Although located in one of the city's hottest neighborhoods, Griffintown's newcomers to the dining scene have achieved varying degrees of success. A perfect example of this polarisation can be found at the corner of Peel and Wellington streets, where glitzy Mediterranean restaurant Doca made way for Moretti Pizzeria after a short, eighteen-month stint.
The latter is clearly not struggling to fill its seats the way its predecessor had, as made evident by the groups of diners anxiously awaiting a table at the entrance on this Friday night. Reservation or not, a fifteen-minute wait was to be expected it seems.
tagged: THE WAIT
Behind the kitschy window decals depicting Italian villagers having wholesome fun lays a roomy, industrial chic space bursting with people. No matter where you look – the fully-occupied bar, the exposed pizza oven and the packed dining room – you are faced with a beehive of activity. The crowd is young, hip and loud (à la Griffintown), reminding me of my pre-clubbing days.
Although the genre reached saturation a few years back, Neapolitan pizzerias are still all the rage – look at how fast the no 900 empire is expanding! What sets Moretti's pies apart is their size; adding an inch or two to your standard 12-incher. Thin-crusted with fresh toppings, their only fault was a sauce lacking that extra zing. The rest of the food fared similarly; good but missing a little something.
"fried calamari, shrimps & white fish, lemon-black pepper aioli, tomato marmalade"
"mozzarella di bufala, heirloom tomatoes, ligurian olives, figs, planeta olive oil, fresh basil"
"homemade gnocchi, pomodoro san marzano, fresh basil, parmigiano reggiano"
"pomodoro san marzano, fior di latte, roasted eggplant, ricotta salata, fresh basil"
After sitting at our table, it took our overwhelmed waitress all of ten minutes to make an appearance. Not only that, SHE asked US whether the absence of menus in our hands meant we had already placed our order; way to be on top of things!
Otherwise she took good care of us for the rest of the dinner, minus a short stretch near the end during which it was very hard to catch her attention. All in all, service felt rushed and impersonal in a supper-club way.
tagged: OVERWHELMED STAFF
Setting aside our fussy gripes, Moretti is clearly on fire! Yes the food needs minor tweaks and the service could use some warmth; but the vibe, price point – drinks included – and crowd-pleasing fare means you will have fun while getting your money's worth. With a trendy pre-party spot like this, where is Time Supper Club when you need it?
tagged: DESERVES A RETRY
Price per person: $33.50
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.