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Rita: An excellent address with Italian flavours in Verdun

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Opened since September 22, 2018, Rita restaurant treats its guests with delicious Italian cuisine inspired by traditions from here.

A meeting place between two cultures

Rita is the passion project of Sophie Bergeron and Joey D’Alleva, who are joined by Marc-André Paradis and Frédérick Leblond. The restaurant borrows its name from Sophie and Joey’s grandmothers, who are both named Rita. Once you enter the restaurant, you will find the kind of loving conviviality that only a grandmother can provide. Here, Sophie and Joey have created a meeting place between two cultures, Italy and Quebec, to offer a personalized experience as the owners know best. It is not uncommon to see them in the kitchen or on the floor, making sure everyone is happy. We say passion project because it has been more than a year since the restaurant has been in the minds of its owners; a vision that was realized at the corner of Wellington and Regina.

The imprint of the Bergeron and D’Alleva families extends to the decor itself. On the high walls of the restaurant are photos of the two families and their forefathers, who seem to be giving the restaurant their blessing. Continuing in the family spirit, the restaurant exudes a special warmth thanks to the layout of the room and its lighting. During the day, Rita takes advantage of its corner location to welcome a maximum of natural light. In the evening, the space is bathed in a yellow-orange light thanks to the beautiful lanterns suspended above the bar. Sophie and Joey wanted to preserve as much of the building’s history as possible. They kept the original terrazzo, wood, and brick, and added a few touches to add their signature look. Also, Rita offers a bar that overlooks the restaurant’s partially open kitchen. Design firm Carta contributed to the owners’ vision, creating the 60-seat space.

The restaurant’s guiding light

In the kitchen, Joey D’Alleva draws on his Italian grandmother’s recipes—the restaurant’s guiding light—and adds his own personal touch to create simple and delicious dishes. Rita’s cuisine can be defined with these four words: freshness, simplicity, colour, and sharing.

On the menu, you will find some very good pizzas, fresh homemade pasta, a few starters, and delicious desserts. To start the meal, our favourite is their Caesar salad; which also happens to be one of the best Caesar salads in town. Served as an appetizer, the salad is perfectly balanced and served with crispy pieces of chicken. The meal carries on with one of the house pizzas, including the very good Lia and the eponymous Rita, both executed with simplicity. Currently, Rita also serves a dish of squash gnocchi. It is absolutely delicious and is on our list of the best gnocchi in Montreal.

The menu at Rita changes frequently, depending on Joey’s inspiration and the availability of produce, as the chef works with local market produce. The menu is concise and well reflected, with several pizza options, three pasta dishes, and one or two fish and meat options.

On the wine and cocktail side, Philippe Girard composes both menus. For wine, the selection consists mainly of privately imported wines, natural wines and the increasingly popular orange wines. The wine list changes regularly as well, ensuring diversity and surprise from one visit to the next. As for cocktails, the menu will remain pretty much the same, with a few well-executed classics.

Rita naturally creates an atmosphere of familiarity, welcoming its guests in a beautiful place, and serving dishes worked with intention and simplicity. The address adds new life to its street corner, and will lend itself to all occasions, generations, and cravings.


Photography by Caroline Perron





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