The mere mention of Italian food is enough to get me moving and I will go to the ends of the Earth to try whatever is put in front of me. Last week I may not have gone to the end of the Earth but I did go to the east end of Montreal to bear witness to one of the most eccentric butchers I’ve ever seen. A native of Tuscany (more specifically Panzano in Chianti), Dario Cecchini, an eighth generation butcher, is one of Europe’s most famous purveyors of Italian cuisine and with a vibrant Italian community right here in the 514, having him stop in Montreal was a logical and fantastic idea.
A massive dinner spearheaded by Cecchini was held at Plaza Antique by the PMG group, an amazing event space in Montreal’s east end (mere steps from Cadillac metro) that is perfect for large events like weddings, grads and small 200 person Italian family dinners. The outside architecture is like nothing I’ve ever seen while the newly and lavishly renovated third floor event space (salle Olympia) feels fresh and modern. The welcome cocktail was held on the sprawling terrasse and featured a light yet delightful snacking menu.
Dario Cecchini is a butcher by trade but his passion is showmanship. I have rarely seen anyone with the energy this man exudes and when he walks into room, if you don’t see him, you certainly hear him (or his very loud bugle). After the cocktail we were ushered to our seats inside and the meal started with a rock star entry by Cecchini where he started cutting up meat the same way a rocker riffs on his guitar. The crowd (who paid $250 a pop to see him live) went wild for him and he fed off the energy we were giving him. It was amazing, the food was out of this world and by the time we came to dessert I could barely eat another bite.
I’ve been at Italian dinners where things get wonderfully out of hand and this dinner was no exception. Seeing Cecchini in his element was one of the highlights of the year for me so far and being at Plaza Antique for the first time was an extraordinary experience. If you have questions about reserving the space, simply click here or call 514-255-2922.