Some of the best nights in Montreal are the ones you don’t get to plan. They start off innocent enough but before you know it you’re guzzling champagne and shucking oysters and enjoying some of the best food you never imagined you’d ever be eating when leaving home for “one quick drink”. Last week I had one of those nights. Early last week I was out with a few writer/blogger peers at the opening of yet another downtown terrasse. We were sipping on fresh drinks and hunting for canapés like a pride of hungry lions searching for evasive prey on the Serengeti. As the evening rolled slowly on the sun spilled through the trees and sliced through the partially opened awnings. As we were preparing to call it a night we were suddenly saved by a new friend who whisked us off to Rosalie. Before last week I had never been to Rosalie. Though it is known throughout the city as one of our best Italian restaurants, it’s one of those places where thought I wouldn’t necessarily fit in; I couldn’t have been more wrong. The five of us took up a table on the terrasse out in front of the restaurant, we ordered up some food and wine and settled in. As the food came out we were joined by one of the new owners who was very friendly and happy to have us with him. We invited him to sit with us and I prodded him with a couple of questions. It’s only been less than a year that he and his business partner took over ownership of the restaurant and he has quite the vision for Rosalie. Admitting that the Jags and Ferraris that are perpetually parked in front of the restaurant can give off an intimidating vibe, they want to make sure that everyone who wants a good meal that’s professionally presented in a quality environment should always feel welcome.
The five of us were starving and we ate a staggering amount of food at Rosalie. We ordered the calamari, oysters, a delicious fois gras and their homemade pizza. The calamari was delicious, lightly battered and fried. The fois gras is the specialty of the chef and is presented with homemade blueberry compote and freshly made peanut butter. The pizza was some of the best I’ve tasted in the city and is made on the spot in a wood fired oven. The crust soft and cooked to perfection and the ingredients exploded with flavor. If I could live on pizza alone, I would.
The staff was courteous, quick on their feet and very friendly. After we finished our meal the owner who had joined us surprised us with a quick tour of the restaurant. We visited the massive kitchen where hundreds of plates are prepared on a daily basis. We also visited a private dining room located in a beautiful wine cellar that looks down over the restaurant. Our last stop on the tour was a visit to Galt, the dance club on the 3rd floor above the restaurant. It wasn’t open yet for the evening so we got a private show of the bar, the space and sound. It was ended the night perfectly. Our experience at Rosalie was certainly a heightened one and I wouldn’t expect a night like that every night (I’ve been back twice since the first trip and each time since has been on the same crazy fun level as the first). It was a great introduction to the restaurant.
As we walked back outside into the warm spring air we chatted about how much fun the night ended up being and how we couldn’t have planned it better. We had a blast at Rosalie and we can’t wait to go back.
Photo credit: David Major-Lapierre