Hello, it's been a while! As the entire economy grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant sector has been hard at work trying to stay afloat. Some eateries have focused their efforts on delivery while others came up with novel ways to generate income while keeping their clients happy. From curbside pickups to DIY meal kits, cocktail mixes and curated grocery baskets, the options abound!
After two months of self-sustaining ourselves with cooking at home, my family decided to treat ourselves to takeout on this balmy Sunday. For the occasion, we opted for Elena; the best, hottest and newest pizzeria in the Western part of the city core. Since the lockdown started, the sister restaurant to the acclaimed Nora Gray has upped the ante of their regular menu with bottles of wine and frozen pies for takeout.
tagged: SUNDAY NIGHT
Two dinners at Elena since its opening in 2018 instantly put this modern pizzeria on my list of current crushes. Accompanying their list of excellent pies is an assortment of stellar appetizers and a strong wine program. The shortened "quarantine" menu sticks to the same formula of whimsical dish names – Kevin McCallister, M. Funguy… – along with some pantry items such as coffee and bread.
Pizza being the ultimate takeout food, Elena's pies traveled well thanks to their puffy thin crust which held up perfectly. Even the sauce-less pizza I ordered – which I'm normally not a fan of – was marvelous, putting to use local ingredients such as wild garlic and rich Fleur des Monts cheese.
"kale, radicchio, tahini, parmesan"
"tomato, salami, pepperoncini, mozza di bufala"
"wild garlic, onion, fleur des monts, mozza di bufala"
"chocolate ganache, nuts"
This story was not intended to be a review per se. I tried not to make it solely about Elena and myself, but this food is too special to skip over. Instead, I wanted to write a love letter to our city's restaurants and more importantly their people, from owners and kitchen staff to bartenders, waiters and busboys. Kudos to all of you for braving the storm and providing some self of normalcy to us, your clients, for those who need it.
We cannot wait until we are allowed to dine "out" like we used to; until then, we can content ourselves with the new normal of dining "in". At least I have those frozen pizzas I stocked up on to look forward to…
Price per person: $34
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.