Mano Cornuto, a brand new Italian café in Griffintown, has been busy since the day it opened! With such a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, this is the type of place where its impossible to stay in a bad mood.
Wondering what makes this café so special? The answer is obvious as soon as you see the talented team of owners maneuvering through the dining room. Vito Ciocca ( Le Bremner and Garde-Manger), James Baran (Le Bremner, Garde-Manger, Park and A5), Tyler Maher (Foxy and Monkland Taverne) and Alex Ragoussis (Crew Collective) are well-known faces in the Montreal gastronomic landscape. The four’s goal was to provide Griffintown with a venue that focused on well-executed simplicity and fostered a sense of convivial community. These values are even reflected in the name of the place, as “Mano Cornuto” references a traditional Italian pendant that symbolizes the redirection of the devil’s evil powers into the ground instead of at others.
James Baran drew culinary inspiration from other Italian cafés to create a fresh menu of dishes that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Every single morning, the kitchen prepares fresh focaccia to be served with ricotta cheese and a spread of your choice (truffle honey, fig or apricot jam). The rest of the menu was especially designed to highlight the best Italian and local products available. The menu includes a few pasta dishes, colourful salads, a couple of sandwiches, crudo plates and a selection of enticing pastries. Save room for dessert, because Mano Cornuto offers a delicious homemade doughnut – the perfect way to end a meal.
On the side of beverages, the bar at Mano Cornuto is fully equipped to meet any desire you may have, at any time of day. Whether its a morning coffee, an afternoon spritz or an evening glass of wine, Man Cornuto has it all! Vito Ciocca, the brains behind the cocktail menu, put special emphasis on unique amaros and bitters reminiscent of the combinations frequently found in Italy. For wine lovers, duo Tyler and Rob Clarke (Nora Gray, Foxy and Beau Mont) have put together a list that primarily features natural labels. They explained that the wine list would likely change rather frequently, and they expect to feature new bottles every week – the perfect formula for those who love discovering new wines! There are also a couple noteworthy Italian lagers and some homemade beers available.
Inside, the decor of Mano Cornuto was created to mimic the simplicity and allure of classic European cafés. The focal point of the bright room is the long bar that transitions into the open kitchen. The narrowness of the restaurant forces the team to swiftly navigate through tables, the bar and the kitchen, all adding to the captivatingly charming feeling of controlled chaos. At the front of the café lies an outdoor terrace of twenty seats, approximately. When you put it all together, the result is an incredibly inviting space with a friendly and energetic atmosphere.
The arrival of Mano Cornuto in Griffintown has opened up a space for the neighbourhood to comfortably gather and enjoy good food, drinks and company without pretension.