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An Experienced Chef Will Bring Southern Italian Cuisine to Papineau This Spring

Bringing skills from Le Serpent and Maison Boulud, expect traditional techniques new to Montreal’s Italian food scene

Antonietta/Supplied

The owners of casual Petite-Patrie spot Caffe Biancamano are set to bring more Italian food to the neighbourhood, with restaurant Antonietta to open on Papineau Avenue.

It will open near St-Zotique Street, is slated to open in the late spring, manager Luigi Minerva says.

Minerva says the team — led by partners Daniel Abbandonato and Massimo Zuccheroso — is hoping to serve up the tastes of sun-kissed southern Italy.

“The intention at least is for us not to have a traditional pasta and pizza place,” Minerva says.

While a number of Italian restaurants in the city are excelling in regional cuisine, very few showcase cuisine from the country’s southern regions, he says. “It’s just a style of cuisine that, despite the amount of Italian restaurants there is in Montreal, hasn’t been exposed as much as it can be.”

The menu, created by chef Anthony Bottazzi (who is currently at Caffe Biancamano) will feature “a little more seafood, a lot more vegetables” than the traditional Italian-Canadian restaurant, Minerva says.

While the menu is not yet set in stone, Bottazzi tells Eater that the restaurant “will have the classics...done right.” Currently, he’s working on importing tomatoes from Italy to use on traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas like a margherita.

Above all, Bottazzi says his priority is to showcase authentic Italian cooking techniques, like using pre-fermented dough for the pizza and cooking bigoli pasta with a torchio — a table-shaped hand crank that he says he’s never seen used in Montreal Italian restaurants before.

With Botazzi’s background things look promising — he brings experience in the kitchen at Le Serpent, Maison Boulud, and Renoir at Montreal’s Sofitel. Plus, before coming to Montreal, he staged at New York’s Eleven Madison Park (a former number one placeholder on the World’s 50 Best restaurants list), and at Tuscany’s Borgo Santo Pietro hotel.

Massimo Zuccheroso, Daniel Abbandonato, and Anthony Botazzi
Antonietta/Supplied

Minerva says the team hopes to shuffle the menu on a regular basis (they’re aiming for weekly, if not daily, updates). They also plan to serve locally-sourced foods whenever they can, in keeping with the ethos of Italian food.

“True Italian philosophy is you cook and you serve the food from your land as much as you can,” Minerva said.

And Minerva plans to bring the same approach to the wine and cocktail list, which he’s managing at the restaurant himself. While it’s not yet set in stone, he plans to craft a list primarily of natural wines sourced from Italy and Canada.

Expect Antonietta to open in late May.

Antonietta

6672 Avenue Papineau, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC H2G 2X2 (514) 729-2633 Visit Website

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