I’ve walked past Dolcetto & Co. in Old Montreal a thousand times or more and almost every time the restaurant’s marine inspired decor has caught my eye. Anchors, buoys and life preservers are not things I would normally associate with an Italian restaurant but upon finally getting a chance to try their food last week, I discovered that the food is a profoundly good as the decor is quirky.
I gathered with Véronique of La Journaliste, Vincent from Mazrou and Caroline from The Everyday Luxury for a pre-Christmas dinner at Dolcetto last week. It was our last event of the year, a way to cap off yet another 12 crazy months of running around Montreal. From time to time we combine our special restaurant reviewing powers when we get together to do special four-way recaps that feature each person’s point of view of the same experience. Dolcetto was the perfect setting for our latest get together.
When I arrived with Caroline, Véronique and Vincent were already knee deep in cocktails but it wouldn’t take long for us to catch up; it never does. A round of delicious Aperol Spritz (the summer cocktail to which we can’t seem to say goodbye) kicked off our meal wonderfully. The kitchen had decided to send out a selection of food for us to try during the course of the evening so we got to sit back, relax and wait to be surprised. Each service was paired with a glass of wine from their list which is comprised of both private imports and wines that are readily available at the SAQ. Their list also features both vins nature and regular wine. Just as we finished the last few sips of our cocktails an enormous plate of delicious charcuterie arrived at the table for us to share. It was loaded with olives, marinated mushrooms, homemade salami, fresh burrata and so much more. We savoured each bite with soft, homemade focaccia while at the same time reminding ourselves to calm down; more food was on the way.
We followed up our charcuterie with a shared plate of squash stuffed ravioli that were bursting with buttery flavour. Dressing up squash can be tricky but the chef did a great job balancing the seasonings, letting the natural flavour of the squash shine. We were also served lamb and pistachio meatballs and black cannelloni stuffed with swiss chard, mushrooms, goat cheese, pistachios and mustard sprouts. Personally I don’t like lamb or goat cheese but I did taste them both to be fair. Véronique, Caroline and Vincent are big fans of both and they really enjoyed them.
Coming to Dolcetto & Co. it’s hard to pass up trying their pizza and we were lucky enough to try four different pizzas. Getting to try pizza anywhere for the first time is a real treat so I was looking forward to this moment all evening. First of all, the pizza crust at Dolcetto, the foundation on which great pizzas are made, is wonderful. It’s crispy and crunchy on the crust and chewy on the inside. Moving on, we sampled the Margarita pizza which we all agree that if you’re Margarita is good, it’s a telltale sign that the rest will be outstanding. The Margarita didn’t disappoint. We also tried a pizza topped with butternut squash, bianca (white sauce), gorgonzola, pancetta and caramelized onions. The butternut squash was a great topping, very flavourful, slightly sweet and something I would never have thought would work. It did work and it was quite impressive. We were also served a pizza topped with bianca, wild mushrooms, tartufo, goat cheese and arugula. This time I steered clear of the goat cheese but the other 3 didn’t and they devoured it with smiles on their faces. Lastly we tried their pizza topped with prosciutto, fior de latte, cherry tomatoes and arugula. This pizza tasted fresh, the salt from the prosciutto went well with both the cheese and the tomatoes. It was wonderful.
No meal is complete without dessert and we started our dessert with cinnamon and creme bombalones and finished it off with a shot of grappa. At that point there was no way we could have walked away from the restaurant hungry but we did walk away happy.
For more information on Dolcetto & Co, visit their website here.