Skip to main content

An Italian culinary gem in Griffintown

In Griffintown’s hustle and bustle, Mano Cornuto emerges as a beacon of Italian culinary tradition. Offering a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere that captivates locals and visitors alike, this Italian café and restaurant, bustling with activity every day of the week, has quickly become a beloved spot in Montreal’s dining scene. Here’s a closer look at what makes Mano Cornuto a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts.

The Birth of Mano Cornuto

Opened in 2018, Mano Cornuto is the brainchild of four seasoned veterans from Montreal’s gastronomic landscape: Vito Ciocca, James Baran, Tyler Maher, and Alex Ragoussis. With their combined experience from notable establishments such as Le Bremner, Garde-Manger, Park, A5, Foxy, Monkland Taverne, and Crew Collective, they aimed to create a space that embodies well-executed simplicity and fosters a sense of community. The name “Mano Cornuto,” which refers to a traditional Italian pendant, symbolizes the redirection of evil powers into the ground, reflecting the owners’ desire to create a positive and convivial atmosphere.

A Culinary Journey Through Italy in Griffintown

Located at 988 Rue Ottawa, Mano Cornuto offers a culinary experience that transports patrons to Italy. Inspired by other Italian cafés and designed by James Baran, the menu showcases a delightful array of dishes that can be savored at any time of the day. Mornings at Mano Cornuto start with freshly prepared focaccia, served with ricotta cheese and a choice of spreads such as truffle honey, fig, or apricot jam.

As the day progresses, the menu reveals a selection of pasta dishes, colorful salads, and crudo plates designed to highlight the best Italian and local products available. Lunch and Supper at Mano Cornuto are a viable solution to your hunger. Let’s take an in-depth look at their mouth-watering menus.

Daytime Delights at Mano Cornuto

The daytime menu at Mano Cornuto provides a perfect blend of light and hearty options tailored to start your day or boost your afternoon:

  • Cocktails: Begin with their unique cocktail selections like the “Italian Iced Tea,” a refreshing blend of Vermouth Rosso, ginger ale, and lemon, or the “Effervescente Gin Tonic,” a bubbly take on the classic gin and tonic. For those who prefer darker, more herbal notes, the “Juicy Meletti,” featuring Amaro Meletti and lemon, offers a deep, rich flavor.
  • Antipasti: The starter options include “Olive Calde,” a mix of blistered olives with aromatic herbs and orange zest, perfect for awakening the palate. The “Crudo di Branzino” combines bass with pecorino aioli, bomba puree, pine nuts, lemon, and prosecco for a light, refreshing dish. The “Piatto Antipasto” offers a selection of charcuteries, cheese, and preserves served with focaccia, ideal for sharing.
  • Schiacciate (Pressed Sandwiches): These are not your average sandwiches. Choices range from the “Classico,” with mortadella, pancetta, arugula, and truffle honey, to the “Vegetariana,” featuring rapini and pecorino aioli. The “Gabagool” with capicollo and marinated eggplants, among others, offers a delightful taste of Italy.
  • Primi (Main Dishes): Light and satisfying, options include the “Insalata Antipasti,” a mix of lettuces, trevisano, olives, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes, and the “Mano Cornuto Caesar,” an Italian twist on the classic Caesar salad. The pasta offerings, like “Bucatini al Pesto” and “Nodi Marini alla Bolognese,” showcase the simplicity and richness of Italian cuisine with fresh, flavorful ingredients​​.

Nighttime Indulgence at Mano Cornuto

As evening sets in, the menu shifts to more sophisticated and robust flavors:

  • Cocktails and Aperitivi: Nighttime brings out unique cocktails like the “Ann Smoke-Show” and “Calvados Fancy Sour,” which are perfect for sipping as you unwind. The “Americano” and “Berto Extra Secco” serve as ideal pre-dinner refreshments, setting the stage for an unforgettable meal.
  • Antipasti: Evening starters remain delightful with the addition of more substantial offerings. The burrata, with artichoke and pistachio pesto, offers a creamy texture against the crunch of focaccia.
  • Primi and Carne e Pesce: The night brings decadent dishes like the “Zucca,” featuring roasted spaghetti squash with whipped ricotta, and “Battuta di Manzo,” a luxurious beef tartare. The “Carne e Pesce” section expands to include premium dishes such as “Tonno” (grilled swordfish steak) and “Brasato di Agnello” (braised lamb steak), showcasing the best of land and sea.
  • Pasta: The evening pasta dishes, like “Bucatini al Pesto” and “Nodi Marini alla Bolognese,” remain consistent with the daytime offerings, ensuring that pasta lovers can always find something to satisfy their cravings​​.

The menu at Mano Cornuto, both day and night, reflects a dedication to quality ingredients, traditional Italian flavors, and innovative culinary techniques. Whether you’re stopping by for a light lunch, a casual daytime drink, or a full evening meal, the menus cater to various tastes and preferences, ensuring that every visit to Mano Cornuto is unique and memorable.

A Community Hub in Griffintown

Mano Cornuto has provided Griffintown with a delightful Italian dining option and has become a community hub where locals can gather to enjoy good food, drinks, and company without pretension. Whether you’re looking for a cozy spot for your morning coffee, a lively venue for an afternoon spritz, or a charming place for an evening meal, Mano Cornuto offers it all.

In conclusion, Mano Cornuto stands out as a testament to the power of simplicity, quality, and community. Its success lies in the delicious food and drinks and the warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes every visit memorable. For those seeking an authentic Italian experience in the heart of Montreal, Mano Cornuto is a destination worth exploring.