Trattoria Cinecitta
By David Kynan

A Traditional Italian Restaurant with a Secret Multicultural Twist

For 25 years, Tratottoria Cinecitta served traditional Italian cuisine in a classic Italian setting. Today, the atmosphere and the menu are relatively the same, but this place has a unique twist.

Eduard Bahrat was born in Reni, Ukraine, and grew up in Be'er Sheva, Israel, where he worked as a police officer for 12 years. In the hopes of enjoying a calmer life, he settled in Canada with his wife and daughters. On a wholly new path, he studied to be a building inspector, a line of work he was active in for two years. Still on the hunt for something better, he had the idea of opening a restaurant. With his family on board, he bought up Trattoria Cinecitta and began to make it his own.

The Italian feel and menu were to stay, and in order to draw crowds of Italian cuisine lovers he advertised the restaurant in local papers. But with his multicultural background, Eduard decided this restaurant would cater to a whole other set of tastes as well. He added an assortment of Russian dishes to the menu and advertised in local Russian newspapers. Now, on a typical night, you’ll find lovers of Italian favourites dining on Veal Parmesan and Linguini Alfredo with a bottle of Tuscan red. On weekends, however, the restaurant draws circles of Russians who come to enjoy the tastes of their homeland.

Italian food is competitive, so we did something unique to offer a popular classic and something unique two, and under one roof. - Eduard Bahrat, owner
Trattoria Cinecitta - Italian cuisine, Russian cuisine, alcohol, live music

Italian Favourites and Eastern European Delights

Peruse the menu and you’ll find all the Italian favourites that have captivated the taste buds of the world, such as linguini carbonara and oven-baked lasagne. There is a wide selection of fish and veal dishes, as well as something for lamb and beef lovers. A menu du jour and table d’hôte are also available, as is a hefty selection of Italian wines.

Say a few words in Russian and you get to pick from a more exotic menu, featuring time-tested recipes from old-country kitchens. “There are 40,000 Russians in Montreal and about 100,000 Moldavians, but only a few places with Russian cuisine,” says Eduard. “I wanted my restaurant to cater to these people with dishes from back home.” The Russian menu is only for groups, and you’ll need to follow Muscovite custom, which dictates that one person orders for everyone.

Serving the timeless recipes of Eastern European kitchens, a typical Russian dinner here begins with an array of appetizers and then old-country dish after old-country dish added to the table one by one. Among the bestsellers are pork or chicken skewers, salmon steak, beef tongue with mushroom sauce, and chicken cordon bleu, which made its way from French tradition and into Eastern European kitchens in the 1700s. There are a few typically Moldavian dishes as well, such as Sarmale, mincemeat wrapped in cabbage, or Mamaliga, known to many as Polenta. Expect to find Russian Standard vodka and a selection of Russian beers, such as Baltika, one of the most popular brews in the nation.

Trattoria Cinecitta - Italian cuisine, Russian cuisine, alcohol, live music

Montreal’s Russian Party Spot

Trattoria Cinecitta’s intimate dining room makes it a popular spot for private events, parties and weddings.

Yet when not reserved for special events, there’s something else of note going on behind its doors.

Saturday nights here feature live Russian or multicultural music, or a Russian DJ spinning a variety of tunes. There are special events as well, listed periodically on Trattoria’s website, which, in guarding with Russian tradition, may require a minimum purchase of one bottle of vodka per group.

“I wanted to create a place with good food at a good price, and serve more than one community,” explains Eduard. “Italian food is competitive, so we did something different, to offer a popular classic and something unique too, all under one roof.”

Trattoria Cinecitta - Italian cuisine, Russian cuisine, alcohol, live music
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