By Sharman Yarnell – Montreal Times
A wander into Montreal’s Little Italy district is always a culinary delight! It’s even more delightful when you come across a restaurant whose tastes you have yet to discover…an Italian restaurant with a bit of a twist.
Brama ‘Trattoria Moderna’. A touch of the rustic, the traditional, blended with the contemporary.
When I joined some friends at Brama a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised on entering. While the outside is very simple and easy to miss, the inside is warm and inviting.
No wonder people are talking about this treasure!
The main room is intimate with large windows along the front and side allowing light to stream in. In the summer, the side windows open onto a terrace for patrons to enjoy that ultimate dining experience that we savor in Montreal’s short summer. The opposite wall, along the staircase, is old brick and the far end of the room sports a bar.
The meals are made from traditional recipes with nearly everything being homemade, including the burrata, ricotta, pasta and the cold cuts. Servings are generous.
Brama is the baby of Guy Ahmaranian and Marc Giroux. Originally intended as an Italian brasserie, it slowly developed another identity and morphed into a family style restaurant with a really nice vibe. One of their objectives was to keep the prices on the menu client oriented.
Most of the dishes are the creation of Chef Marco Bertoldini, who learned his trade with a hands on experience as sous chef in other restaurants. (He has worked at Globe and Via Crescent.) For the summer menu, he has whipped up Ravioli D’Arragosta with Canadian lobster, bisque, tarragon, with charred corn salsa. ($27)
The signature dish at Brama has to be the Cavatelli, a multi colour, seashell pasta made with black squid ink dough and a white dough, dressed with a tomato basil sauce and tossed with calamari in toasted bread crumbs.
The evening that I was there, it was quiet but as time wore on, it soon filled up with the Friday night crowd – young people and families who clearly have been to this little gem before.
Brama has an excellent wine list with choices of chardonnays, soaves, brunellos chiantis, amarones and more.
This vegetarian had no problem finding a selection of dishes to choose from. We started the evening with a chardonnay and a delightfully delicious salad featuring homemade ricotta, along with a serving of oysters. We then moved on to a main course of pasta with chestnut puree and hazelnuts – To die for!
For dessert…Oh, joy! Bomboloni (an Italian donut filled with creams), a chocolate brownie with ice cream, cheesecake, all homemade and delivered to our table, not in a bowl or plate but on a wooden platter! Delicious!
Brama is a gem of a restaurant that serves a culinary cornucopia that will delight the palate.
Appetizers: 11$ to 18$
Entrees: 21$ to 29$
Brama – 6701 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC. H2S 3C8, 514-270-6701