Montibello – The Overview…
Montibello was packed to the rafters when we visited mid week. With top quality, classic and affordable Italian food it’s easy to see why this Montmorency newcomer is becoming a real hit with the locals.
Food: Salumi board, meatballs, croquettes, salmon (fish of the day), pepperoni pizza, penne alla norma, seafood linguine, tiramisu, pannacotta, gelato
Montibello’s owners Cathy and Alex know the Montmorency market having owned nearby Espresso 3094 since 2012. As self confessed feeders they’re now heading back to their Sicilian roots to add this small modern Italian eatery to the Montmorency high street. Floor to ceiling windows take full advantage of its corner position to provide a light, bright dining experience. The natural woods and touches of greenery help to complete the fresh atmosphere. There’s plenty of subtle nods to the Italian influence with the rustic plates and quirky napkins that would be at home in any Roman trattoria.
The menu is fairly classic Italian, with the bulk of the menu being their very reasonably priced pizzas. Having said that, we felt the choices of pastas and mains on offer showed good variety and we only ended up opting for one pizza between the four of us – choosing the fish of the day and two pasta dishes. Service was attentive from the off, despite being quiet when we first arrived, and we were promptly greeted and seated. This level of attention was maintained throughout our visit even as the restaurant became steadily busier until it was a complete full house from about 7pm onwards.
We started with the salumi board for 4, meatballs and croquettes. The huge, clearly homemade meatballs were filling enough to be a main and seriously melt in the mouth soft, while the croquettes provided the perfect crunch before giving in to that creamy cheesy centre. The salumi board was generous, with a pleasant rustic presentation. The thick cut pepperoni was easily one of our favourites, but there’s something for everyone on there and we liked how the veggies were done with simple touches to each one. It’s an ideal sharing starter, great variety, lots of flavours.
For mains we had the fish of the day (oven baked salmon beetroot marinated w/veggies), pepperoni pizza, penne alla Norma and seafood linguine. The fish was huge, flaked perfectly off the skin and came with a generous variety of roasted veggies. The beetroot gave it a lovely, different flavour, adding a slight earthy hue to the salmon.
The pizza bases were light and airy, topped with chunky mozzarella, finely sliced pepperoni and a rich tomato sauce – traditional Italian ingredients that make for a great quality pizza. Excellent value too, with many coming in around the $20 mark.
The penne was perfectly al dente in a rich sun-dried tomato sauce. Well seasoned with fresh herbs, it’s a tasty veggie dish and just simplicity at its finest – a commonly used pasta with ingredients you could grow in your back garden, but expertly put together to make an elegant dish that will stick in your memory.
The linguine was a big serve and we struggled to finish this. We adored the baby octopus and there was a great variety of fresh shellfish mixed into the pasta. The pasta was cooked perfectly, and there were just enough little touches of chilli and garlic running through to highlight the flavour but not overshadow the exceptional seafood. A wonderful execution of an Italian classic!
To finish up we tried the pannacotta: white chocolate and mixed berry, the coppa gelato, and the tiramisu. The home made tiramisu was almost too nice too eat and was a beautiful classic Italian dessert – you must try this! The pannacotta (flavours rotate daily) was a creamy melt in the mouth white chocolate with mixed berries and pistachio crumb to balance out the dish. Finally the ice cream was a bowl of fresh, sharp flavours – even the vanilla stood out, yet our favourite was the creamy berry. We left with full tummies and huge smiles. So often places manage to excel in a specific areas, yet Montibello achieved near perfection from start to finish!
Address: 61 Were Street Montmorency Vic 3094
Wed 5:30pm to 11pm
Thu 5:30pm to 11pm
Fri 5:30pm to 11pm
Sat 5:30pm to 11pm
Sun 5:30pm to 11pm
Parking: There’s plenty of parking in and around Montmorency high street, particularly in the evenings, you shouldn’t have any issue getting a spot.
Getting here on PT: It’s about a minutes walk from Montmorency train station on the Hurstbridge line.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Montibello, Montmorency. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.