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Bottega: The best Neapolitan pizza in Montreal
Bottega opened its doors in 2006 as a high quality Neapolitan pizzeria. As the precursor of a major pizza movement, the establishment still offers one of the best pizzas in Montreal, and the best Neapolitan pizza in our opinion.
Bottega means “artisanal store” in Italian. Fabrizio Covone and Mr. Aniello Covone came up with the name of the pizzeria on St-Zotique Street. Their main objective: to communicate to their customers that everything here is homemade; from the pizza dough, to the tomato sauce, to the gelatos of the restaurant. Mission accomplished.
When the Covone family opened the pizzeria, they already had another restaurant, Il Mulino (now closed). “Montreal only had three good pizzerias back then, it wasn’t like today where they keep opening!”
With a seating capacity of about 75, the tables still have white tablecloths and cloth napkins. There are a few seats at the bar, a large Acunto pizza oven with the Bottega name engraved in ceramic, and the wooden wine cellar on the wall completes the chic atmosphere of the restaurant, despite its affordable price. The decor remains very classic and was designed by Annie Lebel. The restaurant also offers the possibility to enjoy your gastronomic experience on their terrace in front that seats about 50.
The talented mother Giovanna and her son Fabrizio are the ones who develop most of the recipes at Bottega. After having done many internships in Naples, Fabrizio proposed to his family to open a pizzeria that would make pizzas representative of Naples, the region of origin of father Covone. New chef Ermir Mullaj and his team now help the family members execute their menu.
At Bottega, the main focus is on excellent Neapolitan-influenced pizzas. There are a few pizzas stuffed with prosciutto cotto, eggplant, and mozzarella; one stuffed with ricotta, salami, mushrooms, and mozzarella; or multiple cheeses, Parmigiano and prosciutto di Parma. There are also some “white” pizzas (without tomato sauce), with offerings from simple olive oil, oregano and grated Parmigiano Reggiani, to rapini, homemade sausage and mozzarella, to pizza with mozzarella and porcini mushrooms, topped with arugula, olive oil and basil Tartufo Nero. In terms of pizzas with tomato sauce, they have the classic margherita, marinara, romana, sicilian, caprese and more. What characterizes Bottega’s pizza is the quality of the pizza dough, the tomato sauce, the cheese used and the ingredients chosen; all of which combine for a simply sublime pizza experience. We have a soft spot for the classic margherita as well as the pizza with rapini and sausages, although they are all excellent. Menu prices range between $10 and $30, but average around $15.
There are also some small appetizers named sfizi at Bottega like Bacio della Bottega, small pizza bites stuffed with prosciutto cotto, mushrooms, mozzarella and ricotta and topped with arugula and olive oil, arancinos, polpettas, olives, lamb chops, roasted eggplant, grilled shrimp, salads and more. Favourites include the meatballs (some of the best I’ve ever had), the salads, the Bacios (which means kisses in Italian) which are so exquisite, and the pastas which are some of the best in Montreal. Entrees range from $4 to $22. Thank you for the invitation and the outstanding Italian lunch.
As for the wine list, they have mainly Italian wines on offer, which pair well with the dishes offered. The house favours small artisans who produce organic and natural wines. Finally, there are a few classic cocktails on a short drink list designed by Massimo Covone.
Our favourite part of Bottega is definitely the delicious pizza! What adds to the experience is the warm and welcoming atmosphere where you can find all kinds of people; whether family outings, romantic or friend dates, or business meetings. All occasions lend themselves well to savouring the Italian delicacies of the house.
Note that a second location has opened in Laval.
Written by Sophie Monkman
Photography by Alison Slattery