[Italian: Wienstein & Gavino’s] Crescent@10pm

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Cousin & I were due for a dinner catch-up. Because of her wild working schedule, we needed somewhere open late and located right on Crescent Street. I was told W&G just revived their late night menu, so that’s where we set our rendez-vous.

W&G is a bit of a rife of passage for every youngster growing up in Montreal. Three floors high, with walls hidden behind hundreds of bottles of wine, W&G is a loud and animated restaurant where you go to grab a bite between friends and shake it up as MC Hammer blasts through the walls.

Seated on the ground floor next to the high windows, cousin & I debated our food choices over the complementary fresh bread and pesto dip. I’m not sure how long we took to decide, but the crispy-crust-soft-textured baguette was definitely gone by the time she ordered her caipirinha and I my amaretto sour.

For appetizers, we shared a bruschetta and the most divine fried calamari. Definitely the highlight of my evening, the squid had bite and was covered in a light coating of batter perfectly seasoned and crisp.

We followed that with our mains: her pizza Ortolana (olive oil, eggplant, zucchini, fresh tomatoes, ricotta, mozzarella) and my Caesar salad. The waiter suggested replacing the chicken with shrimp – a clever idea. Charcoaled and juicy, the shrimp added a cheerful spin to the conventional romaine lettuce and croutons mix.

Finally came the deserts which we had absolutely no more space for. Cousin picked an apple crumble topped with maple walnut ice cream, while I had a gluten-free chocolate cake. Her crumble was tasty, but too sugary. My treat, surprisingly, was just the opposite. Served on a string of Nutella, it more than satisfied my chocolate craving but happily spared me an overdose of sweet.

All in all, we had a pleasant (and filling) evening. W&G’s late night menu will be running until summer. Try their pasta if you can; it’s all made in-house around 9am, everyday. I’ve never had the chance to taste it myself, so let me know your thoughts!

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