For a few years now, when in Old Montreal, I have walked by BEVO Bar + Pizzeria (http://bevopizza.com/en) on St. Vincent and noticed the lively atmosphere. Via word of mouth I began to hear very good things about the food.
BEVO was on my list of restaurants to try in 2017 and on a recent Sunday evening it was mission accomplished. Our party of three were seated at a window side table with the charming Rebecca as our server. She has been on staff for three years and is presently studying accounting at university.
Chef Giovanni Vella and General Manager David Gagnon provided us with a closer look at the menu, making some some excellent recommendations. Giovanni personally brought us a fabulous charcuterie appetizer platter. It included Rucola e Parmigiana (arugula and parmesan, with balsamic dressing), Insalata Caprese (tomatoes, fresh mozzarella di Bufala and fresh basil), Antipasti Di Casa (marinated sundried cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers, artichokes, eggplant, olives, mixed mushrooms and mozzarella) and some focaccia. The latter was shaped and baked like thin slices of pizza and each bite had me wanting more.
BEVO just marked its fifth anniversary. This is part of the Antonopoulos Group, which also includes Auberge du Vieux Port, Terrasse sur l’Auberge, Taverne Gaspar, Lofts du Vieux-Port, Hôtel Nelligan, Terrasse Nelligan, Verses Restaurant, Méchant Bœuf, Le Place d’Armes Hôtel & Suites, Terrasse Place d’Armes, Suite 701, Rainspa, Le Petit Hôtel,, Kyo Bar Japonais, Modavie, Maggie Oakes, Hôtel William Gray, Spa William Gray, Terrasse William Gray and Vieux-Port Steakhouse.
The seating capacity at BEVO is 200 inside and 90 on the seasonal terrace. This place boasts fine Italian cooking, original cocktails and a fresh ambiance nightly. Seven days a week, Chef Giovanni cooks up traditional flavours with a few signature twists. His specialty is authentic, wood-fired pizzas. Two expansive floors, a fully-stocked bar, convenient seating and a DJ every Thursday through Saturday keep things lively until the wee early hours. And during summer, the terrace sits right on St-Vincent, a pedestrian stretch bustling with friendly locals and artists. The top floor can be sectioned off for private events while special menus accommodate groups of 10 or more.
The menu features traditional Italian staples, a few creative interpretations and an extensive wine list. In addition to eclectic eating, BEVO also offers its guests a grandiose bar with a great selection of grappa, amaro and prosecco.
After the marvelous appetizer tray, an order of Arancino arrived for us to share. This is a saffron parmesan risotto ball with meat ragu mozzarella. It cut like butter and literally melted in our mouths. We were definitely in a risotto kind of mood that night as we also shared the Risotto Porcini, with mushrooms and black truffle.
While all of the main course choices looked great, we knew that pizza was the specialty and the Burrata and Black Truffle won us over. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It was fine to share three ways; in fact we had three slices left over which we happily took home to eat for the following day.
If you are looking for a unique and original activity for your office or group of friends, BEVO offers an exclusive pizza making tutorial accompanied by Chef Giovanni. He commences each session with a brief overview of the history of his pizza dough recipe and choice of ingredients. Groups of eight to 10 are formed to start needing and working the dough. Each participant is given a BEVO apron, pizza dough and the recipe. They then start to create their own pizza under the watchful eye of the chef. You can round out the event with a three service tasting menu: Antipasto + polpetes di casa (homemade meatballs); Pizzas of your creation and family-style pasta dishes; and Nutella Pizza. It is a reasonable $75 per person.
BEVO is located at 410 rue St-Vincent. It is open from 4 pm to midnight Sunday to Wednesday and 4 pm to 2 am Thursday to Saturday. For more information call 514.861.5039, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.bevopizza.com.
By Mike Cohen