Italian

At 10Best, we're always on the lookout for Montréal's best restaurants, and while we appreciate places that have a broad culinary range, we can't help but adore restaurants that specialize in a given cuisine. When we're in the mood for Italian food in Montréal, we head to Le Latini - a reader favorite - or we count on Wienstein & Gavino's's solid track record and consistently great dishes. You'll find these places - and any of the restaurants on our list - to be fantastic options for Italian cuisine.

10 Le Latini
Serving fine, traditional Italian cuisine, this restaurant has been a city institution since 1979. Expensive, definitely, but many clamor for the delicious food, which changes depending on the constantly evolving menu. The table d'hôte selections are terrific if you want a luxurious dining experience with several courses, but the à la carte fare is great, too. Among the options you'll find are pastas, veal, seafood and even more exotic dishes like sweetbreads. The risotto also has quite a good reputation among regulars. Many Italian wines are available. (514-861-3166)

9 Le Muscadin
Winner of multiple awards, from the esteemed DiRoNa to Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence, Le Muscadin has set the bar on fine Italian dining quite high. The atmosphere is elegant and refined without being stuffy or pretentious; the menu is simultaneously sophisticated and accessible. You might start with salmon-wrapped hearts of palm or snails in white wine-cream-garlic sauce. For the pasta course, try spaghetti carbonara or gnocchi with tomato sauce and lamb. Main courses are lovely and varied — choose from veal, beef, chicken or seafood. Among Montréal's finest. (514-842-0588)

8 Casa Napoli
The godfather of all Italian restaurants in Montréal has been doing a brisk business for over 20 years. Once inside, the dining rooms are decorated with arches, stucco walls and a statue of Venus de Milo. Tuxedoed waiters bustle about with white napkins draped over their arms. The cuisine proves that traditional fare does not have to be boring. In Casa Napoli's cucina, the osso buco is tender, the focaccia is appropriately doused in olive oil and the fra diavolo lives up to its spicy name. Good selection of regional Italian wines priced reasonably. (514-274-4351)

7 Galiano's
It is not often that you stumble across an Italian restaurant that features home cooking rather than haute cuisine. If you find yourself craving a simple carbonara or the fresh green taste of basil on succulent (not sweet) tomato sauce on pizza, step into Galiano's. The rustic interior with exposed brick archways and wood floors only enhances the feeling of being at an Italian grandmother's kitchen. If you listen carefully you can almost hear her say, "Mangia!" when the dishes are placed in front of you. (514-861-5039)

6 Il Mulino
Careful preparation of the freshest ingredients gives Il Mulino an edge in Little Italy, where Italian restaurants are abundant. The menu changes frequently, as you might expect, which not only allows the kitchen to use only the best produce but encourages repeat visits. Italian food fans will not be bored here! There are plenty of distinctive pastas, but if you want a bit more protein, try the osso bucco, grilled octopus, Baccala alla Livornese (salt cod with tomatoes, garlic and basil) or stuffed veal chops. (514-273-5776)

5 BU Bar à Vin
Many folks come here just for the wine, and honestly that is a fine reason. They have a wide variety of wine, with weekly by-the-glass specials that encourage repeat visits. But the food, designed to complement the wine, could stand on its own quite easily. The menu is comprised of several sections of hot and cold antipasti (think Italian-style tapas) such as caponata, brandade, crostini, grilled vegetables, walnuts and olives, carpaccio, salad Caprese, and charcuterie platters. Substantial enough to be a meal, but small enough to serve as appetizers if you're on your way to dinner somewhere else, and all decidedly delicious. (514-276-0249)

4 Restaurant Roberto
You can have a great meal here. Pastas are made in-house daily, and the sauces they're topped with are awesome. There are big salads, a good selection of veal and chicken dishes, pizzas and calzones, and specialties such as braised rabbit and roasted veal shank. But the homemade desserts are stunningly wonderful, from presentation to taste. Cannoli, gelato, granita, tiramisu, biscotti — each and every one is fantastic. Don't overstuff yourself on pizza and pasta! (514-374-9844)

3 Café Via Dante
Café Via Dante never fails. The Little Italy haven has been a neighborhood favorite since it opened a few years back, but it deserves wider acclaim. Home-style pastas are sublime, but the daily specials are almost always fantastic too — standouts on the regular menu include rabbit and polenta, gnocchi, and pappardelle with lamb ragu. The wine list is short but sweet, and the staff is affable and helpful. (514-270-8446)

2 Amelio's
Affordably, fabulously flavorful and eminently satisfying. Amelio's is a tried-and-true standby in the McGill area, serving up great thick-crusted pizzas and pastas. It's not a fancy spot for a romantic dinner — this is hearty food in a super-casual atmosphere. Understandably, students make up a large percentage of the clientele, but the place is worth checking out even if you're a PhD. (514-845-8396)

1 Wienstein & Gavino's
This stylish venue is awash in warm colors, beautiful patinas and soft lighting. The place, which occupies three floors, is lively and animated, ideal for group functions or dinner with someone special. Italian fare is the name of the game, whether it's a delicious pasta dish where you choose the shape and the sauce, or you opt for lamb, chicken, tuna or a luscious lasagna. You'll also find colorful pizzas topped with a host of fresh ingredients, along with soups, salads, appetizers and desserts. Crusty bread and a selection of wines add to the appeal of the place, which is constantly busy with young professionals and patrons of all sorts. (514-288-2231)


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Maps and Directions

1
Le Latini 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$$
2
Le Muscadin 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Dining Options: Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Wine Cellar
COST: $$$$
3
Casa Napoli 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Live Music, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$$
4
Galiano's 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Group Friendly
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$$
5
Il Mulino 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Dining Options: Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
COST: $$$$
6
BU Bar à Vin 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Non-Smoking, Wine Cellar
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$$
7
Restaurant Roberto 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Wine Cellar
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$$
8
Café Via Dante 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Dining Options: Live Music, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
COST: $$$$
9
Amelio's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Pizza
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
COST: $$$$
10
Wienstein & Gavino's 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Smoking (outdoor area)
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$$