Monday, August 17, 2015

Sofia Trattoria ¤ Vineria

'There is no love sincerer than the love of food.' ~ George Bernard Shaw

You feel as though you're sitting at a café on the Promenade de la Croisette (according
to one of the ladies at my table who was there recently) or on Via Veneto in the Eternal
City, but we're neither in Cannes nor in Rome. We are seated, on this glorious Saturday
evening, on Peel Street in the heart of downtown Montreal in the newly formed terrace
at Sofia Trattoria ¤ Vineria. The plants in their pots and wooden vases... the bistro
tables and chairs... the light bulbs dangling on a long cord at the top of the awning,
typical of those locations on the other side of the world. I felt the hustle and flow
of a busy artery in the city core, but none of the noise. I had been dragging my feet
to return to my favorite haunt for too long... but the wait was over and I was ready
to indulge in their new menu.

We started with the wine, of course ... a smooth '2012 Sebastiani Gravel Bed Cabernet
Sauvignon, Alexander Valley wine with aromas of dried olives and blackberries with
underlying mineral and tea-like hints of espresso. Powerful, dusty Cab with concentrated
blackberry fruit flavors.
Our first course consisted of 'Arancini alla Bolognese' ... a risotto ball stuffed
with bolognese sauce, green peas & mozzarella…just sweet enough and full of flavour
with a crisp outer shell. They were consumed rather quickly. 'Sarde ripiene al pesto'
... sardines stuffed w/pesto, olives, capers, parsley, thyme, bread crumbs, and chilli
& lemon sauce. A new experience for 'moi' but found the combination of these ingedients
infused together forming a new burst of flavors. 'Polpo alla Siciliana' ... grilled
octopus is cut into chunks and flavoured with olives, capers, parsley, chili & braised
fennel's raisins. Braising is a surefire way to make it tender and succulent. 'Caprese
di Mozzarella di Bufala' ... Mozzarella di bufala made from the milk of the domestic
Italian water buffalo & heirloom tomatoes, olives, Prosciutto di Parma & crostini. It
was very refreshing.

Finally, as a way to clean and prepare your palette for the main courses we finished
off with 'Insalata di Rucola con Pomodori' ... Arugula salad w/cherry tomatoes and

The new decor is white-wash brick with vintage trattoria mementos and artworks...
along with a wall of colourful bottles. The bar is a long, expansive wood and steel
structure and the floors are a wooden parquet Herringbone pattern. Beautiful, sturdy
wooden tables, again very trattoria-style decor. There's a whole wall of windows
overseeing the kitchen in full swing. The staff is cordial, knowledgeable and eager
to please. We needed a few moments to cross the finish line... and so without further
ado we proceeded to the main courses.

'Costolette di Agnello alla Griglia' ... marinated grilled lambs chops, accompanied
with crispy polenta fries, radicchio & watercress salad. They were so moist and juicy
that fork and knife were not needed. 'Sgombro alla Griglia' ... oily fish, such as
the grilled mackerel, are strong-flavored and pair well with boldly seasoned glazes
made from Korean gochujang rich, chili paste. Served with eggplant caviar & grilled
asparagus. 'Spigola alla Griglia' ... grilled striped Sea Bass, roasted pepper-green
olive clam sauce, sautéed kale and lemon-thyme basmati rice. A staple at this
establishment and it did not disappoint. It was moist and very flavourful.

Gianni Caruso and Pasquale Ruffolo are the epitome of 'Gentlemen service' down to
the minutest detail, and here we were not disappointed. We enjoyed another staple,
the dessert platter and our espresso & cappuccinos. After such a culinary feast
a dinner party needs to be forthcoming so my circle of friends can also regale

© Frank Borsellino™
© From Where I Sit™
August 15, 2015

* Sofia Trattoria ¤ Vineria
2042 Peel St.
Montreal, H3A 2R4
(514) 843-5100

Monday, August 3, 2015

Wind of Change

The wind of change
Blows through our days
Sometimes can leave
Our minds with haze

When thinks do not
Go as expected
It is easy to feel
Quite dejected

If we live
With love inside
And never faith
We compromise.

We can bring
Our dreams to reality
Transform that haze
Into clarity

Wind of change
Can be uplifting
And also gifting

A chance for
Love and new beginnings
When you believe
You end up winning.

* Ben Stiller by Annie Leibovitz