There’s a new Italian aroma spreading across Brossard. Restaurants Tre Sapori has recently launched on Taschereau Boulevard and is sure to be a local hit. What’s more, situated one minute off Autoroute 10 and near the 10-30 area, Tre Sapori is closeby for anyone hungry for some great Italian food.
This family business is run by a team composed of brothers Joe and Sergio Astorino and brother-in-law Luigi D’Amico. Each one brings a unique and complementary expertise to the restaurant which recently transformed from the last of the Pasta Tutti Giorni chain where Luigi worked for several years.
I was recently invited to join Joe for dinner and along with a few guests. We drove a mere 25 minutes from Montreal’s West End to get there. Barely 5 minutes over the Champlain Bridge, it took us the same time as it would have to travel downtown or the West Island.
We were warmly welcomed into the new, bright, and modern venue where there was ample free, no-hassle parking (which adds time and cost to the downtown experience). With 120 seats in the dining room there was no wait to be seated during the week, but I’m told it quickly fills up on the weekend. The natural colours, woody look and faux-stone wallpaper (fooled me as I reached out to touch the rocks) was quite appealing and the ambiance was set with Italian music, two large screen TVs and the smiling face of our awaiting server, Alex.
Alex also worked at the previous restaurant and Luigi brought him over. Alex studies by day at the John Molson School of Business and serves as waiter at night. Notwithstanding his Bulgarian background, he’s quite adept at suggesting Italian dishes.
We started off with three appetizers: Arancini, Calamari and Bruschetta (you pronounce the hard C in Italian, like Brusketta).
Arancini is a homemade rice ball with tangy cheese and minced meat. It came lightly seasoned and breaded with a very tasty tomato sauce on the side for dipping. Joe pointed out that all of their sauces are made fresh every day on the premises.
The Calamari tasted very fresh, not spicy, lightly battered and fried. The tomato sauce was the perfect accompaniment for dipping. It was presented very nicely and was quite plentiful. I squeezed fresh lemon all over and three of us enjoyed the overflowing plate.
The Bruschetta was a treat. Crispy warm artisanal bread topped with minced and garnished tomatoes so sweet and tasty it’s like they were just picked off the vine.
The wine and beer list featured some Italian favourites and we enjoyed a bottle of Moma, a mixture of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. It was dry yet fruity. It really accentuated each dish and also livened up our discussion and critique of the meal, which happily was very positive. If you’re not a wine drinker there’s Italian beer (Moretti) and aperitifs for after. They also have sangria by the glass, half or whole pitcher.
Joe explained that they receive food deliveries almost every day to ensure freshness. Although he wouldn’t give away his mom’s secret recipe for tomato sauce, he did let slip that they use San Marzano canned tomatoes that are skinned. “No seeds or unnecessary liquid in these tomatoes,” Joe explained. They add basil, garlic, oil, onions, and Joe added, “the tomato does the rest of the work.” They also buy their meat fresh and pound it themselves in the kitchen.
They offer nine types of pizza and we couldn’t possibly not try one along with our main dishes. Although the unique and very popular Pizza Fruitti di Mari was eye catching, we ordered something my non-seafood indulging wife could bite into as well while we awaited the main course.
So out came the Pizza Primavera which the four of us gladly shared. What a great choice. Topped with tons of grilled zucchini, yellow peppers, amazing eggplant and drizzled in light oil it had a distinct and delicious taste, not to mention looked almost too beautiful to eat.
Since we not in a rush and were being treated like royalty, we next devoured the ceasar salad and soup. Stuart had the Stracciatella soup consisting of an egg “cracked right on the spot,” Joe said, and spinach with a hint of pepper. “This is the best I’ve ever tasted,” Stuart slurped.
Randy and I had the Minestrone soup, a bit more traditional and slightly spicy with a nice array of tomato, carrot, celery, onion and more.
It was time to choose our main dishes but what to choose from such a large offering? The menu was quite plentiful in every category of Italian specialty. They have a nice table d’hote from $21 to $32, main dishes from $16-$18 along with an array of soup, salads and appetizers. While salmon is a pretty staple fish specialty there, they all offered a catch of the day which normally includes trout and cod.
Stuart chose rosé sauce for his Cannelloni which in his case was a noodle cooked perfectly with a mix of veal, beef and pork. Judy’s Pasta Romanella arrived with her choice of penne noodles in a cream sauce. It came with a unique ingredient in artichoke along with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms – a nice combination of vegetables, pleasantly spiced.
