I’m sure your mom has told you at one point or another in your life that it is not polite to eavesdrop or interrupt a conversation that doesn’t include you. I am here to tell you that it sometimes pays to stick your nose where it doesn’t belong. It’s very hard not to eavesdrop when you’re unwillingly following everyone else’s conversation on Twitter. I was witnessing such a conversation between Dustin (aka @FoodGuyMtl) and new executive chef of Koko Restaurant Michele Forgione when I butted in and invited myself (and Marcella!) to a private dinner to try the new menu created by Chef Forgione for Koko. The modern market-style menu was completely redone by Chef Forgione and was just put into place. I am so glad I butted in because that was one of the best meals I’ve had in this city!
Listed below are the 10 (!) dishes we sampled that night, all of them cooked to perfection and all of them absolutely divine!
Seared scallops, shaved cauliflower, chickpea panelle, capers, brown butter sauce
Spanish mackerel, creamed eggplant, pickled vegetables, watercress
Porchetta di testa (head cheese) from St Canut farm marinated in herbs, chicory salad, beets, pickled red onions & dandelion salad
Quail with vincotto (red wine must) reduction, shaved Brussels sprouts coleslaw and cippolini onions, pangrattato
Homemade ricotta gnocchi with braised beef short rib ragout and ricotta salata
Sea bass with winter panzanella salad, green sauce
Capocollo and porchetta belly from St. Canut farm, quince mostarda and caramelized romanesco
Seared Quebec duck breast, firm polenta, turnips, chestnut and mascarpone mousse
The pastry chef was off that night but Chef Forgione managed to finish off that amazing meal with this brownie mille feuilles!
Michele Forgione is an amazingly talented chef, sourcing his meats and vegetables as close to home as possible. Him and his team dished out a delicious array of Italian flavours with a contemporary twist. If you ask me to pick my favourite dish of the night, I would have a very hard time choosing just one but I will say that the gnocchi are sure to knock your socks off!
Chef Michele Forgione and his team: Takeshi Horinoue and Paulo Posada
Koko might not be the kind of restaurant one might think of when looking for an outstanding Italian meal but I am here to tell you that it’s definitely worth the visit! Go on a quiet weeknight when the chef can really take care of you. Buon appetito!
8 Sherbrooke West, Montreal
514 657 5656
Open Daily 5pm-3am
You can follow Chef Forgione’s culinary adventures on Twitter at: @MicheleForgione