Old Montreal has transformed in recent years and now offers a true ‘neighborhood life’. And when talking about the neighborhood, of course we mean ‘neighborhood restaurants’. Nothing better than eating out close by, a little home away from home. The Nolana, open barely a year, has created the perfect blend of good food and great service in a relaxed atmosphere. If you end up a fan, it’s likely due to the presence of the friendly manager Maxime Lachapelle. He’s worked in many of your favorite Old Montreal restaurants, before settling in this cozy Italian spot.
Over the years the neighborhood has consistently added new, great restaurants, both small and large. Among the impressive list of fine restaurants found in Old Montreal, only a few would define themselves as neighborhood restaurants: an unpretentious place, that doesn’t neglect its classics but knows how to refresh the menu to keep the regulars coming back, where the bartender knows you by name and as well as your favorite cocktail. The perfect neighborhood restaurant is where you go on foot, where you feel good and if you’re in a rush, the chef will gladly cook you a little something to go.
Eating at the bar and taking your time, great company!
The Manager, Maxime Lachapelle, makes everyone feel at ease.
Nolana is a pizzeria that perfectly captures the spirit of the ‘neighborhood restaurant’; you feel at home, whether you’re alone or with friends. First of all, the restaurant looks very nice. It’s a great place to eat and hang out at the bar, or to stay longer for dinner with friends. We go back pretty often as we never tire of their delicious wood oven-cooked pizzas and their famous “Sfizi”. At Nolana you’ll always eat well, and always feel welcome, 7 days a week!
The manager, Maxime Lachapelle, always ensures that all guests feel at ease. He strolls from table to table, mingling and helping and making sure everything is going smoothly. A long time neighborhood icon, Maxime previously worked at Osteria Venti, located on Saint-Paul Street, a traditional Italian restaurant which closed its doors a few months ago. To the delight of Venti regulars, he’s now at Nolana, which belongs to the same owners. He was also the manager at Graziella located lower on McGill, as well as at another nearby restaurant, La Grange. McGill Street in Old Montreal has no secrets from him.
His fondest memory as a restaurant manager? “When I worked at Graziella, I had regular customers who would ask me to put a bottle of wine aside, often a very good bottle, for their next visit. When I’d arrived at the restaurant, I’d go directly into the storeroom and everyone would wonder why I was hiding wine bottles,” he said.
Maxime is a true wine lover, and while the menu at Nolana offers more affordable wines, they are indeed very good wines, offering excellent value for the price. In fact if you ask Maxime advice on which wine to choose he’ll guide you very well. Ask him if he enjoyed drinking the Barone Pizzini 2012 bottle he kept for some time and finally opened on our last visit…