Old Montreal can look forward to another notch in its belt of Italian options soon enough, let alone its growing list of culinary offerings of late that have turned the area into a booming spot: Stellina comes from the Novantuno group (Fiorellino, Porchetta) and is set to not only enhance the neighborhood's Italian offerings, but with the conviction of serving some of the best pasta in town (their words, not ours).
With their partners of over 30 years, Angelo and Roberto, as well as chef Jonathan Agnello, Massimo Lecas is coming full circle with a concept he defines as 'upscale' and 'stylish'.
"With Stellina, we wanted to pay homage to our origins and our previous experiences," Massimo explained to Time Out, pointing to the now-defunct (but no less notorious) Buonanotte as an inspiration.
Stellina will be the group's most upscaled restaurant to date with fresh pasta, antipasti and vegetables taking center stage. The wines served here will come exclusively from Grande Botte, some private import agencies, with a focus on mostly organic and/or natural bottles.
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Opening at a time when there is a severe lack of manpower in the industry is Massimo's biggest challenge.
"It takes a lot of courage to carry out this project, but it's near and dear to our hearts" he says, after admitting that this restaurant was supposed to be opened almost 2 years ago.
"We are aware that it will be difficult in the beginning: we will operate on reduced hours, and then gradually move forward by adding some evenings and weekday lunches," he adds.
While no photos of the design have been released yet, what we do know is that the design of the place has been handed over to the Gauley brothers whose work can be found at places like Fugazzi, Foiegwa, Messorem Bracitorium, and Makro.
The opening for Stellina is set for the first week of November 2021 at 410 rue St Jacques; follow the restaurant on Instagram for more updates.