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Gentile Pizza Parlour:

New York Meets Sicily

RESTAURANT PIZZERIA WESTMOUNT <$40

The Pitch

While many restaurants are scraping by during the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant number are sadly closing for good.  Others, on the other hand, are going against the grain by branching out and expanding.

Take the two-headed Italian caffč operating under the Gentile Moniker.  After successfully copying their longstanding Ahuntsic concept into Westmount in 2016 (reviewed here), their next step was to open a pizzeria right next door.

In the short months since its opening last fall, Gentile's Pizza Parlour has generated some buzz, not least due to its eye-catching design.  As a Westmount resident myself, I figured I would check it out by getting some takeout for my family on this first Sunday of spring.

tagged:  TAKEOUT

The Food

Food Image

Gentile's pizza offering revolves around two continental varieties; New York-style slices as well as square Sicilian pies.  Completing the menu are finger-foods for starters, a couple of salads, a handful of Italian comfort classics and soft-serve ice cream.

Our starters, regrettably, fluctuated between awful and average at best.  The arancini lacked any semblance of outside crisp and inside runniness, and were served with a thick, revolting fonduta dip.  At $3.5 a ball, these were an overpriced flop.  Our eggplant fritters fared a little better but again lacked that exterior crunch, while the chicken wings were dry-ish and forgettable.

As for the pizza, I opted for the simple cheese pie; my benchmark when sampling a new pizzeria.  Gentile went with a secret blend of four types of cheese which, combined with the sauce and basil, resulted in a beautifully-seasoned sweet/salty mix.  All of this sat on a spongy crust with a nice chew in the middle, although hard and brittle near the edges.

All in all, this is a solid pizza; but at $27 for a 16-incher with no "premium" toppings, one might consider it expensive.

Cacio e Pepe Arancini thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$14

$14

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Cacio e Pepe Arancini

"saffron & parmigiano fonduta, pepper"

Eggplant Fritters thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$14

$14

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Eggplant Fritters

"sweet tomato passata, salted ricotta"

Polenta Crusted Chicken Wings thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$13

$13

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Polenta Crusted Chicken Wings

"cacciatore style, nduja ranch sauce, marinara"

Cheese Pie thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$27

$27

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Cheese Pie

"house sauce, parlour's cheese blend, fresh basil"

tagged:  GOOD FOR SHARING OVERPRICED

The Verdict

As with several of my recent reviews, it is a shame to do takeout from this pizza parlour and not enjoy its décor.  Designed by none other than Zébulon Perron, the retro-chic space is truly remarkable.

The look, which is highlighted by diagonal tiling patterns, a golden hue and neon lights, was inspired by 80s New York pizzerias and arcades.  The final product is an exercise in nostalgia mixed with modernity and warmth.

Food-wise, the inconsistency between those mediocre starters and great pizza lands me in a love/hate spot with Pizza Parlour; which is not any different from my relationship with the adjacent caffč.

tagged:  DESERVES A RETRY

Price per person:  $22.67

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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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