Not only has Hostaria garnered attention for its simple, but formidable Italian cuisine, developed from inherited recipes, but there’s not a bad seat in the house. In this intimate restaurant, established in 2009, tables are draped in white tablecloths, even at lunch, and most overlook a quiet side street in Little Italy. Dishes are arranged as expected—antipasti, primi, secondi, and so on, and portions are modest. That’s okay, because flavors plumb rich and earthy depths, especially so in the marinated vegetable antipasti, homemade pasta, and perfectly seasoned Petite-Nation Bison rib eye. Wine is a showpiece here, literally encased in a glass walk-in, and staff will guide you to a bottle that fits your budget. Sitting in a swivel chair along the lengthy marble-top bar is an ideal spot from which to taste test. It’s out of the way for the average tourist, which may be exactly why you seek it out. The location is three subway stops north of Mile End in the Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie neighborhood, near the Jean-Talon Market. Reservations are recommended.
- Leslie Brokaw, Erin Trahan, Matthew Barber