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First Date Series: Restaurant Misto

Posted by Tara / October 2, 2011

Misto restaurantThe First Date Series takes a look at restaurants in Montreal where you might want to go -- or might not want to go -- on a first date. When you don't want to take first date risks as far as food is concerned, Italian cuisine is usually a safe bet - and that's precisely what's on the menu at Misto.

Misto serves up Italian, but it's a far cry from a quaint family-style trattoria where candles light the tables and soft melodies play in the background. A slick, buzzing resto on Mount Royal, Misto specialises in pasta, focaccia, and calzones. The place is casual but sleek in that plateau-kind-of-way, and every time I've been here it's been packed. Not every trattoria screams amore, but then again neither does every first date.

A meal at Misto starts off with a basket of awesomely fresh Italian sourdough bread from a local bakery - If you're not careful, you may go crazy here and be full before dinner arrives.

My date and I not only scarfed down the bread, but also opted for the bruschetta starter, which was actually a highlight of the meal - Two decent sized pieces of focaccia, one topped with a tasty tomato bruschetta, the other with a garlicky olive pesto. The focaccia was nice and doughy, and the olive tapenade was flavourful but not overly pungent.Misto restaurant foccaciaOur two mains, fusilli aux légumes and grilled salmon, arrived like magic moments after we'd finished the starter. The pasta, topped with broccoli, carrots, shallots, and zucchini, was a little stingier on the vegetables than it could have been. The dish was also light on the sauce, coated sparingly in olive oil and parmesan. Slivers of ginger gave this fusilli plate the zest it needed, but again, these slivers could have been more abundant. The flavours here worked really well, there were just a few too many bare-pasta bites for my liking.Misto restaurant pastaAs for the salmon, the plate looked enticing, but the grilled fillet was pretty standard - though most people aren't going out for Italian to order salmon. The bed of risotto hiding beneath the fish was top notch, and made us wish that we'd ordered the daily risotto dish instead. The side of roasted veggies were yummy, albeit super oily.Restaurant Misto salmonMisto's wine selection is extensive and they carry a few unconventional choices. Our waitress was chipper and friendly, and the prices here are very reasonable. Misto is basic, but sophisticated - maybe that's just the vibe you want on your first date.

Misto is located at 929 Avenue du Mont Royal Est and is open Wednesday to Friday from 11.30 am to midnight, and from 5 pm to midnight Saturday through Tuesday. Check out their website for more details.

Photo from Restaurant Misto website.

Check out some of our other First Date ideas like Icehouse or Café Prague.



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