gnudi intrigued us since it had been awhile since we had seen it on a menu. Gnudi is similar to gnocchi but it is lighter and made with little flour and ricotta. They are called gnudi because they are basically “naked” ravioli stuffing. Made with zucchini flowers and spinach, the gnudi at Primo & Secondo melted in your mouth.
Last but not least Uncle got the lamb but he never gave us a chance to photograph the slow roasted meat melting off the bone…before he ate it! But Aunty was more polite and let us photograph and taste her scallops. The scallops were caramelized, quite large and decadent. It is hard to describe such a delicious dish because every flavour just worked well together.
Last but not least came the desserts; chocolate soufflé with a tiramisu encompassed the more traditional of Italian desserts. Made well, they were exactly as we expected them to taste, perfect. The budino with chocolate, banana and caramel was the more original of the desserts and the more impressive one of the night. Layered perfectly, the caramel was thick and the perfect addition to the budino that was made up of banana and chocolate.
We left little cousin’s birthday quite content with our meal at Primo & Secondo. The atmosphere is not wild, but typical to those traditional high end Italian restaurants; crisp white tablecloths, low music and a chalkboard menu that changes frequently. Next door to the Jean Talon market, Primo & Secondo has no trouble finding the freshest ingredients to create complex dishes with dimensions of flavour.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 7023 Rue St-Dominique, Budino, Burrata, Chalkboard Menu, Chocolate Soufflé, foie gras, Gnudi, H2S 1B2, Italian, Italian Cuisine, Jean Talon Market, Lamb, Montreal italian, Montreal Restaurant, Pasta, Porcini, Primo & Secondo, Primo & Secondo Montreal, Primo e Secondo, Risotto, Roberto Stabile, Saint Édouard, Sausage, Scallops, Tortellini, Truffles, Tuna Tartare, Zucchini Flowers