ManAboutMTL

Introducing Buonanotte’s Winter Menu

For those in my demographic who, like myself, live and work in the Sherbrooke St. – Plateau corridor, there’s no denying that the nei...



For those in my demographic who, like myself, live and work in the Sherbrooke St. – Plateau corridor, there’s no denying that the neighborhood has changed. With an ever-increasing number of ‘A Louer’ signs dotting the strip of the Main between Sherbrooke and Des Pins, one would be hard-pressed to recognize St. Laurent Blvd. from when the hip boutiques made for destination shopping by day, and the diverse restaurants and supper clubs branded the city nightlife. Of these, Buonanotte has emerged as one of the few mainstays in a business not exactly known for longevity. 

Since opening in the early nineties, it has weathered a reputation for being a party pad catering mostly to rich kids out on the town with their parent’s plastic, bottle-service reservations, a selective door policy, and forgettable food, to evolve into a signature MTL stop for locals and tourists alike, with a more-than-competent kitchen doing high-quality Italian, and an impressive wine cellar to boot.

Proof positive came when we had the pleasure of joining the select press table at a tasting of the landmark’s new additions for the 2014 winter season.


Coming out in 3 flights, dinner began with a caprese salad featuring an excellent burrata cheese as the star. Alongside were tender fried calamari with spicy mayo, capesante, which was a delectable arrangement of scallops served with a lightly spiced carrot purée and balsamic pearls.  Rounding out the first course was porchetta, which for Buona means the whole animal slow-cooked until fork tender, and then pulled to serve. A tasting of each dish made for a fresh and lively starter.

A couple pizzas then hit the table, one the familiar tomato/mozarrella Margherita, and a new offering, the Tartufata, consisting of their signature focaccia-like crust and topped with truffle cream, porcini, mozzarella, and speck. Like sesame oil, truffle has a very pronounced flavor, and the slightest bit too much can overpower a dish. Here, it balanced perfectly with the savoury/woodsy flavors and the light and airy crust. As an aside, we always felt the pizza at Buonanotte was underrated, and deserves a higher ranking among the city’s top.


Next to hit the table was a pasta duo, spaghetti with organic tomatoes and basil, and the standout Tagliatelle al Funghi featuring, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and truffled buffalo mozzarellaThe tomatoes were special in that, aside from being flown in from Italy, they imparted zero acidity to the spaghetti. The proof?  Short work was made of both dishes.

Just when we thought we couldn’t handle anymore, our main was set down – Filetto di Manzo (filet mignon), cooked to a perfect medium rare and sliced against the grain. Served with brussel sprouts, rapini, demi glace, and addictive thick-cut polenta fries with taleggio cheese, the dish was decadent and nothing short of fantastic. 


Finishing off the last of a memorable pre-holiday meal, we commented on how it was like re-discovering the place over again, with a renewed emphasis on a fresh and varied menu, and great wine pairings. But don’t get us wrong, the ubiquitous after-party and bottle service are still in full force, except the restaurant part is now top of mind when it comes to an evening with friends, or entertaining out-of-town guests.

D.G.

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