The people behind beloved Old Montreal sandwich-and-more spot Olive & Gourmando are back with a new venture, opening Un Po’ Di Più right across from the Old Port.
With plans to open in the mornings and run right through the evening, Un Po’ Di Più (UPDP) will serve coffee and sweets, but also wine, aperitivos, and a range of Italian small plates. (UPDP is open now, but only until 6 p.m. until its liquor license arrives.)
Dyan Solomon and Eric Girard, owners of Olive & Gourmando and Foxy, are the principals here: Solomon tells Eater that the idea stemmed from Girard’s extensive travels to Italy.
“He fell in love with aperitivo, the [Italian] cocktail hour and the kinds of little snacks that you would eat around that.”
The menu fits that idea, with bruscetta with mushrooms, peas, and ricotta; a caprese salad, panini laden with ham and capicollo: “lots of olive oily things that go very well with a nice glass of Italian wine”. UPDP is keeping things in the family: the kitchen is headed up by chef Nick Giambattisto, the partner of Foxy chef Lee Roper, alongside his sister-in-law Jessica Mallette, formerly of Larrys. Longtime Olive & Gourmando staple Catherine Wart (see also: Grumman ‘78) will oversee the front of house.
Solomon says that while it won’t be hyper-strictly Italian options on offer, it’s “the most defined cuisine that we’ve ever done”.
The wine list features varied Italian and natural options, courtesy of Foxy sommelier Kaitlyn Doucette. Also figuring prominently will be bitter-leaning aperitivo cocktails, with different plays on the classic Negroni and spritzes — for example, a bellini will always be on the menu, but the purée in the drink will change with the seasons.
By day, there are some more café-style offerings: crostini with house-made version of Nutella (using a recipe given by Les Chocolats de Chloé), and Neapolitan-style brioche with gelato for a very sweet-tooth-friendly breakfast.
UPDP takes a prime location on de la Commune — a street somewhat dominated with tourist-trap resto-bars, something that Solomon laments.
“We need to bring something good and quality to that end of Montreal — where else would an entire promenade in front of the water not be filled with all the best restaurants? JJow did it fall into all these hands of bad restaurants? It kills me.”
If anyone can draw locals into the heart of the tourist zone, it’s Solomon and Girard — take a look at Olive & Gourmando on any given lunch hour. But the beautiful design at UPDP should also be a draw: Zebulon Perron is responsible for the space, which features a custom tile mosaic on the floor, and an eclectic set of mid-century fixtures, creating a timeless space. (Girard’s partner, Marie-Helène Lemarble, also contributed on aesthetic elements.) Outside is a tidy terrasse, facing across to the Old Port.
STATUS — Un Po’ Di Più is open at 3 de la Commune East from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday for now — when the liquor permit arrives in July, hours will extend to 11 p.m.