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Kesté:

Exit Voro, Enter Kesté

RESTAURANT ITALIAN MILE-END MODERATE

Disclaimer: This meal was comped.

The Pitch

The backdrop was a quiet stretch of Fairmont Avenue in hipster-heavy Mile End, as one two-syllabic restaurant replaces another.  This marks the second time we accept a one-on-one invitation from a restaurant outside of a private event.  With the recent heatwave finally subsiding following the heavy rainfall earlier today, we made the easy decision of grabbing one of the communal benches flanking Kesté's exterior.

tagged:  CATCH SOME SUN

The Mood

Mood image

It didn't take long subsequent to the closing of Voro for this coveted corner locale to fill up.  Open for just over a month now, Kesté boasts an industrial interior with an eye-catching shelving unit displaying books, food products and other decorative objects.  The restaurant's dining room was deserted while the terrace counted about a dozen diners; the sudden rainstorm may have deterred people from going out…

tagged:  WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

The Food

Food Image

While the look may not have changed much, the back of the house is run by a brand new engine.  Kitchen-wise, Kesté suggests small, accessible, made-to-share plates, a proposition very du jour (when's the last time you saw a newcomer serve veal parmigiana or osso buco?).  The fare is home-style Neapolitan, right down the alley of everyone involved, from the Naples-born owner to the seasoned ex-Cavalli chef.

The menu is split into a typical casual Italian offering: a few refreshing salads, sfizis for sharing, some Neapolitan pastas with vegetables as focal point and a couple of meat/fish dishes.  Finally, they have a panini section for those wanting a quick lunch, with plans to add pizza to the menu soon.

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Starter

Starter

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Barbabietola

"beets & citrus salad with grapefruit & spicy honey vinaigrette"

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Starter

Starter

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Polipetti

"baby octopus braised in tomato sauce"

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Starter

Starter

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Kesté

"buffalo mozzarella sheet stuffed with pesto tagliolini in a thin fried bread crumbs crust"

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Main

Main

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Casarecce

"tomato sauce, eggplant & ricotta"

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Main

Main

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Tagliolini

"mushrooms with smoked cheese & parsley"

tagged:  GOOD FOR SHARING

The Verdict

Between Keste’s clear and precise vision, the passion we felt from chatting with some of the owners, and the kitchen’s experience, we feel there is potential for success.  From sampling some of the dishes offered, we have seen and tasted enough to make us want to come back; we’ll just allow some time to iron out any kinks that might be present early on.

tagged:  DESERVES A RETRY

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514eats

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.

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