Student Life

Bevo Bar and Pizzeria: The modern-day nonna

One of the main reasons I adore the Italian culture is for their wonderful, diverse cuisine. The pizzas, the pastas, the meatballs; I’ve fallen in love with it all. Some may say that you haven’t really lived until you’ve had an authentic nonna, that’s grandmother in Italian, cook you an authentic meal; because that’s what the nonna does, she cooks, and she cooks well.

Montreal has become a haven for Italian restaurants, some good, some not so good. Bevo Bar and Pizzeria has done something that many other restaurants have failed to do— bring authentic Italian food into a 21st century setting.

Bevo Bar and Pizzeria isn’t easily describable. It’s a mix of two distinctly different decors: an Italian trattoria worthy of a Sicilian village and a supper club in the heart of an urban city. They come together, however, to create something quite special. This is the core of Bevo.

Bevo Bar & Pizzeria. Photo by writer.

We see it in the decor and most importantly, we see it in their cuisine. Bevo has become the modern day nonna, who could give any master chef a run for their money.

Now as you sit in this chic setting you see beautiful dark oak floors and an amazing glass bar, serving up some innovative martinis. The tables are dressed with classic red and white tartan cloth napkins, and what looks like century old lanterns are creating a dim lighting worthy of a scene in The Godfather. All in all, an amazing atmosphere.

Now, I’ve been into the deepest confines of Naples and entered the smallest looking trattorias on my quest to finding the best pizza ever made in the town where pizza was invented. I managed to succeed when I entered a small alley and sat at a tiny trattoria, run by a joyous looking old Italian man, who served me a pizza that changed my life. I had given up hope of ever tasting pizza that good again.

I’ll say one thing about the menu. If you don’t order a pizza your first time at Bevo, then you should kindly step out. An enormous wood oven run by Chef Giovanni Vella is creating pizzas worthy of the trattorias in the confines of Naples. For the first time since that day in Naples, I was brought back to that small trattoria. This was a pizza. Add bocconcinis, Italian sausage, fresh parsley, Italian cold-cuts and you have a masterpiece. Ranging from $13 to $21, there is a pizza to satisfy anyone’s taste. From the vegetarian Giardino to the Bosco in Bianco topped with roasted mushrooms and black truffle.

Needless to say, the menu was filled with a variety of Italian hors d’oeuvres and main dishes that will make your mouth water. Juicy, massive, Italian meatballs dressed with a fresh tomato sauce definitely makes the honour roll. Perfectly cooked veal scallopini with homemade potatoes definitely makes the cut. An aromatic pesto sauce with fresh clams makes the list as well. All in all, a simply amazing menu.

From Thursday to Saturday, Bevo has a DJ spinning hits into the wee hours of the morning. It isn’t easy finding a restaurant like this in Montreal, where you can appreciate both the food and the nightlife experience a great city like Montreal has to offer.


Bevo Pizzeria is located at 410 Saint-Vincent St. 

Student Life

Some like it raw: Crudessence puts a twist on classic foods

Photo via Flickr

I tend to find that many of the vegan restaurants I have attended in the past have had the three ‘Ps’ of dread — pretentious crowds, pitiful proportions, and pricey, bland food. So you must understand my initial disappointment when my dining partner decided to surprise me with a raw vegan restaurant called Crudessence.

I had never heard of this restaurant, a little place that I initially thought was a store selling raw products. Down the small narrow restaurant were some simple wooden tables and chairs. There was a funky flare to the decor such as a matrix-style portrait of a computer chip and another one of multicoloured broken glass.

So what is Crudessence? According to the website, it is a restaurant that serves “food choices based on respect for life and global well-being,” and appeals to “anyone seeking to awaken their bodies and minds.”

As for the menu: don’t worry, this is not your ordinary rabbit food restaurant. Thankfully, Crudessence offers a witty, healthy and sophisticated twist on meals such as nachos, pizza, hamburgers and tacos. The difference is that you won’t leave the restaurant feeling bloated and reminding yourself that you need to hit the gym as soon as possible.

Photo by Madelayne Hajek

I ordered the “Exceptional Wrap,” chipotle quinoa wrapped in nori and rice sheets with avocado, lettuce, sprouts, red peppers, carrots and onions. The wrap popped vibrantly with colours—yellow, green, red and white while the rice sheets gave a nice touch of Asian infusion. The mix of velvety avocado with the bitter taste of sprouts and sweet red peppers made this wrap truly live up to its name. The sauce was the best part. A zesty ranch taste with a kick of chipotle, complimenting the wrap perfectly. There’s the option of ordering the wrap alone for a jaw-dropping $11, or if you are feeling rebellious, you can order it with the daily salad on the side for $14.75.

