Old Montreal is full of charming places to satisfy your epicurean taste. Jacopo, and its dishes inspired by the rustic cuisine of Rome, is added to the list! Located in the heart of Place Jacques Cartier, it is the latest addition to the Antonopoulos group, which already treats us with renowned restaurants such as Modavie, William Gray, or Nelligan. Whether you are a Montrealer or visiting the city, JACOPO is the ideal place for an Italian evening and all its delights.
At the helm of the kitchen are chefs Giovanni Vella and Matthew Bell already working at the famous Bevo Bar + Pizzeria. Here they offer a menu of fresh, seasonal ingredients, specialized charcuteries aged on site, homemade pasta, roasted meat or focaccia bread. The menu respects the Italian tradition and consists of Antipasti (hors d'oeuvres), Primi (hot starters such as pasta, risotto, gnocchi), Secondi (meat or fish) and Contorni (vegetables).
Located in a beautiful building of the late 19th century, Jacopo called on Camdi Design to combine respect for heritage and modernity. You can enjoy a charming terrace or the interior décor which is both rustic and contemporary. The restaurant has two rooms: a dimly lit ground floor shared between the bar, the dining room and a wine cellar facing a large wall of exposed stone which gives a lot of character. The eclectic and understated furniture is also a subtle blend of vintage and modern design. A staircase gives access to the upper floor which opens onto a beautiful and luminous space with a bucolic decor.
We were greeted with large smiles by both the hostess and our charming waiter Pascal, who announced himself as our advisor for the evening. The restaurant is packed on this Saturday night. The service is dynamic while remaining relaxed and qualitative. The room is full of an electric atmosphere with the comings and goings of the waiters, the bartender shaking his cocktails behind the bar and the sounds of cutlery gently licking the plates. However, the place remains calm and suitable for conversation. With a very European character and a chic and friendly atmosphere, the JACOPO takes us to Italy during the time of our meal
We choose to start with a drink. Whether you are a fan of Grappa, Hennessy or Tanqueray, several signature cocktails are offered and Pascal gives us very professional advice. We learned that Jacopo's bartender, Luc, won 5th place in the Made with love 2019 competition (best bartender in Canada). We're not going to deprive ourselves of the opportunity to taste his talents! For us it will be the freshness and lightness of an emblematic Apérol Spritz and a Noce di coco composed of Rum, Limoncello and Lemoncoco.
As antipasti, we choose the cheese and deli meat platter accompanied by a delicious (orgasmic) truffle honey. The vote for favourites on the plate goes to Parmigiano Gran Padano, Bresaola and Prosciutto. It's time to succumb to the beautiful Italian wine list. Our choice will naturally focus on the fruity, volcanic and elegant Sicilian red wine Etna di Rosso offered for tasting by the waiter.
The Ravioli di Zucca will be our Primi. These ravioli stuffed with squash, sage, hazelnut butter and roasted almonds are very al dente but tender and melt in your mouth. The flavours of the herbs are very present and the parmesan cheese enhances everything
For the Secondi, we go with Agnello Arrosto, a roasted lamb shoulder accompanied by creamy polenta. The meat is cooked to perfection and breaks apart gently with the fork (if you prefer it rare, remember to specify your cooking preference to the waiter). Although creamy Polenta is not usual it is an interesting discovery! The restaurant being crowded, the service was a little longer for these dishes, but it gave us the opportunity to have a nice chat with our waiter
We had the chance to taste different desserts on the menu. If Tiramisu and Panna Cotta offer the usual contrast between creamy and fruit or coffee, our favourite is undeniably the olive oil and lemon cake. Imagine the charm of a homemade cake, sweet, mellow, spiced up with basil and citrus fruits. I wasn't really hungry anymore, but I didn't leave anything on the plate!
To end the meal, we again benefit from Luc's talents. If coffee is the rule, it will be an Espresso Martini. This digestive cocktail is both fresh and full-bodied, with a strong coffee flavour. A beautiful variation that brings the finishing touch to a traditional and original meal.
In the hustle and bustle of touristic old Montreal, JACOPO is undoubtedly an oasis of pleasure allowing you to share a good meal in a European atmosphere. Such a pleasant setting and such a popular location can be felt on the final bill, but Jacopo knows how to reverse this trend and make the most of it by focusing on the quality of the food and a high standard for the service. They welcome you from Sunday to Thursday from 4pm to 11pm and from Friday to Saturday from 4pm to midnight. Don't forget to reserve in advance. Lovers of fresh pasta and Italian flavours, this place is an absolute must try! Buon appetito!