Happy Anniversary San Gennaro, we can’t believe it’s been one year since the glorious day that you opened! It’s very rare that a week goes by and we don’t drop in, it’s the sort of neighborhood place that you can go to alone because you’ll always find someone there that you know. Even though it’s not in our neighborhood because we live in Ville St Laurent and downtown Montreal… to us, it’s our neighbourhood spot!
Diva #1 is known as Lardo at San Gennaro, when the staff sees her walk in they immediately put a piece of potato lardo pizza in the oven for her. God bless them! It’s become a big joke but it’s rather creepy since everyone knows that she’s obsessed with their lardo pizza. But it’s actually THAT good, she doesn’t like to go a week without it. If there isn’t any lardo pizza available, Mauro, one of the owners, will add a piece of lardo to whatever pizza is left… or she gets cranky.
San Gennaro is enclosed by a glass kitchen so that you can see them working the dough and making the pizzas. Some classics like their margherita pizza, breakfast pizza with egg, potato lardo pizza, etc, are there every day. Others come and go according to seasonal ingredients, everything is very fresh!
San Gennaro serves pizza al taglio, meaning pizza by the slice, a to-go style pizza that originated in Rome. We’re not much for eating on the run, instead, we prefer spending a leisurely day at our favourite Italian bakery, all while enjoying numerous slices of pizza while people watching. But hey that’s us!
Some of our favourite pizzas include the potato with spicy ‘nduja, a spreadable pork salami from Italy. There is something absolutely beautiful when carbs meet carbs, and putting potato on a pizza is genial! There is also a vegan pizza with no cheese or meat but plenty of vegetables, and a margherita pizza with a crispy piece of prosciutto for that extra bit of saltiness.
Another favourite pizza of ours is the rapini pizza with Italians sausage that has been removed from its casing, a spreadable and creamy cheese underneath and chili peppers for a hint of spice. They served a similar pizza with fiddlehead greens, and dandelion greens, we cannot wait until these greens are in season again; they made for delicious pizza toppings.
San Gennaro has a few fine Italian specialty items for sale, many of which they use on their pizzas. They sell delicious anchovies that Senior Diva is in love with and always returns to buy. Diva #1 loves their spicy antipasto spread for topping pastas and pizzas, and she also buys their balsamic vinegar. Talk to the staff, they’re very knowledgeable about all the products they carry, and we’ve never been disappointed.
We love the espresso at San Gennaro so much so that we buy it for home consumption too. Filicori Zecchini espresso isn’t too acidic and it requires little sugar to enhance the flavour. We even make Coffee Ice Cube cocktails using their espresso, you can get our recipe HERE, or a white martini, which we also make with Fillicori Zecchini espresso, check it out HERE. But let’s talk about their cannolis!
San Gennaro has, in our opinion, the best cannolis in the city. They are stuffed with ricotta cream, chocolate chips and candied orange peel that they make in house. You can buy their candied orange peel too! Stuffed on demand, they are never soggy and the perfect delicate size to enjoy with your espresso. If cannolis aren’t your thing, try their sfogliatella (also known as a lobster tail), it’s an Italian leafy pastry that’s filled with a light ricotta cream. A perfect Neopolitan pastry if you don’t want a dessert that’s too sweet!
A perfect lunch at San Gennaro should also include their arancini with risotto, peas and ground veal. We love enjoying two slices of pizza, and sharing an arancini before moving on to dessert. Lately they also began experimenting and on one visit we tried their timballo. Similar to an arancini, they stuff it with lemon tagliatelle and Brussel sprouts. The second we saw a picture on their Instagram, we ran over for lunch!
That’s why it is so easy for us to keep coming back to San Gennaro, week after week, new items just sneak up on the menu and we never know what to expect. In the summer we tried the most delicious fig tart that was so simple and delicious, alas when fig season ended this dessert disappeared too. You just have to keep coming back and hoping to find your favourites!
As terrace season sneaks up on us, San Gennaro expands onto the streets of Little Italy. With terrace season comes gelato season, and they’re experts. Their basil gelato is refreshing and the perfect summer treat to cool off in the scorching weather. Their pistachio gelato and amaretto gelato makes you feel like you’re in Italy and if you’re lucky you’ll have a chance to try their tart sea buckthorn gelato that they made last summer!
It doesn’t end there, on one visit we tried their gelato in a brioche bun, an Italian ice cream sandwich. The brioche bun wasn’t too sweet, it was fluffy and it held the gelato well. We loved it and we hope it sneaks back on the menu this summer. But what is our favourite dessert at San Gennaro? They have so many classic and innovative desserts but we always find ourselves running back to the sfogliatella or their tiramisu.
Let us preface this with the fact that we aren’t really crazy about tiramisu, often too soggy, usually too sweet, it doesn’t excite us. It’s an old school Italian dessert that we’re just fed up of. But San Gennaro’s tiramisu will transform any tiramisu hater into a preaching advocate. Served in an individual jar, it’s never soggy and always creamy and perfect. We can’t resist, nor do we have to!
When San Gennaro first opened we tried their pastry cream bombolone, which is an Italian doughnut, and we fell in love. Later they introduced a Nutella bombolone with hints of orange, and they made a bite size version of both, perfect when you want something sweet but not too much of it. The desserts change quite frequently at San Gennaro, but you can always get a bombolone, sfogliatella, tiramisu or cannoli. Until they run out!
Other seasonal items include their famous caffè crema, that comes out of a slushie machine. Espresso, cream or milk, and sugar are blended together with ice to make this sweet coffee that’s basically a dessert with a caffeine boost. It’s basically an Italian Frappuccino, but ten times better than any Frappuccino that you’ve ever tasted. It’s Italian after all 😉
Lately San Gennaro has also been sneaking in a few healthier items in their repertoire such as a quinoa salad and beet salad. They also have frittatas, but we haven’t gotten around to trying them. What’s great is that you can go multiple times a week and find new pizzas on the menu, salads, and other treats that weren’t there just a few days before. They make a delicious freshly squeezed orange juice, carrot juice, and beet juice too, they even combine the beet and carrot juice for a delicious blend. We just can’t get enough!
In the end though, it’s all about their pizza… and their calzone. What potato lardo pizza is to Diva #1, their classic calzone is to Sweet Pea. Stuffed with salami, ricotta, tomato sauce and mozzarella, it’s absolute perfection. If you see this calzone at San Gennaro, do yourself the favour and order it. The dough is crispy, the calzone is packed full of ingredients and it’s bursting with flavour. They also serve soups that change weekly, so far our favourite is their butternut squash soup that has no added cream, but is somehow still creamy, and definitely delicious!
Happy Anniversary San Gennaro, you know how much the Divas love you because we’re back at least once a week! Summer is coming which means we are going to spend our Sundays lounging on your terrace, with friends coming and going. Someone we know always goes by. Our dream is to own one of the condos across the street, we would spend lazy summer days sitting on our balcony, people watching and strolling in for a coffee and pizza when we see a friend going by. But San Gennaro may get fed up of us at that point 😉
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 69 St-Zotique, Arancini, Bombolone, Café, Dolci, Fabrizio Covone, Gelato, H2S 1K7, Italian Bakery, Italian Dessert, Little Italy, Massimo Covone, Mauro Covone, Montreal Bakery, Montreal Café, Montreal Food, Montreal italian, Montreal Italian Bakery, Montreal Pizza, Montreal Restaurant, Pizza, Pizza al taglio, Roman Pizza, Saint Édouard, San Gennaro, San Gennaro Bakery, San Gennaro Montreal, San Gennaro Pizza, sfogliatella, St-Zotique, terrace