It’s not often I get the opportunity to catch a new restaurant opening during my travels, but the timing of my latest trip to Montréal happened to coincide with the grand reveal of Jacopo, Old Port’s latest addition. I’m pleased to share a special “first look” at the restaurant for you today.
Jacopo is restaurant number 15 for the Antonopoulos Group in Montréal. Within the first few seconds of entering the property, it’s clear that it smells, feels and reads like a “Successful Restaurant Group” operation (think Chase Hospitality Group or INK Entertainment in Toronto). The design is precise, confident and familiar, but with a stylistic twist that clearly distinguishes it from its sister restaurants.
In direct contrast with the more classic look of Antonopoulos restaurant Maggie Oakes next door, Jacopo is designed for a relatively young clientele. The two-level dining space juxtaposes vibrant velour seating and funky mismatched plates against old fireplaces and exposed wooden beams. Fun fact: Jacopo share a beautiful stone wall with Hôtel William Gray, where I happened to be staying the night before (and will definitely be writing more about shortly).
The modern Italian menu here is “Roman inspired”, which means you will find dishes like Indivia e Rucola (endive and arugula salad), Cacio e Pepe (bucantini pasta with pecorino and black pepper), Agnello Arrosto (roasted lamb shoulder with a demi-glace), and Supplì al Telefono (a Roman version of the more well-known arancini, a deep-fried tomato risotto ball stuffed with cheese).
More importantly, their wine menu is excellent. Featuring unique bottles from throughout Italy, many of these wines are also organic and/or biodynamic. If you’re feeling adventurous, I would suggest a glass of the orange wine from Casale Trebbiano in Tuscany. It’s a lot lighter than most in its category, and quite smooth to drink. The Terre Siciliane ”Nero d’Avola” is also a great red to pair with your lamb and porchetta.
You should come here if: you’re looking for a spacious and stylish place (we enjoyed our meal in the “courtyard-like” space on the second floor!) to share some cheese, charcuterie and wine with friends and colleagues after work on a Thursday night, or if you’re peckishly passing through
Montréal’s Old Port and feel like trying something new.
You should not come here if: you’re looking for a traditionally authentic Italian experience that includes pasta made by nonna and a family atmosphere.
Location: 436 Place Jacques-Cartier, Montréal // http://www.jacopomtl.com/
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