Under normal circumstances, it does not even occur to me to get food delivered from an upscale restaurant. My family's occasional takeout nights revolve around affordable options such as pizza and Asian food. However, with no end in sight to the ordinance requiring restaurants to shut their dining rooms, which further pushes the next date night with my wife, we decided to make an exception and splurge.
For the choice of restaurant, I opted for Vago on Westmount's Greene avenue, one of the poshest strips in town. With its little-visible setting due to its elevation above street level, I never gave it much attention despite living nearby and walking in front of it countless times.
Vago pushes a vintage Italian menu split across cold and hot antipasti, salads, pastas, meats and seafood. Prices are in the upper range; this is a high-end restaurant in Westmount after all. However, most of the pricier dishes – anything with fresh seafood – were not available anyway.
A baked eggplant parmigiana was luscious, cheesy and drowned in a zesty tomato sauce; I had to mop it all up with the offered bread. Next, our fried calamari did not travel well, losing any semblance of crispiness; although I did enjoy the garlic aioli and cocktail sauce on the side. We rounded up our starters with a basic but refreshing salad brought to life by sharp radicchio leaves and a zippy Italian dressing.
For mains, we went with classic pasta dishes; orecchiette in lamb ragù and linguine gigi – rosé sauce with prosciutto, pancetta and mushrooms. These were simply excellent; al dente homemade pasta paired with rich, meaty sauces.
On my way to Vago, I was unfairly expecting a dated Italian concept, given how little I have heard of it in its nineteen-year existence – even as a Westmounter! Our dinner proved it is anything but that; this is in fact a below-the-radar gem.
Between the standout food and modern, artistic interior, I am looking forward to returning with my wife for a "real" date in the post-pandemic world. I will hold on until then before awarding this ristorante a final score. After all, an upscale restaurant cannot be exhaustively assessed from a meal consumed at home, without taking into consideration the ambiance and service.
That being said, my first-ever high-end takeout meal was a resounding success!
tagged: DESERVES A RETRY
Price per person: $41.50
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.