Friday, July 27, 2012

Little Italy

Last night we headed to Little Italy in Montreal, for supper and good times with my sister & brother-in-law.  We chose Casa Cacciatore which has been around for 25 years, and which we've frequented many times.  We decided to eat on the patio at the back of the restaurant, and watch the goings-on at the Jean Talon Farmer’s Market across the street (interesting tidbit: before the market opened in 1933, the space it occupies used to be a lacrosse field).  

Patio at "Casa Cacciatore".
After placing our order, my sister and I headed across the street to check out the wares at the market.  There weren’t a lot of people in the market because of the late hour, but I found out that they stay open till 9 or 10pm each night, just in case.  What I found different about this Farmer’s Market is that they have plates of freshly cut fruit next to their offerings, so that you can try before you buy!  

I also found a fruit I had never heard of before.  It’s called “cerise de terre” (which translated literally from the French means “cherries of the ground".  Turns out that it's actually a small tomato, which is also a fruit like its bigger cousin!).  I was given a taste by the vendor (and there’s a pic below).  You peel off the outer papery layer and it looks like a beige cherry inside (therefore the name).  I’m told the taste varies from tart to sweet and it's used for everything from salads to jams to desserts.

We then headed back to our newly-arrived food (which we watched for, from across the street) and savored every bite!  My husband ordered the salmon carpaccio appetizer which is proudly made in-house…divine!  From appetizer to dessert, we were not disappointed.  After dinner, the chef sent complimentary digestifs to our table.  The limoncello was great.  My sister ordered the Averna which was surprisingly good, considering it’s made from herbs & roots.  But I had the grappa, which was so strong that I could only wet my lips with it, before realizing I couldn’t/shouldn’t drink it!  My family tried to warn me, but I had to go for it anyway!  (now I’m warning YOU).

Posing with the Chef:  Irving (my brother-in-law), Guido (our chef), me, Annie (my sister) and Ray (my husband).  
p.s.  forgot to mention that earlier, on the walk from the car to the restaurant, we stopped in this local artisan gift shop below, where everything was handmade (jewelry, pillows, paintings, etc.).  In their back yard, we met “Gotcha” (the cat) who looked to me like he was sporting a "moustache"!