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A Jewel of Montreal’s Italian Culinary Scene

Montreal, a city celebrated for its rich culinary landscape, offers a mosaic of flavors from around the globe. Nestled within this vibrant cityscape lies Gatto Matto, an Italian restaurant that stands out not just for its cuisine but also for its intriguing history, unique decor, and the exceptional dining experience it provides. This article takes you on a journey through the remarkable world of Gatto Matto, situated in the heart of Laval, just a stone’s throw from the Montmorency metro station and a quick drive from Montreal.

A Storied Beginning

Gatto Matto, translating to “Crazy Cat” in Italian, is more than just a name; it reflects the restaurant’s vibrant and dynamic nature. The restaurant began with a simple vision: to bring authentic Italian cuisine with a modern twist to Montreal’s diverse food scene. The brainchild of the Foodtastic group, known for other culinary ventures like La Belle et La Boeuf and Souvlaki Bar, Gatto Matto represents a shift towards more upscale, one-off dining experiences. The collaboration between chefs Angelo Mercuri and Terence Sheppard, known from Bacaro Pizzeria and previous Foodtastic projects, respectively, has culminated in a menu that balances traditional Italian elements with innovative culinary techniques.

Menu Highlights at Gatto Matto

Gatto Matto’s menu is a vibrant palette of flavors and traditions, embodying the essence of Italian cuisine while infusing modern touches. Here’s what you can expect:

Antipasti: The journey at Gatto Matto begins with an enticing selection of antipasti. The Classic Caesar salad and Burrata e Pomodoro offer fresh and zesty starts. The Grilled Octopus with Sicilian harissa, tahini, bruschetta, Bulgarian feta, and mint presents a symphony of flavors for those seeking warmth. The Mushroom Truffle Tartlet is a notable mention for mushroom enthusiasts. It presents wild mushrooms in a rich béchamel sauce adorned with parmesan and a touch of black truffle.

Pizza: The pizza offerings are a testament to Gatto Matto’s dedication to classic Italian flavors with a twist. From the simple yet exquisite Margherita to the rich and earthy Funghi Tartufo Nero with black truffle cream sauce, every palate has a pizza. The standout Calabrese, with its fiery ‘nduja, and the sophisticated Prosciutto e Fichi, balancing the sweetness of figs with salty prosciutto, are must-tries.

Pasta: Pasta lovers will revel in the variety, from the creamy Spaghetti al Pesto Burrata to the luxurious Cavatelli Braised Beef, which features 12-hour braised beef and smoked caciocavallo. The Lobster Risotto offers a decadent seafood option, while the innovative Rigatoni a la Vodka Rosée brings a spicy kick.

Pesce e Carne (Fish and Meat): The main courses at Gatto Matto are as plentiful as diverse. Seafood and meat lovers can choose from the elegant 8-oz Filet Mignon to the hearty 12-oz Grilled Veal Chop. The Chef’s Board and Fish of the Day provide rotating selections for those exploring different flavors each visit.

Crudo: The Crudo section adds an exquisite touch with offerings like the Classic Beef Tartare and the refreshing Salmon Tartare, providing a lighter yet flavorful dining option.

Sides: Complementary sides such as Spicy Broccolinis, Homemade Focaccia, and Sautéed Wild Mushrooms enhance any meal, providing perfect accompaniments to the robust flavors of the main dishes.

Specialties and Notes: Gatto Matto doesn’t shy away from grand gestures in culinary form. The 50-Layer Lasagna, a testament to traditional cooking layered with contemporary flair, is marked as a limited-quantity dish, urging patrons to indulge while they can. Additionally, the menu hints at the adaptability to dietary preferences, noting that gluten-free pasta is available, ensuring a welcoming experience for all guests.

Location and Ambiance

Gatto Matto is not just about the food but the experience. Located at 1950 Rue Claude-Gagné, the restaurant’s decor is a feast for the eyes. Adorned with roses and bathed in soft pastel hues, the interior reflects elegance and romance, mirroring the essence of the rose, which symbolizes beauty, courage, and love. The rosy colors and floral themes create a perfect backdrop for every occasion, from intimate dinners to grand celebrations. The space is thoughtfully designed with ample booth and banquette seating, making every visit comfortable and memorable.

What Makes Gatto Matto Special

What sets Gatto Matto apart is its commitment to offering an authentic Italian dining experience while pushing the boundaries of traditional cuisine—the fusion of classic dishes with innovative culinary techniques results in both familiar and exciting flavors. Moreover, the restaurant’s dedication to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where every moment celebrates food and life, makes it a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.

Gatto Matto is more than just a restaurant; it’s a testament to the art of Italian cooking, a place where tradition meets innovation. Whether you’re a connoisseur of Italian cuisine or someone looking to explore new flavors, Gatto Matto promises an unforgettable culinary journey set against the backdrop of one of Montreal’s most vibrant neighborhoods.