The new café getting buzz around town is one with a whole lot of heart. You may have spotted a certain barista all over Instagram making delicious Italian coffees and bringing communities together. Piero Ciampoli, otherwise known as Baristello to his Instagram followers, has been making coffee with love for years.
We first discovered him at cult favourite Cafe San Simeon in Little Italy. Whipping up coffee after coffee with a smile (even at 6am), we wondered when he’d branch off on his own.
Stepping into Baristello et cie., you can tell this is not the typical hipster café of Montreal, where students linger all day with their laptops. It’s more like the cafés in Italy: with limited seating, you have your coffee standing or on a stool, and you mingle and talk to the regulars.
The café is bright and colourful with a tropical vibe to it. You’ll notice pineapples scattered around the place, and it’s not because the fruit is trending right now. For Piero, the pineapple has a lot of significance. He even has one tattooed on his arm! The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, and Piero makes it his mission for everyone to feel welcome and satisfied at all times.
Jonathan’s contribution to Baristello et cie. is delicious and tummy-filling. He makes tramezzini, which are small triangular sandwiches that are a common snack in Italian cafés and bars. They’re usually made with white bread (crusts removed, like when you were a kid), and are layered with all kinds of savoury combinations. Think prosciutto, tuna, spicy soppressata, vegetables, ricotta, you name it! He’s always experimenting with new flavour combinations. One of our favourites is the Nutella and ricotta combination *drools*.
For the sweet tooth among us, they also have delicious sweets, like Nutella horns, croissants, and lemon cookies made by Jonathan’s mother (if you’re so lucky to try classic Italian mama goodness). If you dare to try something new, they’ll drizzle some flavourful EVOO on your cookies or cakes (trust us – it works!). Pair that with an expertly made coffee, and you’re in for quite an afternoon.
Baristello et cie. loves to support local and Italian business, so you can find products from our beloved Chuck Hughes next to Italian imports of all kinds. Leave with a happy tummy and tasty new goodies to try at home.
The artwork at Baristello et cie. is also an ode to Montreal. They try to feature Montreal artists to promote our city’s vibrant culture. Everything about this café screams Montreal and a bringing together of the community. The café and the people have a lot of heart, and are eager to welcome you into their ever expanding family.
They’re open every day except Tuesday from 7am to 6pm. Head on over ASAP for a coffee, a tramezzino, and a smile.
Photos by Dahlia Merlo (@dahllii).