The person I went with looked enthusiastically through the menu and, grinning, ordered the “Om burger” (obviously amused with the clever name). This burger is a combination of mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, flax seeds and mixed vegetables, served on chapati bread and garnished with fresh tomatoes, red onions, lettuce, homemade mustard, ketchup and their famous caper aioli. It tasted tangy from the homemade mustard, rich and smoky from the mushrooms and salty from the sun-dried tomatoes. The burger came to about $12.50.

The bathroom is a tiny stall with swinging wooden western style doors. Even though it sounds fun, there is nothing more uncomfortable than having the other diners stare at you through the wide cracks of the doors while you wash your hands.

All-in-all, I found the idea to be as much of a culinary adventure as I found it hilarious to mock. As I checked out the website I even saw that they offer delivery… by bicycle to make sure it is environmentally friendly. All sarcasm aside, though the prices were sky high, I tip my hat to the wonderfully tasty vegan treats.


Crudessence is located on 2157 Mackay St. and 105 Rachel St. W.

Student Life

Give your canine teeth a rest and feast like a herbivore

Editor’s Intro

Whether it’s a food trend, a generational thing, or the number of studies we are bombarded with on the health risks of red meat, there is no denying that vegetarianism is spreading across Canada. According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s “Canadian Food Trends to 2020,” citizens have become more cautious as to what they are eating, continually increasing their consumption of meatless meals. Restaurant owners and media outlets, like the Food Network, are paying attention to this shift in healthy living, incorporating vegetarian options on their menu and teaching viewers how they can prepare a healthy, meatless meal in under 20 minutes. Even Mario Batali, a well-know American-Italian chef who is no stranger to a great piece of prosciutto, has integrated Meatless Monday options to 14 of his restaurants. While we’re not expecting everyone to take on a vegetarian lifestyle, there are delicious ways to incorporate some meatless meals in your omnivorous diet; here are few of our favourite choices around Montreal!


Chow down at ChuChai

Andrew Guilbert
Staff Writer

ChuChai is back in business after a long reconstruction period that started way back in February, and Montreal vegetarians are grateful for its return.

Vegetarian Thai restaurant ChuChai makes for a calm and modern dining experience. Photo by Marilla Steuter-Martin

This restaurant sells itself as Thai vegetarian food with an upscale feel and a wine list to match. Though the menu can seem pricey to the uninitiated (meals run from 12$ to 20$), the unique presentation and intimate atmosphere make for a dining experience that accentuates the calm, modern vibe that goes hand in hand with chef Lily Sirikittikul’s creations.

The main attraction here is the series of “fake meat” dishes you can order; fish, duck, beef, chicken and shrimp are all reproduced in both taste and texture through the magic of soy, seitan and various vegetables coming together.

The simulacrum is so uncanny that a vegetarian friend of mine recounted how he once shocked an acquaintance of his by inviting him out to ChuChai and chowing down on the fake meat in front of his incredulous dinner guest. A personal favorite is the duck in red curry with pineapple, tomato and basil, which comes drizzled and stepped with a liberal amount of sweet, tangy sauce that demand you order an extra rice bowl just to finish it off.

The main courses aren’t the only draw to this modern St-Denis eatery; the appetizers are a brilliant amalgamation of oriental tastes, vibrant colors and simple, delicate presentation. Warranting particular note is the award winning Miam Kram, a unique combination of tastes like ginger, lemon and peanuts is served on a leaf you fold around the piled ingredients and pop into your mouth. It makes for a fresh, crisp morsel you won’t find the likes of anywhere else on the island.


ChuChai is located on 4088 Saint Denis St.


Aux Vivres deceives the palate

Andrew Guilbert
Staff writer

Aux Vivres was my go-to place during my lean, vegan years and despite my relapse into the world of carnivorism, it remains a mainstay

of my restaurant rotation. Why, you ask? Because it’s not a good vegan restaurant; it’s a good restaurant that just so happens to be vegan.

Vegan restaurant Aux Vivres serves veggie bowls, burgers, salads and soul food. Photo by Madelayne Hajek

The menu features a wide selection under different sections; veggie bowls, burgers, salads, soul food, sandwiches and smoothies, ranging between $10 and $20. Whatever piques your fancy, you can find something to your liking.

