Miss Italia & Spicy Aroma!
By Charu Satnarine/
Montreal Bureaux Chief
A place that has been around since the late nineties and gained such popularity that the owners had to move across the street and build a new, bigger location to accommodate their fanatics. Located on Victoria Street in Greenfield Park, the décor – including a grand water fountain out front – is just beautiful to pass on your way to the two-floor establishment.
Almost two minutes after entering, we (a party of four) were seated, despite the busy lunch rush and seemingly hectic atmosphere of the restaurant. The server wiped down the table and quickly provided menus for us as well as taking a minute to run down the lunch specials – very affordable at $10.95 for salad, the main course (this afternoon’s choices: rigatoni platter, pizza-ghetti and chicken alfredo), coffee/tea and the daily dessert. After running back to the kitchen to pick up an order for another table, she rushed back with glasses of water and a basket of bread and breadsticks before taking our order.
It didn’t seem to take very long to receive our orders, again surprising for the crowd that continued to come in, that was a huge relief considering the spicy aromas wafting in from the kitchen. The salads, chef or Caesar, were both typical of a green appetizer plate – nothing spectacular here – refreshing and satisfying as a prelude to our next course.
All Photos by Charu Satnarine; Copyright: Right Impact Media Inc.
Miss Italia is famous for their pizza and I can see why. The crust was slightly (and beautifully) crispy and golden, and slightly buttery with a hint of garlic, and the toppings were fresh and delectably delicious, which alone was worth the trip. The spaghetti was cooked perfect for us (slightly past al dente) and the tomato sauce was flavourful and zesty. Parmesan and chillies on the side paired perfectly with the pasta and pizza – as would be expected. My ultimate favourite here, which I highly recommend, is the Gnocchi gratiné (topped with cheese and baked) with meat and mushroom sauce (though you can choose a variety of sauces to accompany most pasta dishes prepared here). The gnocchi was a mouth-watering taste of scrumptiousness and combined with the spiciness of the sauceis incomparable to anywhere else I have been to.
Though the menu does offer half-portions, I didn’t realize why it was so necessary until my plate arrived. I was only able to consume half of my order with satisfying pleasure, but took the rest home to enjoy later.
The coffee was decent – but maybe next time I will opt for the cappuccino as a post-meal treat. The dessert portions for the lunch specials were small – maybe 1/3 portions, but no one complained because of the size of our meal itself. Another thing that I appreciated was, although our server was clearly busy with other tables, not feeling rushed at any point, either upon arrival or during dessert, which is important for any lunch service with such a busy clientele. And since there were children dining with me, I can attest to the fact that, at least from my experience, the restaurant and staff are very child-friendly – a huge bonus in my books. ****