Where: On the northern edge of the sloped Mont-Royal Blvd., two blocks west of the intersection of Mont-Royal and St-Denis. You’ll find this Italian hotspot at 285 Avenue du Mont-Royal Est (Mont-Royal metro station).
Kind of Food: Romeo prides itself as an Italian tapas restaurant, featuring an extensive selection of small plates meant to be shared amongst the patrons. The tapas are excellent, and certainly deserve recognition as inspiring cuisine with dramatic taste. However, their real claim to fame can be attributed to their pizza dough, which is soft, powdered, and baked in a wood oven before being served hot to your table. As with the tapas, the ingredients are cleverly arranged to provide powerful taste, but not overwhelming to lose any of the distinct flavours. Sometimes, simplicity is all it takes.
Usual Suspects: While Romeo attracts a bit of an older crowd, that shouldn’t deter you from stepping inside for a nice night on the town. The evening herd will likely be more interested in ordering cocktails than a casual pint, but you’ll still get some enthusiastic party people looking to splash out while watching a hockey game.
Why I love it: I’ve always been impressed by the elegant-but-not-too-classy atmosphere in Romeo. Sure, it’s dark, it’s dim, it’s even romantic to a certain extent… but sometimes those kinds of meals separate you from the pack. Recommending Romeo to some international students turned out to be a great idea, when they later told me that they were more than impressed with the service and variety of the menu.
Why you’ll love it: They serve a house brew for only $4 and are currently running a promotion for a $10 pizza after 10pm. These late-night menus have made an impact on Montreal’s dining scene in recent years and have let the budget-eaters to feast upon some otherwise unlikely fare.
Who to take: Unlike previous posts where I’ve told you to take just about anyone you can think of, this time it’s important to make the distinction that you’d probably want to avoid bringing someone here that you’re not that interested in getting romantically involved with. This place can be very intimate at times and could definitely give you the upper hand when looking to make an impression. If things are already passed that point, consider it for a double date as you can share more tapas. More tapas = more happiness.
I ordered: La Prosciutto – tomato sauce, prosciutto, mozzarella, “rocquette” (rocket) lettuce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh parmesan chips ($16). I ordered the blonde Romeo beer, bottled.
Rating: 3.5/5 – The food is unquestionably good, but it’s expensive enough to eat here on your own, let alone paying for two. The location earns it a point, but the fact that it seems to cater to a slightly older crowd might discourage a younger demographic to walk through the door.
Hours of Operation: Thurs-Fri 5pm – 2am, Sat-Wed 5pm-12am
Daniel Bromberg is a writer and photographer for TheMainMTL – specializing in history lessons, event features, and restaurant reviews. Find him on Twitter and Instagram @mynxbrom. All photos credited to Daniel Bromberg.