Saturday, August 20, 2011

Montalto American pizzeria in Moscow

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Montalto pizza looks right out to Sadovoye Koltso with its bright red sign. When I came there with a friend at the end of July the first thing we had to do was to climb through elaborate road works, which were taking place around it. However it turned out to be worth it. Yes, we liked the pizza, but I’d definitely return there even just for tomato appetizers and desserts.


I'm getting more and more amazed by the Iconfood team. After visiting the Upside down cake bakery I instantly became its returning client. Now at the master class of Suki Maman I found that they recently opened Montalto pizza, an American pizzeria next to Barrikadnaya metro station, which I also found remarkable. I guess I still won’t probably appreciate the Corner Burger (with my love to vegetarian food), but I already start seriously thinking about visiting Black Market.

From the review of Montalto, which I read before coming, I expected it to be a very casual, hands on and perhaps even a bit noisy. This proved completely not true. It is casual in the sense that you can feel relaxed there. However it is very quiet, has attentive service and really nice design. We sat next to one of the windows looking out at Sadovoye.

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The menu looked lovely and succinct – several salads, same number of appetizers, 2 or 3 soups and same number of pasta dishes. Then the pizza page, apparently being the main section.

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I couldn’t help to take at least one appetizer and decided on the grilled cherry tomatoes. They were unbelievable. They tomatoes were almost fresh, but at the same had a very strong smoky flavour. They were coated in delicious tomato dressing with oil, purple olives and chickpeas, which is probably where the smoky flavour was coming from. After that I’m hungry to try the rest starting definitely from carpaccio of tomatoes.

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We were also greedy enough to ask for two pizzas. I voted for Margarita and my friend – for the Mushroom pizza. Shortly after we ordered I realized that we could watch the Margarita being cooked by Suki, wearing his green jacket (the pizza part of the kitchen is open to guests). We came closer to say hi. Suki, who managed to remember me after the recent master class, was cutting the delicious margarita into 6 pieces. He told us, we wouldn’t cope with two pizzas, but we didn’t believe.

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Soon the Margarita was already ours – with its thin and tender middle, covered by melting gooey cheese and with delicious crunchy outside. It was hard to resist eating it up, but I really needed some room to try the mushroom pizza too. Apparently Suki was right. Delicious as it was, we still needed exactly two times less pizza then we ordered. The second pizza felt denser than Margarita. It had lots of delicious mushrooms and cheese inside. We ended up leaving with a happy lunch box with pizza for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Later Suki went out to say hi to the guests and ask how they liked the food. Everybody he asked seemed genuinely happy and so were us. It turned out that a lady at the nearby table ordered the bubble gum panna cotta for dessert. That’s where I realized my mistake.

That time I didn’t pay enough attention to desserts, which was a true crime. These look like some amazing creatures: "a kilo of peaches", "silly gooseberry" etc. and I do believe they are, given who invented them and given the pictures of them which I saw at Montalto lively Facebook page. That’s why I’m coming back soon.

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