LITTLE ITALY — Big, sad news for Montreal’s Italian food world: St-Zotique Street restaurant Hostaria has announced that this Saturday (August 18) will be the end of the road. Hostaria opened up in 2009, as a sort-of spiritual successor to refined Italian dining destination Il Mulino after chef-owner Tony de Rose decided to retire. (Il Mulino was one of very few restaurants in the city to score an elusive four-star review from critic Lesley Chesterman). De Rose’s co-owner Aniello Covone crafted a new ownership team and came back with the the more modern Hostaria, which developed a following courtesy of dishes like its boar ragu pappardelle, baked and roasted meats, and more. The announcement went up on Instagram over the weekend, although there was no clear reason given for the shutter. There’s also a hint that the La Bottega group behind Hostaria have some sort of future project in the works to take its place.
It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to end a journey that was almost 20 years in the making. Hostaria will end its operations on August 18th, 2018. As we look back, we remember Il Mulino opened in 2001, and was the only Italian restaurant to have ever be voted 4 stars, by Lesley Chesterman. Although it was widely praised for its simple authentic Italian food and fine dining experience, it was the warm and gracious reception that gave this modest restaurant unanimous praise. Aniello Covone, owner, maître d’hôtel, welcomed each of his patrons as though he were hosting them into the dining room of his family home. It was with this principal that birthed the idea of his new restaurant, HOSTARIA, a play on Italian dining establishments called Osterias. All staff members, from bus-boys to managers, welcomed you like a close member of their family. Like any family gathering, they only served delicious, simple and high quality dishes. Hostaria’s reputation and charm was carried on for years after Aniello’s passing, by his wife Giovanna, son Massimo and long time family-friend, Andreas Vecchio. Its authenticity would not have been possible without its passionate and hard working team members, almost all of which have grown to later become key members of the Bottega Group. Tony de Rose; Chefs Andrea Sgro, Nicola Guidi, Giovanna Covone, David Zaccardi; Managers, Maître-Ds and Waiters Massimo Covone, Fabrizio Covone, Enzo Sarno, Raffaele Covone, Simon-Pierre Bailly Vallée and Andreas Vecchio; your passion, dedication, contributions and talent will forever be embedded in the fabric of Hostaria’s history and will be carried on through the Bottega Group and any future endeavours. Immense gratitude for all your dedication, hard-work and loyalty. Thank you to our patrons, all of whom we consider family and friends, for the letting us do what we love most – serving you with the best Italy has to offer in our beloved city of Montreal. We look forward to hosting you again, at Bottega, San Gennaro and our unnamed future project. Warmly, The Covone Family
VILLAGE — In a long post on Facebook, upstart curry house Bighi Curry revealed that it will be closing its doors sometime around the end of August or beginning of September, after about one year in business. Owners Gabrielle Camiré and Huriel Pitre cited that a series of events were “bad luck” for the fledgling restaurant, forcing them to consider selling off their assets while the going was good. Turns out that talks to dissolve it were in motion for some time.
SAINT-HENRI — Julien René Aubin, Marilyn Surprenant, and Hayley Smirnow’s artisanal grocer and sandwich shop Marché La Pantry is no more as of last week. The business announced that Monday this week would be its last day. The only clue as to the reason for this closure was “for personal reasons”, given in response to a Facebook commenter.
HOCHELAGA — Some good “closure” news: Hochelaga Street multi-purpose diner Jimmy’s now has a guaranteed future. After the death of eponymous owner Jimmy and an impending sale, his kids stepped in to save the nearly four-decade-old purveyor of everything from Chinese food to pasta.
Seen any bankruptcy notices or papered-over windows in your neighbourhood? Tell us about it.
- Fine Dining: Hostaria [Montreal Gazette]