When winter rolls around, a few things are a given; the salty streets will ruin your favorite boots, you’ll wish you appreciated summer more, and you’ll want comfort food. For me, that often means I’m looking for Italian food.
My last craving landed me at Café Gentile. If you are a Montreal-er who loves a great cup of coffee and fresh Italian paninis the name will ring a bell. This location however, is not the original Italian Café (or bar as the Italians call it) that opened on Park Ave in 1958. This location is in Westmount, under the original management. Think of it as the original Café Gentile tailored for the foodies in Montreal. After all, I love a great dish…. but when the ambiance is as impressive, it takes a place to a whole other level!
As you may have guessed it, you can get all of that at more at this new location. The best part? They still serve up some of the best coffee in the city (to-go if you wish), along with a separate lunch and dinner menu. The décor is stunning, and seems as if modelled according the original founding date of Café Gentile. Seating is limited, but you can easily grab a seat by the bar, or on their dining tables.
My visit to Gentiles was during the supper service. The wait staff was knowledgeable, kind and most importantly passionate about the food! We started off with some home-style bread with some of the most flavourful Sicilian olive oil. Then, came the octopus on a bed of grilled fennel and potatoes along with a beet salad with goat cheese and pistachio. Although small, the octopus was perfectly charred on the outside with a tender center, the bed of fennel and potatoes equally as flavourful and truly complimented the dish. As for the beet and goat cheese salad, delicious, fresh and the crushed pistachios added an interesting element and crunch which kept me wanting more! As for the Gigli rosé, too delicious to stop and take a picture (seriously, I dug in the second it hit the table). Not only was the sauce succulent and rich without being too heavy but the Gigli pasta was so unique and captured all the sauce in its ridges and grooves! The night was finished off with two signature espresso, which like the original Gentile location were flawless.
I am thrilled to have Gentiles in the downtown core, and cannot wait to explore their lunch, morning and even more of their dinner options…. but that’s not after another plate or two of the Gigli rosé (yes…it was that good!). I hope your next dinner, lunch or morning coffee run leads you to Café Gentile! You won’t be disappointed.
4126 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Westmount, QC H3Z 1P4
Phone: (514) 925-8686