‘Se dici le bugie ti si allunga il naso come a Pinocchio’
– if you lie, your nose will grow longer, just like Pinocchio’s!
If you’ve ever been to Florence, Italy, you would have seen Carlo Collodi’s marionette, Pinocchio, perched at every street corner. Mostly depicted in wooden forms with sharp long noses, the character was originally meant as a darker political allegory for Collodi. Now, however, Pinocchio represents something much happier; a magical symbol and a reminder of childhood. Loved and adored by children around the world, Pinocchio holds an important significance to many.
Cafe Pinocchio’s owner, Donato, wanted to translate that same childlike wonder into a coffee shop that he planned to open for his children: Anthony and Melissa. With the help of his partner, Susan, Cafe Pinocchio opened in June 2015 in the adorable neighbourhood of Villeray – chosen due to the high concentration of young families. With recycled wood furnishing, a patio consisting of styrofoam seats (it conserves your heat very well!) and outdoor heaters, I could tell that Donato has put all his efforts and passion into the shop. In a time where coffee entrepreneurship is booming, it is reassuring to know that there are those with an old school/hands-on approach, a firm vision and an honest desire to perfect. I believe this directly reflects the quality of the coffee and food and the ability to adapt to clients’ needs.
The coffee served is a personalized blend from Union Cafe, a 1969 Montreal roaster that supplies many restaurants on the island. I’ve tried their cappuccinos, pumpkin spice and eggnog latte, and all have left me with that warm fuzzy feeling akin to being in grandma’s kitchen. The food ranges from homemade Italian baked goods and sandwiches or Patisserie Kouign Amann. I absolutely loved the ricotta-orange cookie because of the perfect consistency and refreshing flavours. The Pinocchio sandwich is also very good and friendly priced (actually, everything is). There is wifi if you need to check your email quickly but there aren’t any laptop friendly tables unless you go outside on the patio (but then why are you on your computer anyway?). Really, all I can say is this is a gem for Villeray.
Food and Amenities
Coffee Roast: Union
Foods: Italian baked goods, kouign amann, croissants, sandwiches, grilled cheese
Sitting Space: about 6 spots inside, 9 outside
Electrical Outlets: yes
Points Cards: yes (10th one free)
505 Gounod, Montreal
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