In most cases, dinner in Old Montreal pretty much involves dressing sharp, eating things you probably can’t pronounce and picking up a hefty bill by the end of it. Whether you want to celebrate an important event, impress a date or dine for the love of food, there’s a table at some restaurant with your name on it. But what if you want to grab a casual lunch, where big money and looking like you just walked off the runway are out of the question? I have my go-tos, now including FCO di Fiumicino.
It’s a pizza parlor no bigger than my living room in its most basic form, and a really sexy one thanks to the dramatic black chandelier dangling over the communal table – it’s got to look the part if it’s going to call Old Montreal home. The real appeal, however, lies with their Roman-style pizzas.
A good pizza always starts with the crust and they really know what they’re doing here. It’s a crisp and chewy homemade wonder, perfectly proportionate to the amount of toppings and cheese. Their pizzas don’t have names but you easily make out the ingredients by eye. No wedges, squares only.
I’m dubbing this one the “spicy slice” only because the guy warned me it would be spicy. It’s actually pretty tame, even with hot peppers in every other bite. Together with wilted onions, it has a sharp and sour (rather than hot) profile. Sausage bits are thrown into the mix before a layer of mozz melts to set everything in place. It’s one of the few meat options, and a solid choice.
I lucked out with the beet pizza and got this other vegetarian number instead. From the bottom up: thin slices of eggplant, grated zucchini, a heavy hand of shredded mozzarella and roasted red peppers. Key words: heavy hand of shredded mozzarella.
When in doubt, fungi on my pizza never disappoint. Not surprisingly, my favorite square at FCO di Fiumicino is saturated with mushrooms and oozy mozzarella. The spicy sausage is a just a bonus. That’s right, the meat comes in second.
Everything I tried was re-heated – man, what I wouldn’t give to taste a fresh piece, still bubbly and blistering hot from the oven. But the fact that all of it was still on point says a lot about FCO di Fiumicino, a lot of good things. $4 a square might seem steep, but the quality is a long way from 99 cents pizza. Two slices will fill you up comfortably for under $10, and that’s an awesome find in Old Montreal. Oh, I should probably mention they have a mini gelato bar where every enticing flavor is made on site…more on that later, you can count on it.
FCO di Fiumicino
451 rue Viger Ouest | map