Wait, what? Another pizzeria review? Another Saint-Henri restaurant? At the risk of being repetitive, I have stuck to restaurants around where I live since the COVID-19 lockdown's beginning. As for pizza, is there a more quintessential takeout dish?
Tonight I opted for Adamo to cater a dinner I was hosting at my building's communal garden. The Saint-Henri pizzeria has built a name for itself while being barely noticeable from the street, save for the line of patrons usually hanging around its storefront.
tagged: WAIT IN LINE
Opened in 2015 by Saint-Henri entrepreneur Tony (Bones) Campanelli, Adamo follows along the lines of the latter's eponymous café/sandwich spot right across the street. Both establishments put forth a rustic, artisanal Italian brand, focusing on counter-style service while eschewing the delivery option.
The small space looked markedly different today compared to my previous visit a couple years back. Gone are the communal table and foosball set by the corner. The semi-lockdown mode replaced those with traffic cones, a handwashing station and piled-up flour bags and tomato crates – all in the name of safety.
Adamo's menu may be limited in length, but it sure is large in scope. The concept here is New York-style pizza, offered by the slice or pie; and boy are those HUGE! Prices could seem steep at first glance – $3.75 for a slice, about $25 for a pie – but given the jumbo 20-inch diameter, they're totally reasonable in fact.
True to form, the dough here is thin and crisp with enough sponginess to be able to fold a slice and eat it with one hand. The tomato sauce is sparse but present, letting the cheese and toppings stand out. I particularly loved the very "Montreal" smoked meat pizza featuring pickles and mustard – bizarre on paper but it works!
tagged: GOOD FOR SHARING
The interior setup made it easy for staff and clients alike to practice social-distancing measures. The single file of patrons outside lead to an interior queue marked with the now-all-too-familiar "stand here" stickers on the floor.
The line moved pretty fast, with a cashier jumping back and forth between the payment and pick-up sections of the counter. Behind him was a trio of pizzaiole flinging dough in the air, topping pies, shoving them in ovens and finally boxing them.
So far I have only picked up whole pies from Adamo on both my visits, although I am very tempted to drop by and grab a slice on-the-go some day. Everything from the size and quality ingredients to the crust and taste makes this joint my favorite by-the-slice pizzeria.
If only Montreal had such an option back in my clubbing days twenty years ago. Lord knows I must have eaten a lot of 99-cent garbage in those days!
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.