There’s also a detailed tea list with a dozen different brews to choose from, as well as a dessert menu that features a fantastic “uncheescake” that will make you wonder how they can make this stuff without cream.

If you’re curious about their vegan cuisine, I recommend the BLT on chapati bread. The ‘B’ in this case is a coconut confection made to resemble, but not reproduce, the texture of bacon. What makes this sandwich truly remarkable, however, is the faux mayonnaise they use to lend it a nice, moist counterpoint to the hard crunch of fresh lettuce and coconut bacon. It’s enough to warrant suggesting they enter the commercial market with an “I can’t believe it’s not mayo!” product of some sort.

If Asian cuisine is more your thing, give the Macro bowl a try. A generous serving of steamed spinach, sauerkraut, bok choy, wakame, sprouts, miso-tahini sauce and grilled tofu or tempeh makes for an impressive amount of food that will leave you satisfied, but won’t leave you feeling bloated.

Aux Vivres is located on 4631 Saint Laurent Boulevard.



Lola Rosa gets creative with veggies

Marta Barnes

Lola Rosa café is one of those places for vegetarians and carnivores alike. it’s not just that their food is amazing for veggie monsters, it’s

Photo from Flickr.

that this food is just plain amazing and should be added as a point of pilgrimage for all Montrealers.

Their menu is a long list of imaginative dishes like tomato pie, hempburger, and the Rosa salad with chickpeas, oranges, feta cheese and hot peppers. With that said, their most popular choices are quesadillas, three cheese and spinach lasagna, and the quiche of the day which is always a fail-safe for the indecisive.

The quiche, served with a side of rice and salads, is wholesome with a crust that would give your French-Canadian grandmother envie. They have an excellent take on quesadillas as well, which taste more like they’re folded with a crepe rather than your run-of-the-mill corn tortilla.

If put to a vote though, the best has to be the lasagna, a generous portion of baked cheese melting in and over creamy layers of spinach and pasta. All is mid-priced, averaging around $12 a dish.

For dessert, the absolute standout is the seasonal pumpkin pie. The filling is velvety, halfway between a pie and a cheesecake, but it is the pressed sesame seed crust that makes it a superstar among pumpkin pastries. Dusted with cinnamon and served à la mode, the pie absorbs the senses so thoroughly, even the rowdiest table crowd will fall silent for the first few bites.

As for a quick appreciation of the décor, the wood paneling, chalkboards, cushions, and worn wood furniture packed close together give it an easy-going, yet carefully styled bohemian vibe. Don’t forget to leave a note behind in one of the hidden drawers!


Lola Rosa is located on 545 Milton St.


Bonnys is a humble, earthly, hidden gem

Nicole Yeba

When I stepped inside Bonnys, I noticed a wall that consisted of long branches of wood and speakers inside a small log near the ceiling.

The boca burger at Bonnys restaurant. Photo by Nicole Yeba.

With only 12 tables, the restaurant has a very intimate atmosphere. The wood, plants, and shades of green and yellow give the room an earthy feel. They have reusable tablecloths rather than paper napkins which are only used once, perfectly suitable for such a restaurant.

I ordered a platter of the boca burger, which consists of a homemade chickpea flour and black bean burger. It’s served with an avalanche of fresh salsa, cheddar cheese, organic sour cream and sliced avocado. The platter comes with a large chef’s salad and nachos. The burger is covered with salsa, making it almost impossible to eat without utensils.

I had never tried a vegetarian burger before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was very good and extremely filling. With taxes, it was roughly $16, so not cheap, but worth it if you’re willing to splurge a little.

Owner Bonnie Tees wasn’t at the restaurant so I chatted with one of her employees, Jazmine Johansson. She has been working at Bonnys for three years now, and is a fellow Concordia student. When I asked her about the clientele, she informed me that they are mostly regulars. Some customers even go daily to buy their lunch. Johansson mentioned that the crowd is older, with few students and she said she doesn’t understand why.

In my opinion, the lack of young clients might be due to the fact that Bonnys is located in an uncommon area for students. Overall, we could both agree that the restaurant is a hidden gem for veggie lovers!


Bonnys is located on 1748 Notre-Dame West St.



Student Life

Resto Review: Euro Polonia

If ever you feel a desire for Polish cuisine, I recommend heading over to Euro Polonia.

It’s a cute and tiny place that could fit a maximum of 16 people. It has a rustic ambiance that makes you feel at ease. I loved the decorations on the wall, which I’d expect to see in a Polish household. The setup of the wooden tables and chairs gives it more of  a café vibe than a restaurant. Euro Polonia offers homemade soups and some deli meats for takeout, as well as a catering service.

