“Gourmet food delivered to your door”
Cucina San Leone is a pasta and pizza restaurant in Dorval, also serving entrees, salads, and submarines. The restaurant staff takes great pride in making or baking many menu items on the premises (tomato sauce, salad dressings, garlic butter, & bread) and sourcing out to high quality suppliers for the rest of its ingredients. But don’t expect to go there to sit down and eat. The small eatery operates only as a takeout, delivery and catering restaurant, primarily serving Dorval, Lachine, Pointe-Claire, and the St. Laurent industrial park. At peak periods, up to five drivers are busy delivering food orders telephoned into San Leone.
“This is gourmet cooking delivered to your door,” explains owner Joe Parrino. “My cook, Ramy and I learned the art of cooking from our mothers. But there are also some secret family recipes. We make our own tomato sauce even though that is time-consuming. We skim off the tomato acid so that our pasta dishes do not have that acidity.”
There is a surprising amount of selection from this small restaurant; some 16 pizzas feature on the menu, including three that are vegetarian (veggie, Margarita, and mushroom). As well, there are 10 submarine sandwiches, 32 pasta dishes (there are another 2 pasta dishes not mentioned in the menu), 6 oven-baked pasta dishes, 8 salads, and 5 entrees.
“Cucina” means “kitchen” in Italian while “San Leone” is the name of a town in Sicily near where Parrino’s grandparents come from. The restaurant uses a large propane oven that can bake four extra large pizzas at once. “That oven heats to about 600 F,” mentions Parrino. “This gives the pizza a better taste than 450 F ovens. But it can really get hot here in the summer! Our most popular pizza is the Québécoise (all dressed with bacon & onions) although the Margarita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes & spices) also sells well.”
This reporter ordered the Québécoise, which came with generous and tasty toppings of mozzarella, pepperoni and bacon. Even the pizza crust was good. That was followed by the succulent Tortellini Gigi (capicollo, mushrooms, and shallots in a rosé sauce). As Parrino promised, the tomato sauce was gentle.
The restaurant not only offers quality, but also gives good value. “I sell my Tortellini Gigi for $9.95, but that could cost $25 downtown.” He cited similar examples such as the Special Trio Pasta (at $9.95) and the Pescatore (shrimp, scallops, clams, squid in white wine and tomato sauce at $13.95). A medium pizza costs between $12.95 and $16.95, depending on the toppings.
Parrino admits that parking can be difficult around San Leone, but suggests that it is rare for motorists to get parking tickets on his corner. “That’s one reason why our delivery is so popular. But customers need to be patient; it can take an hour for our delivery guys to reach them when there is traffic.” Delivery drivers are equipped to take cash, Visa, MasterCard®, and debit payments.
“For small catering jobs, like an office party, we usually need three days to prepare for it,” adds Parrino. “For bigger events, we need more time.”
Cucina San Leone
490 Strathmore Blvd. (X Herron), Dorval H9S 2J4