The brief story of one of Montreal’s most storied restaurateurs - from Buonaotte to Stellina.
From a young age, Massimo Lecas knew that to make it big, he had to think outside the box. At a time when high-end restaurants meant candlelight settings with butler-like waiters tending the tables, he entered the market with a fresh new concept that is youthful, modern, and most importantly unique to the North American landscape. With his entrepreneurial spirit, he had a knack for surprise by creating something out of seemingly nothing.
Born and raised in Montreal of Italian heritage, a young Lecas never had a chance to explore what the world had to offer until a brief stint while studying in Italy allowed him to broaden his horizon. Rejuvenated by his newfound experiences, he opened with a few friends Montreal’s first supper club concept in 1991, the Buonanotte on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. Despite having no knowledge related to anything in restaurants or hospitality, it was his uncanny ability to unify a team of highly talented individuals that allowed the famous establishment quickly rise to fame.
Today, Lecas runs the Novantuno Restaurant Group that counts in its portfolio the upscale pizzeria Fiorellino as well as Porchetta, a quaint sandwich shop in the heart of Little Italy. While each concept is unique in its own way, they all share his unconditional dedication to quality.
It’s easy to be a creature of habit when you have an amazing product.
The Stellina Adventure
From Corzetti to Scarpinocc, rare and unconventional pasta shapes are served at Stellina, Novatuno’s first foray into fine dining. Opened in November 2021, it is an artisan’s paradise in traditional pasta-making, paying homage to Old World craftsmanship but with a modern twist. To ensure a memorable experience from start to finish, everything is made fresh from responsibly-sourced ingredients and crafted with love down to the finest detail.
Located in the heart of Old Montreal, Stellina is poised to become the talk of the town. Bringing head chef Jonathan Agnello at the helm, the world of Italian cuisine is meticulously composed with great care and at impossibly high standards.
A Passionate Soul
One of Massimo Lecas’ greatest qualities is his loyalty to those he loves, and those who share his passions. In a tradition that dates back generations, the Lecas family are longtime supporters of Juventus FC, a top-tier team in the Italian football league. Not only is there the obsessive ritual of planning an entire day around game time, but also the incessant conversations that ensue once play is concluded.
Always on the cutting edge of innovation, the Cadillac name echoes his hand’s-on personality. Also an avid car enthusiast, Lecas was drawn to the automaker’s world-class comfort and uncompromising prestige. In his own words, the Cadillac Escalade represents the culmination of many years of relentless dedication to his pursuits. With a distinctive all-black exterior and darkened windows, his own version of the behemoth vehicle is as intimidating as it can be nondescript. One thing’s for sure, he can rarely be seen without it parked nearby.
From his humble beginnings to his business ventures that made his establishments household names, Massimo Lecas is not shy in sharing his success stories with others. Recalling the days he decided to take the plunge and open Buonanotte with his friends, he retells it with a twinkle in his eyes and sometimes wonders if, beneath the surface of it all, was it all part of his destiny? However the case may be, the story is still continuing with no end in sight.
This article is a paid promotion by Cadillac West Island of the Dilawri Group. For more information about the automotive dealership, please visit their website at cadillacwestisland.ca.
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