Moccione created a welcome new niche in Montreal’s Italian dining scene when it opened at the end of 2018. The cozy pastel room, with only eight tables and six bar stools, could be a feminine French bistro. The menu is equally short, smart and soigné, with laser-focused takes on the classics. From white anchovy crostini to crackling cannoli with rhubarb and pistachio, all is prepared with exactitude and presented with flawless service. Behold the silky bolognese, with ever-so-slowly-simmered veal shank, pork shoulder, beef flatiron and pancetta (made in house for this purpose) caught up on thick tubes of just-chewy maccheroni, so deep with flavour that you could live in it. The Toqué! alum behind this neighbourhood find, chef Luca Cianciulli and life-work partner Maxime Landry, achieve an ideal balance between haute and honest. The wine list by Maxime Lavallé, featuring lesser-known, largely European labels, reflects the restaurant’s modern attitude: light and fun yet carefully calculated. This is a place where ordering a bottle of Chianti (from Sorelle Palazzi, in the Pisan Hills) feels daringly on trend.
Photos: MAUDE CHAUVIN