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“Hidden gem”
Review of Da Emma

Da Emma
Ranked #188 of 5,820 Restaurants in Montreal
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Centre-Ville (Downtown)
Toronto
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
Reviewed August 22, 2012

We heard from many people this was the spot to go, it was kind of difficult to find, even our cab driver didn't know even WITH the address. It's located in old mtl in an old stone building underground. Very nice atmosphere, and food was AMAZING! Authentic Italian food. We had the pleasure of meeting Emma the owner, an old italian lady. Very nice, not very good english lol. Staff was all very friendly.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank MissChrys55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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391 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    201
    78
    52
    32
    28
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed August 18, 2012

This was an anniversary dinner celebration. We had heard many good things about Da Emma and were looking forward to it. It was a Thursday night. After being seated we waited for 15 minutes (we timed it) before anyone came to offer a drink show us the menu or say hello. Drink arrived and was good but a lot slower than other restaurants...and restaurant was not particularly busy. We both ordered the caprese salad which was delicious and mouth watering buffalo mozzeralla. After that downhill. My wife ordered salmon...tasted like it had been on a rack for a week...very fishy. I ordered sirloin steak in a pepper cream sauce...took a long time to arrive and when it did the steak was cold and the sauce looked like drying putty. Two vodka coctails, two caprese salads, one grilled salmon, one sirloin steak, no coffee, no desert...a $100 bottle of wine..total cost $316 before tip. Very over-priced in my opinion.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank falexanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Disappointed.”
Reviewed August 12, 2012 via mobile

Waiter may have meant well but was loud, spilled sauce on one of us, was scarce when we wanted something and in our faces when we didn't want anything. Food was just okay, like good Italian home cooking, but priced like it was something really special, it was not. Restaurant is in an old women's prison basement, interesting fact but lousy ambiance. At the entry there is a bunch of stiffly posed photos of celebrities with head chef "Mama" that are meant to impress. Like most everything else, they did not. Montreal has better.

Helpful?
1 Thank Tamara D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FyiFyi
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Horrible expérience , did not stay for dinner”
Reviewed August 7, 2012

Had a reservation, we were seated, one waiter for 10 tables or more, he was running from one table to another. waited 20 min to order wine, bus boy took our order, came back to tell us that they were out of that brand. Never offering another, just left the wine list on the table.

We got tired of waiting & felt it was better to leave as the experience was unacceptable. I don't know about you, but when I go out to a special place for dinner, the service has to be impeccable.

Helpful?
3 Thank FyiFyi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level 6 Contributor
621 reviews
320 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 349 helpful votes
“Headline, "Chef Held Captive"”
Reviewed August 5, 2012

The concierge at the Intercontinental must have misunderstood me. I said I wanted a nice, moderately priced, Italian place. Ristorante Da Emma is where he made the reservation.

As it happened, in our wanderings, our group went to see the restaurant before that evening's reservation. They do a lunch seating outdoors on a beautiful patio, so we should have got an indication of what we were in for when we saw the lunch crowd.

The parking lot was full of expensive cars. I thought, "Hmm, a business crowd having a late lunch on a Friday afternoon. Surely this is not the dinner crowd at this location on Rue de la Commune, adjacent to the St. Lawrence River with its walking path". Doesn't look like a moderately priced place.

We walked into the cave like dining room (not used at lunch) and saw white linen table cloths and sparkling silverware. We were mesmerized by the long, well appointed bar. Doesn't feel like a moderately priced place.

Finally, we checked out the menu. Sure enough, the prices were definitely not moderate by my standards. But the women in our group were entranced with the notion of meeting the owner, Chef Emma, who at 74 year years of age insists on being in the kitchen every day. So in the interest of matrimonial harmony, we kept the reservation for 6:30 pm.

Maybe we exposed ourselves as rubes when we showed up at 6:30 pm. The host asked if we wanted to sit outside. Of course not, we want to meet Emma. We will sit inside. The host should have added, "Then you will be the only four people sitting in that big room all by yourselves for at least a half hour {when normal people eat dinner}." So there we sat, like a couple of bumps on a log, waiting to be served.

In truth the service was good. Our server, when asked, indicated he had only been there two months. My conclusion was the more tenured waiters turned the bumpkins over to their least experienced server. He promptly brought us the menu board. Everything shows up on the board. The server had to translate from Italian into English to explain what the various dishes were. Basically a la carte, everything from appetizers to soups and salads were separate. The entrees were in the teens up to the thirties. Wine started at $35.00 and went up. Nothing about this night was going to be moderate.

We didn't do too badly. By the end of the evening my buddy and I were splitting a dinner tab that came in just under $300.00. That included about $100.00 for two bottles of wine. But the highlight of the night was the chance to meet Chef Emma, clearly being held captive in the kitchen by her kids and grandkids (many apparently work there). They must never tell her that what she started as a moderately price Italian place has morphed into a high-end restaurant. Now get back to work, Grandma!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KenVicLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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