I am not a regular at Nora grey but I have visited the establishment on several occasions so I was happy to learn that they opened a new restaurant focusing on pasta and pizza. I was really excited to try Elena. It is located on Notre-Dame Street near Saint-Henri but is removed from the commotion of the usual hot spots. At the edge of what is known as Côte Saint-Paul, West of Saint-Rémy Street., the building is nondescript and could be easily missed if it was not for the address. Inside, the decor is spartan but very actual. Lot of emphasis on pure white with deep turquoise and yellow accents. Very well done. The crowd is mixed, dominated by hipsters.
We share appetizers: suppli al telefono and meatballs. The former are rice croquettes that are breaded and stuffed with a cheese surprise. They are airy ans delicious. Not at all heavy like others I have sampled. The latter are served in a thick tomato sauce that clings to the perfectly formed balls sprinkled with fresh herbs
The wine list is extensive and contains several exclusive choices. The staff was very helpful in helping me choose a wine that had exactly the characteristics that I was looking for. Only comment, the list could benefit from a few more choices around the $50-$60 range. The prices climb rather fast.
For the main course we shared the Spaghetti Verde and the Fun-Guy pizza. The green pasta was fresh, al dente and very flavorful, accompanied by shrimp and pork cheek. Really lovely. The pizza, thin and not too crispy was topped with fresh mushrooms, celeriac and taleggio bianca style. The combination was right on.
We really enjoyed our evening. The staff was kind and helpful. The food was delicious and the ambiance was really inviting. I would definitely recommend Elena for a casual dinner, away from the hustle and bustle of Saint-Henri proper
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