Pizzalinni serves up fresh, homemade food daily
By: Elizabeth Tomaras – mtltimes.ca
Pizza joints are a dime a dozen in Montreal but not many are quite like Pizzalinni. The waitress clad in black visits customers table by table — the smile never disappears from her face as food is exchanged for thank yous.
Nestled between shops in a plaza on St-Charles boulevard, the restaurant feels like the neighbourhood stop for Friday night eats, especially if there’s a hockey game on. Droves of fans in their Habs apparel came by to pick up orders between periods as we dined.
The establishment is clean, fresh and clutter-free. The dark, wooden counters between kitchen and sitting area are impeccable and the long mural to the left of the entrance adds colour and culture to the restaurant. Families, couples, friends, and lone diners congregate at Pizzalinni.
The menu at Pizzalinni is as diverse as you could imagine. From pizzas, to pastas, to steaks, and Greek specialties, there is something for everybody, even vegetarians.
We started off with a Greek house salad filled with leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and those famous Kalamata olives. The creamy garlic dressing was just right as it didn’t smother the rest of the ingredients. The small size we ordered was more than enough for two, as the bowl was overflowing.
Next up was the steak sub. Once again, the generous portions caused an overflow in our plates and our mouths. The steak strips were tender and tasty, and the tomatoes and lettuce added freshness to the sub. The bread that held everything together was warm and soft.
Afterwards came the pizza. When our waitress brought it to the table, we could immediately tell this was a pizza unlike any other. The pie looked perfect, from the colour (it wasn’t overcooked but rather cooked to perfection), to the thick, even layer of cheese, and the crust was just the right thickness.
“Everything is homemade,” says Frank Cannizzaro, owner of Pizzalinni. “From the sauces to the dressing on your salad, everything is made in-house.”
Their current location has been open since 2003 but Frank has been around since 1993, between fires, owner changes, and new locations. He began his career at the restaurant while he was attending university, working during the day and going to school at night. After graduating, he said it took him five days of working as a mechanical engineer to realize he had left his dream job behind. “So I left and never looked back,” he says of his comeback as a restaurateur.
The community has helped make Pizzalinni a household name in the West Island and Frank has taken notice. He sponsors local soccer, rugby, and hockey teams and tries to give back as much as he can. “I try to support the community as much as possible because they come and support me.”
Pizzalinni is located at 3626 Boulevard Saint-Charles in Kirkland.