My friend ordered cheese and potato perogies and a sausage sandwich, and I had a soup, meat perogies, and a sausage sandwich.

For those who don’t know, perogies are semi-circular shaped dumplings that are traditionally stuffed with meat, cheese, potatoes or sauerkraut. They are made with unleavened dough, which contains no yeast, allowing it to rise. They can be served boiled, fried or baked. Originally from Eastern Europe, perogies can be eaten as an appetizer, a main dish or a even dessert.

Photo by writer

The server brought me the pickle soup and explained that they make their own pickles. There is a video they on their website on how they are made. The soup tasted good, if a bit vinegary. At the end of it, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish all my perogies.

Our main dishes came with six perogies. They were boiled and topped with small pieces of onions. They were served with marinated cabbage and sour cream. The perogies were hot, soft and tasted incredibly delicious – a little piece of heaven in every bite. Although both fillings were tasty, we prefered the cheese and potato perogies.

With little stomach room left for our sandwiches, we took them to go and enjoyed them later on in the day. The combination between the sausage, cabbage salad and Dijon mustard was delectable.

Mrs. Yagoda, the sole chef, is also the mother of the owner. She is one of the friendliest and nicest women I have met. Her recipes have been passed down through many generations of women in her family. She assured us that her soups are her own recipes.

Everything was fairly-priced too. There is the option of ordering a trio which includes a drink, a soup, and the choice of either a sandwich or perogies, ranging from $7.95 to $12.95.

Overall, having been to other polish restaurants,  I can say without a doubt that this one had better food and a friendlier service.


Euro Polonia is located on 1565 Amherst St.


Student Life

Rubs: A carnivore’s heaven

There are, in my opinion, only two types of people in this world: meat-lovers and vegetarians. Today, I am sending a defining message to those who boast about the amount of meat they could eat in one portion and who take pride in finishing a 32-oz. steak. I am sending a message to those who not only enjoy meat on occasion, but to those who can truly understand the meaning of a glistening, fresh piece of premium meat. My message to you is clear: Go to Le Fumoir Rubs Smokehouse.

Please do not misinterpret my passionate banter. This is not a steakhouse, nor is it a mere restaurant. This is a good, old-fashioned smokehouse. This means that everything, from the mouth-watering prime rib to the enormous brisket, is smoked in a $20,000 first-class smoker.

George Riskas, co-owner of Rubs, was all pride when speaking about the main reason behind the restaurant’s success.

“Our smoker smokes 2,000 pounds a day of meat,” said Riskas. “The smoker cost me more than the whole kitchen.”

There aren’t many things that I like to call perfect, but these meats have exceeded all expectations. The fact that everything is smoked daily and that all sauces are made from scratch, makes this place a winner.

Behind every excellent food establishment lies a great story.

This is one of two childhood friends, Riskas and his partner George Vourliotis, who decided a few years ago to buy a smoker for their backyard — much smaller than the one they currently own — and eagerly started testing different ways to cook and spice some of their favourite meats. Ribs, briskets, steaks and pork were among their long list. They endlessly tried various spices for different meats, desperately looking for the perfect rubs. These were the foundations of the restaurant’s menu.

“We’ve created our own rubs, our own spices, for every different meat; and these rubs have at least 12 to 15 spices in them,” said Riskas.

Not too long ago, they decided it was time to become restaurant owners, and that is when Le Fumeur Rubs Smokehouse, the first restaurant of its kind in Montreal, was born.

Although neither of these fine gentlemen have ever owned a restaurant before, they’ve done a hell of a job for their first time. Their success can be attributed to a sincere attitude, as well as a simple knowledge of how their ideal restaurant should be.

“I try to recreate what I want when I go to a restaurant. I want top service and great food, plain and simple,” remarked Riskas.

The food isn’t the only part of Rubs that’s attracting an endless line of customers. The decor is a rich mix of old-fashioned and a modern, creating a cozy atmosphere.

“We got some ideas and then we brought a designer in. We gave him our opinions,” said Riskas. “He took some of our opinions, and then he did his own thing too. That’s how the store turned out. It keeps people feeling warm.”

There you have it folks. In a city renowned for its amazing culinary establishments and world class chefs, two gentlemen have managed to introduce a new concept to the city, and they’ve done it just right.


Le Fumoir Rubs Smokehouse is located on 17 Prince Arthur St. E.  View map.



Exit mobile version