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Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Treat yourself.

I strongly suggest you go check out a restaurant called 'Sapori Pronto' in NDG/Westmount. I'm not sure which city it's technically in 'cause it's straddling the borough border. Anyway, it's 4894 Sherbrooke, south side of the street, about a block west of Victoria, right on the corner of Prince Albert street. It's right next to the Dairy Queen and it's a little deceptive 'cause it shares an entrance with a clothing boutique. Just walk in and take the stairs down on the left.

My "review" might be a little long-winded but it really was a fabulous place. I went last month with Candis & my folks and it was fucking AWESOME. The décor is trendy minimalist without being cold: the atmosphere of the place is actually quite relaxed and inviting. Because it's in a basement and rather small (seats maybe 20-25 people), it has a very intimate feel to it.

In a wonderful contrast to the very modern aesthetic, the staff is old school: very professional, extremely efficient, deferential without being obsequious, knowledgeable about the food and wine list, friendly without being too friendly... people who take waitering seriously. Really, some of the best service I've received in a restaurant in a long time. The wine our waiter suggested was a Masi and it couldn't have complemented the meal better.

We opened with some delicious grilled vegetables and a plate of lightly sautéed oyster mushrooms that were to die for: a hint of sesame and garlic lingered in the white wine sauce--perfection. I ordered the spaghetti carbonara, partly because I hadn't had it in ages and partly because I loved everything else about this place and wanted to know how their carbonara held up. It was unbelievable. Thick and creamy without being heavy, it managed to be rich without feeling decadent. I could almost taste the fresh eggs in there and the parmesan was soaked in but still a little crumbly. It was wonderful.

Everything else we ordered was superlative: Candis had a pair of chicken breasts stuffed with tomato, basil and mozzarella; the chicken was so tender it just collapsed in my mouth... unreal. My mom ordered the lemon veal and raved about it all the way home, and my dad had a fantastic risotto. To top it all off, when we asked for the bill, they brought our table complementary porto in these little fluted shot-size glasses--a post-meal digestif on the house.

For the first time in a long while, I think I can give a restaurant a 10/10. Regarding cost, it wasn't too bad: the pasta dishes range from $14 to $22 and the most expensive things on the menu are the veal porcini and the giant garlic shrimp, both $36.

If you're of a mind to treat yourself, you should definitely check this place out.


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