'To live a life of luxury is to experience it by savoring and making luxurious the
moments, big or small.' ~ © Frank Borsellino™
'History 101' tells the story of how the wood-fired oven and pizzas together have
been discovered since the ancient Roman civilization. Specifically, in ancient Pompeii
(Naples) the brick ovens were built in different shapes but known under the half
circle one. Traditionally, kitchens pizzerias included granite counters, salad bars
featuring both, hot and cold foods as well as drinks to accompany the pizza. This
will supposedly make you feel like being under the sun. Medieval brick ovens can
be found throughout Europe, often with little variation from the original Roman
round, domed oven chamber and front vent design.
'The measure of a great restaurant is the consistency of its dishes.' ~ © Frank Borsellino™
Last weekend, being my fourth visit, I have decided that this time I shall weigh in
on the culinary ecstasy that is 'Moretti ± Griffintown', and give you my observations.
As a sociology aficionado, passionate about culture, as well as a foodie, I could not
restrain myself from researching about that wood-fired brick oven, which is the first
thing you see once you step inside. All the cooks are concentrated in what they do.
Moreover, they seem to be very meticulous. I was able to enjoy every little taste that
I was slowly discovering while eating. The food was outstanding and splendorous,
and so we should give thanks to Alessio Gioffre, Chef de Cuisine. Every time I have
been it is always the same as the previous time.
You really feel welcomed as well as taking one step to Italy, but for anyone who
knows Gianni Caruso (one of the proprietors) will attest that is part of his DNA.
The décor includes these enormous windows with an industrial style that reminds
you of being on a terrace in Italy. I could imagine the Italian music in my ears while
eating a fresh pizza from the wood-fired brick oven. It was filled to the rafters, like
it is every time I have visited. Every table full, including a very nice private room that
sits in the back. It is convenient for birthdays or exclusive event.
'If you go back to the Greeks and Romans, they talk about all three - wine, food,
and art - as a way of enhancing life.' ~ Robert Mondavi
Accompanying the wine was a truly accomplished server in Nicolas who suggested
the 'Joel Gott 815' (2015) with rich vanilla aromas, framed by red fruit notes of plum;
strawberry and cherry filled the nose with this California Cabernet Sauvignon. Luscious
flavors on the palate gave way to hints of toffee on the long, textured finish. There
was a tremendous flow of this most divine elixir of the Gods.
Let us begin with our pizzas, after all that is their raison d'être. 'Frank's Pizza' (Gianni
likes ribbing me), the 'Pizza Siciliana', according to my Hebrew friend who is well-travelled,
declared it the best he ever had outside of Italy. It was just like a scavenger hunt by noticing
small treasures with each bite taken. With pomodoro San Marzano, fior di latte, roasted
eggplant, ricotta salata and fresh basil... and 'La Capricciosa' with pomodoro San Marzano,
fior di latte marinated artichokes, prosciutto cotto (cooked ham) and seasonal mushrooms.
The dough was tender, well-cooked and melted in your mouth. And the dishes kept coming
like an avalanche in the hills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The fried calamari with shrimps and
white fish in a lemon-black pepper aioli with a splash of tomato marmalade were all crispy,
well-battered and with just the right mix of seasonings.
Then it was followed by Mozzarella di Bufala with Heirloom tomatoes and Ligurian olives,
figs, Planeta olive oil and some leaves of fresh basil. Grilled lamb chops with chickpea
salad, tomato-black olive salsa and a couple of sautéed shrimps. The 'Parmigiana di
Melanzane' with broccoli, tomatoes, Kalamata olives and mozzarella in a Pesto Sauce. That
was a very unique dish… just the right zing of zest. A new take on a tradition with the
'Arancini Siciliani' which is a Saffron fried rice ball, fior di latte, green peas, Bolognese ragu
and a lightly spiced tomato sauce... that went quickly.
Finally, as the 'pièce de résistance' slivers of grilled rib eye (14oz), fingerling potatoes,
sautéed kale and fried peppers covered in a pink peppercorn sauce. Not over-cooked, but
just the right 'cuisson' so the juices flowed. This night's dinner theme could have been
'Flowing'. Everything that we savoured flowed like an avalanche (you know the rest)...
and it was accompanied by sautéed shrimps. I died and went to Heaven.
'Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty
and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly
used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a Ride!' ~ Hunter S. Thompson
© From Where I Sit™
November 24, 2017
* 'Moretti ± Griffintown'
1059 Wellington St,
Montreal, H3C 1V6