by Sabrina Cipriani
Picture it, two Italian brothers, Natalino and Giovanni running a restaurant in Dorval, Quebec. Homemade Italian food since 1986! 27 years later and they are still going strong! This historical building established in 1888, was built by Joseph H. Decary, back then it was a general store that even housed the first telephone in all of Dorval area.
With their background in the hotel and restaurant business the DeFazio brothers knew how to wow the customers with their fine Italian cuisine.
Coming up the steps of Natalino’s I enjoyed the outside architecture of an old fashioned house, then glancing behind me to notice the lights on the various trees really completed the atmosphere.
When I walked in I could see a resemblance to some restaurants I have visited in New York City’s Little Italy. It felt good, it felt inviting and I knew I was in good hands.
As you notice the décor in the restaurant you will see an eye catching picture of Pavarotti, a classic picture from the past, the brothers have mingled with a few celebrities back in their time in downtown Montreal.
The restaurant has warmth to it, a charm, the traditional garlic and red peppers hanging on the walls. The old fashioned Italian style wine bottles on the shelves. Copper pots, just like my Nonna used to have hanging in her kitchen once upon a time. Comfortable modern chairs, red and white table cloths. Wood everywhere, beams, the doors, the frames, wood as far as the eye can see. Old fashion mixed with a modern look.
When I first sat down, I was in 7th heaven as the music played softly in the back ground, playing non-other then one of my favourite songs, Gloria, the Italian version. My friend and I looked at each other, laughed and said, “How cool is that?”
Anthony our waiter started us off with some crusty bread covered with sun-dried tomatoes. He mentioned that every night there is something different for the customers to enjoy while looking over the menu and chit chatting with their friends or family. Anthony who has worked there for about 5 to 6 years now, started off as a bus boy and worked his way up to waiter, he was kind enough to explain items on the menu to me.
There are a few tables in random corners that are perfect for a romantic evening for two. If you want to bring a crowd, there is a section to yourself, separate yet still a part of the restaurant. If you want to go big, book their reception room upstairs, it accommodates 60 to 70 people, with a powerful sound system and little coloured lights covering the ceiling, perfect for a Sweet 16 birthday or even an engagement party!
The terraces caught my eye, on the main floor and upstairs, so much room to mingle and have some fresh air.
I started off sampling the minestrone soup which is $5.50, it had a lovely blend of vegetables with fresh basil. Then I asked for the sautéed mushrooms for $9.75, they were nice and tender. Of course I can’t forget the Salsiccia Peperonata (I needed Anthony’s help in pronouncing this one), it is $10.75 and delicious, the sausages were a little spicy; they were mixed with green peppers and onions. Next time I would like to try the Antipasto Calabrese for $11.75.
Moving onto the main courses, I tried the veal marsala, for $22.75, it came with your choice of potatoes and vegetables or pasta, the marsala sauce was sweet and savoury. Then I had the pleasure of trying the special of the evening, rack of lamb. For $32, you can have an entrée, the rack of lamb and a tea or coffee. Joining the lamb is your choice of vegetables and potatoes or pasta. I had the spaghetti with their homemade Napoletana sauce. It was delightful! If you just want a bowl of pasta, that’s an option on the menu, as well as pizza and many other fine dishes.
By this time, I wasn’t sure if I could fit a dessert in but duty calls, so I tried their homemade crème caramel for $4.25 and tiramisu maison for $5.50.
If you are a connoisseur of wines, they have a long list to choose from, depending on which wine you choose or upon your request, they transfer the bottle into a stunning glass container.
My favourite part of the evening was when Chef Giovanni came out all decked in his attire to welcome his costumers, ask them if everything is okay, encouraged them to take their time eating and enjoy their meal. He circulates about the whole restaurant slowly and proudly!
A convenient location, with a parking lot in the back, Restaurant Natalino
365 Bord du Lac
Make a reservation today #514-631-5952
Natalino and his brother Chef Giovanni are waiting for you!
One important thing to remember, when entering Natalino’s make sure to visit the kitchen, everyone is more then welcome and encouraged to do so!!!!!!
See you at Restaurant Natalino