Being in Montreal for the holidays is always an occasion to discover a fresh place to eat. This year I was introduced to Wienstein and Gavino’s. A delightfully authentic Italian restaurant on Crescent at St. Catherine Sts.
A cavernous three-story space with a wrap around main-floor bar is grandiose with vast seating.
Communal tables in the bar make for cozy group gatherings. There is a well-stocked wine bar next to the open kitchen and brick pizza oven is on the second floor. An intimate chef’s table is also available in front of the kitchen. The main seating area is on the third floor with great views of the entire restaurant.
You are welcomed with complimentary warm loaf and olive oil and fresh basil. The Italian menu features classic pizzas, pastas and mains that are honest and authentic.
Specials are featured each evening includes a salad, a main and coffee or tea. I also like to have a bit of green in my cocktails, in this case a pretty good mojito. A variety of traditional sauces such as Gigi (tomato sauce, cream, prosciutto, mushrooms, basil) Al Sole (Olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, butter, white wine, basil, cherry tomatoes) and Gamberi Macchiato (shrimp, garlic, chili peppers, butter, white wine, parsley, cherry tomatoes) are among list of fourteen that are on offer with your choice of pasta.
Smoked salmon with penne is my comfort food. The cream sauce is light and with a respectable portion of salmon.
One of the featured pizzas is spinach, feta and red peppers. The thin crust is carefully done, crispy and thin and perfect from the oven.
The desert menu, has classic Italian treats like Tiramisu, chocolate Nociola gelato or particularly rich chocolate cake with is accompanied by Nutella.
Wienstein and Gavino’s has a nice wine list, cocktails and drinks are reasonably priced. The wait staff are quick and attentive, water glasses filled regularly, meal arrived well time and still hot. While this restaurant has great seating capacity, it’s best to make reservations for the evenings as every table was filled by 8:30 p.m. W&G is as intimate for two as it is for a table of eight, there are enough options for everyone – all authentic and fresh. Make your way there on your next visit to Montreal. Bon appetit!