The people behind Little Italy staple Impasto have birthed a new restaurant in a whole new neighbourhood: trattoria Vesta is now open on Jarry East, at de Gaspé.
Impasto owners Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione have expanded their ownership team for the latest venture — they’re joined by Pizzeria Gema chef Anthony Di Iorio, and Impasto sommelier Benjamin Lemay Lemieux.
Di Iorio is heading up the kitchen at Vesta — he tells Eater that the aim is to keep things classic and homespun (yet refined, of course) with a menu that draws on American-Italian elements, without setting aside the owners’ hearty knowledge of Italy, either.
“It’s simple and straight to the point — this is me and Michele’s favorite style I would say, we’ve got fritto misto, meatballs, garlic knots. There’s also capicollo — other than my mothers meatballs, it’s the closest dish to my heart. My uncle who lives in Italy told me a secret recipe for the world’s best capicollo, and we decided to put it on our menu.”
A couple of pasta dishes figure on the menu — at present, a tomato sauce spaghetti and a pesto cream-pistachio penne are offered, but these will change seasonally, so expect heartier options like ragu when winter rolls around.
It’s pizza that makes up much of the menu — Vesta is using entirely natural starter for its dough. Unlike sister restaurant Gema, which focuses on Neapolitan-style pizza, Vesta will do a thicker North American dough, somewhere between Montreal and New York-style pizza. It’s cooked on wire mesh instead of straight on the stone, making for a crispier and more robust crust.
Those crispier crusts also mean the pizzas will be well cut out for delivery — Vesta will get into that game in late September, with Di Iorio noting that many hours of testing went into ensuring that the pizzas would go through the delivery process and arrive fresh and not soggy.
Beyond classic margherita and pepperoni options, there’s a pizza named for Montreal icon Bob Le Chef (a Villeray resident), that’s effectively all-dressed with bacon. A number of white pizzas are also on offer, such as the Supreme, with smoked ham, bacon, pepperoni, and pepperoni (all those cured meats are to be made in-house, too).
And in keeping with the casual trattoria approach, it’s affordable — prices max out at $19 for the most expensive item.
To accompany those pizzas is a selection of mostly natural wines, with a focus on Quebec and Italian vintners. Lemay Lemieux calls his hand-picked wine list “fun and affordable, with a wine for everybody”, including in terms of price ranges; some classic cocktails like Negronis also make an appearance. For beer, a house pilsner was brewed especially for the restaurant, but they’ll also be selling beers from exceedingly beloved Gaspésie brewery Auval.
Vesta marks Faita and team branching out into a whole new neighbourhood: their previous restaurants are all in close proximity in Little Italy, with Impasto and Gema across from each other, and very casual casse-croûte Chez Tousignant (the most recent addition before Vesta) just a few blocks away.
STATUS — Vesta is open at 206 Jarry E for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, and dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
- Vesta [Official]
- Impasto’s Owners Are Cooking up a New Trattoria With Pizza For Villeray [EMTL]