Yesterday afternoon, we met Giovanni the chef at Bevo in Old Montreal. He made sure that we tried his homemade capicolo and fresh cheese, with warm flatbread. With just a little sea salt and some watercress, it was the perfect afternoon snack. They make their own charcuterie which is very good…not too salty. The cheese is made fresh daily and you can pull it apart with your fingers. Next, Giovanni brought out a saffron risotto riceball with his homemade ragu. He said he should pay his mom a royalty for every one he sells. It was spectacular, and I would pay his mom!! He finished the afternoon off with a warm Nutella pizza….wow, so good.
Giovanni was kind enough to walk down the street, and secure us reservations at Chuck Hughes’ restaurant Le Bremner. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at this restaurant. From the first cocktail, a vodka with their home made tonic, and homemade ginger syrup with peach bitters, to the oysters from New Brunswick, to the tuna and tahini sashimi, to the incredible snow crab with Kimchi…everything was absolutely authentic, perfectly seasoned, innovative and just plain yummy! We also had a bottle of French Pinot Noir which they privately import, very very nice. To end the meal, we enjoyed a toasted coconut banana cream pie and an espresso.
Both of these chefs are passionate about food. There is nothing fussy or pretentious about either place. Danny Smyles chef from Le Bremner is friendly and clearly loves what he does. Chef Giovanni is a true Montrealer, with an immediately friendly attitude, and really great Italian food.
I have to make a special note about our bartender Vito at Le Bremner. We left having made a new friend, and inspired to give whatever you do for a living 100%. Thanks Vito!