Montreal Marche Centrale, Quebec
951 Cremazie O
Montreal, Quebec H4N 2M5
Vinnie Gambinis is a posh-looking Italian restaurant with high-backed booths, comfortable chairs and dark wood decor. Our party of four was seated near the bar, and the waitress immediately mixed a plate of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for us.
Service was polite and prompt. Fresh bread came on-demand from the kitchen and the waitress regularly asked if we wanted more bread before we could ask ourselves.
I started with their hearty minestrone soup. It had large chunks of winter vegetables, beans and corn floating in a rich tomato broth. My friends had the beef and barley and made very appreciative noises as they ate it.
I chose the Ravioli d’Aragosta é Grancchio (>Lobster and crab stuffed ravioli with madagascan peppercorns, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and brandy in a rosé sauce) . The peppercorns were soft and delectable, the sauce had a haunting flavor of garlic below the rich cream and brandy tastes. The Ravioli was a bit clumped near the top and the sauce was thick on the pasta, but each ravioli has a good bite of lobster and crab visible inside as small chunks and not paste.
My partner had Spaghettini con Ragu di Carne (Spaghetti with meat sauce) and meatballs. The three meatballs were huge and seated artfully around a mounded bowl of spaghettini. The sauce was thick and had flecks of color that belied its otherwise smooth taste.
My friends had the Pollo Pavorotti (Lightly floured chicken fillet sauteed with prociutto, shallots, and sun-dried tomatoes, in a marsala sauce) and the Pollo Lombardi (Stuffed chicken fillet with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese in a demi-glaze sauce). Both enjoyed their meals and all were suitably impressed with the quantity and quality.
This is not the first time I’ve eaten there, and I confess I was impressed with the decor of the restaurant and the style shown in their service and menu. They serve their Romano cheese out of a hollowed-out half wheel of Pecorino Romano cheese. And are free with offering both the cheese and the pepper.
Overall it was a highly enjoyable event with good food and great service.
Prices: $20-30 entree’s
Table D’hote: $18-30
Reservations available, but not required.
No children’s menu.