There are certain foods that I’ve said I can eat everyday and never get tired of. One of those things is pizza. Any kind of pizza. From artisanal thin crust Neapolitan pizza to classic Montreal “all dress'” grease-wheels (I’m looking at you Pendelli’s). Sometimes I like to go back and visit some of my favourite places joints. Recently I’ve been on a pizza kick – and by recently I mean the past 30 years. To celebrate my 30-somethingth birthday, I checked out a new pizza spot in Verdun that has people talking… and I’m listening – Restaurant Rita.
The menu at Rita is concise and to the point, a handful of dishes that make up the snacks and antipasti, sides, pastas, mains and most importantly, pizza.
We started with the roasted broccoli, topped with walnuts, anchovies, vierge sauce and tonnato. The broccoli was toothsome and not overcooked. Woody greens with smokey roasted walnuts and sharp hits of salty anchovy, all mellowed out with lemony tonnato sauce – a symphony of flavours.
Agnolotti with sausage, served with cherry tomatoes, chicory, radicchio, and topped with a modest shaving of Grana Padano. The pasta was thin and each delicate dumpling was a delight to eat. Packed full of savory flavor, the heavily seasoned sausage was aromatic in fennel. The sauce was addictive.
As I said, I’ve been obsessed with pizza since the womb, but more so recently. We ordered the “Brooklyn Hot Honey” – vodka sauce, spicy capicollo, red onions, cherry tomatoes and provalone. Everyone knows that it’s the crust that makes the pizza. If the crust isn’t good, it doesn’t matter if the pizza is topped with truffles and gold shavings. The crust on this pizza from Rita was perfectly chewy and pillowy soft as though it was risen by hymns whispered into the oven by blind nuns. I went against my better judgement to order the pizza well-done – I like the leoparding of the dough – but I wanted it the Rita experience. The flavor combination was nice, the sweet honey quelled heat from the capicollo and the onions and tomatoes added freshness to each bite.
Cute spot off the end of the main Wellington strip that vibes like if the Golden Girl’s living room was used for a pop-up Italian trattoria with a nod to classic Montreal brasseries. The wall is filled with old family photos and is named after the co-owners respective grandmothers, I mean nonnas, who both happen to be named Rita. Although Rita doesn’t bill itself as a pizzeria (as I mentioned, there is a diverse menu with different options) it’s obvious highlight is the seven choices of pizza. Nice selection of wines and cocktails, Rita is the new hot-spot in the ‘dun for fancy pizza and 5 à 7s.
3681 rue Wellington