Randy’s Carne al Limone was served in a creamy, buttery lemon sauce atop the tender veal. Sautéd carrots, broccoli, onions and red and yellow pepper adorned the plate.
What did I order that I couldn’t get at home? Veal Marsala was my pick. I loved the mushrooms and the tangy dark sauce that had a hint of sweetness on the tender, thinly sliced veal. With a generous side of pasta in tomato sauce this table d’hote choice included soup, salad and coffee (tea for me).
We were a quisitive bunch and had lots and lots of questions. Alex was informative and patient and very attentive to detail. He was definitely well trained, had a good mannerism for this business and was eager to please.
Joe sat with us as we had lots of questions about Tre Sapori. He is a banker by trade whose roots go back to Southern Italy. Calabrese to be precise. Brother Sergio hails from the telecom industry, also not in the restaurant business, while brother-in-law Luigi had managed the previous restaurant at that location. These three are a tight group of great partners with unique skills – expertise that blend together very well.
“Family helps family,” Joe said. “It’s a labour of love. I love to cook. I love to eat!” he joked, saying this passion for food comes from his mom, Giuliana.
“Food represents family and friends. On Sunday, mom cooks at home and everyone gathers together. When mom says, ‘tomorrow at noon, be here’, everyone shows up,” Joe quipped.
Moma is from Calabria. Luigi is from Salerno, a region well-known for Mozzarella di Buffala. It’s easy to see that Joe, Sergio and Luigi bring traditional Italian family values of love and respect to Tre Sapori. “We come from a traditional Italian family,” Joe said. “Everything happens around the dinner table!”
Then there’s Chef Moe. “He’s in charge of the kitchen and makes all the decisions on menu and dishes,” Joe said. Moe has been there for 15 years also transferring from the previous restaurant, “so he knows the clientele, he knows what they want and how they want it,” said Joe.
Time for dessert and what incredible choices to be made. The cheese cakes are homemade, so we chose Nutella over the Marble. We also shared the Tiramisu, a staple to end any Italian meal, and the Sopresa, a crispy stuffed pastry.
Luigi recognizes his long time customers returning to experience the new menu and vibes. Sergio is active on social media posting specials and events to their Facebook page. There’s a lunch menu, Midi-Express, from $9.95 including chicken caesar salad, pizza or pasta with a soft drink.
They also have a kids menu for those 12 and under at $7.95 including chicken parmesan, pizza and pasta, french fries and more. The kid’s size is the same as the adult’s serving so expect to take home a doggy bag!
I asked Sergio what he is most proud of at the restaurant. “We are proud of the quality and authenticity of our food,” he said. “Our goal is to serve real authentic Italian food with real friendly service. The restaurant is a family business that allows us to show our children what you can achieve with hard work and dedication. My brother-in-law, Luigi, came from Italy with a dream of opening up a business and thanks to him we have achieved his dream and our goals.”
As for Sergio’s favourite dish? “It’s a tie between the Osso Bucco and the Spaghetti Bolognese. They remind us of our mother’s cooking.”
What traditions do you bring from your mother’s table to your customers’ table I asked Sergio? “Our mother has always provided us with fresh ingredients and a love for cooking. For our customers, we hope to achieve the same traditions. Fresh ingredients and a love for cooking with the hope of serving the best Italian meals in Brossard.”
Finally, I wanted to know what was the best feedback they’ve received to date. “We consistently hear that our ingredients are fresh, the meals are delicious and that we bring our customers back to their childhood with their nonna cooking Sunday dinner for the family,” Sergio said. “One client said it was the best tomato sauce she’s had since going to Naples,” Sergio added.
You can view their feedback for yourself on Google and on their Facebook page.
There’s a take out counter and also delivery with Uber-Eats. In fact, they’ve hooked up with all of the local hotels to offer a discount to guests. They’re also available to host your parties and events on site and they offer catering as well.
The boys from Tre Sapori have partnered with the City of Brossard since they’re the only Italian restaurant in the area and are members of the Moi J’achète Localement loyalty card program and are involved in sporting events as well as cultural festivals.
I noticed that they call themselves Restaurants (plural) Tre Sapori. Could an expansion be in the plans? That’s a closely guarded secret but I wouldn’t be surprised. With great food at reasonable prices, friendly service and smiles all around I can see this family enterprise taking off and branching out. I wish them lots of luck and thank them all for making us feel right at home!
Restaurants Tre Sapori
7681 Taschereau Blvd, Brossard, QC J4Y 1A2
by Glenn J. Nashen