Reader Report: Machiavelli in Montreal

When I read this Reader Report, I realized that it’s been more than six years since I visited Montreal. I’m long overdue for another trip to one of Canada’s most beautiful — and historic — cities. When I do, the first place I will have to check out is Machiavelli, which Alice writes about below. Thanks for sending this in, Alice!

Alice’s Report on Machiavelli in Montreal, Quebec

Machiavelli Restaurant is a wonderful restaurant that serves delicious fusion cuisine dishes. Machiavelli’s talented chef Raymond is very knowledgeable about dietary restrictions and prepares all his soups and gravies from scratch (no pre-packaged bases). They are able to offer delicious gluten-free meals as well as cater to other allergy restrictions.

Machiavelli offers a varied dinner menu with choices of beef steaks, pork, chicken dishes, fish and pasta.  Unfortunately, they do not keep gluten free pasta in stock. Machiavelli offers a different menu every day, with their special offerings listed on a black board. Their daily menu consists of a choice of soup, escargot, Caesar or garden salad.   For a main course there is always a choice of different meats, fish and a pasta dish. The chef uses local produce and fresh herbs from the nearby Atwater Market. The dishes are presented very attractively and with flair. Their prices are very reasonable and include both courses, as well as all local taxes. In other words, the price you see marked on the menu is the price you will pay, plus the customary tip to the waiter, of course.

Machiavelli is a “bring your own wine” restaurant, so do not forget to bring your own wine or beer. Machiavelli has a charming décor & in the summer offers outside garden dining, weather permitting. The restaurant has three small dining rooms so it makes it an ideal place to host a small party. Machiavelli Restaurant is situated at 2601 Centre Street (corner Charlevoix), Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3K 1K2.  Their telephone: 514-315-9981; fax: 514-315-9979; Machiavelli can be easily reached by subway from any downtown hotel, as it is situated right across the street from the Charlevoix subway station.  On the South East corner there is a liquor store where you can purchase a good selection of wines, but unfortunately the liquor store is open late in the evening only on Thursday & Friday evenings, weekdays it closes at 6 PM and Saturdays at 5 PM. Machiavelli Restaurant is open every day for dinner, except on Mondays.

Good News for Canadian Pizza Fans

When the Canadian chain Pizza Pizza announced in March that they were introducing gluten-free pizza dough in a pilot program at 50 of their locations around Toronto, people took notice. Not only did the news hit the blogosphere — on Toronto Celiac and other websites — but the Toronto Star reported the story as well.

Here’s an update: the response to the gluten-free pizzas was so overwhelmingly positive that Pizza Pizza has expanded the program. All 531 of the company’s locations in Quebec and Ontario now offer gluten-free crusts. I’ve finally tasted the pizza for myself, I can understand why it’s become so popular. Made from rice flour, potato starch, water, non-hydrogenated canola oil, sugar, salt, methylcellouse, yeast, and monoglyerides, it’s crispy, it’s delicious, and it holds up well even when reheated.

There are a couple of things to watch for when ordering this pizza. The most important is that not all of the toppings are gluten-free. Want pepperoni with it? Then ask for the New York-style pepperoni, which is celiac-safe, instead of the standard “classic” pepperoni, which contains wheat. The gluten-free crust is currently available only in a medium pizza, which will feed two people, and there’s an additional $3.25 charge for it. But this is a great option for pizza-lovers on a gluten-free diet — and the ready-in-20-minutes-or-it’s-free rule still applies.

UPDATE (06/16/08): This post originally stated that gluten-free pizza crusts are available in all Pizza Pizza outlets across Canada. While this is true of the outlets run under the name Pizza Pizza, it is not true of the Pizza 73 outlets the company owns in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.