Through the good shots and, sometimes, the not so good, our restaurant critics tell you about their experience, introduce the team in the dining room and in the kitchen, while explaining what motivated the choice of the restaurant. This week: Roman pizza from Segreta.

It’s a less and less well-kept secret: Segreta makes one of the best cast-iron Roman pizzas in Quebec. And if we have chosen to fan the thing even more this week, it is for the benefit of your picnics. Because even if it’s never as good as fresh out of the oven, a square of al taglio (by the slice), it’s always good to eat in the park.

The cute little pizzeria and grocery store on Beaumont Avenue was opened two years ago by Richi Ourichian. A long-time foodie, the shoemaker by trade started fermenting dough (cold, 72 to 96 hours, as it should be!) during the pandemic, after training with Massimiliano Saieva, champion of the Roman. His pizzas were so successful with those close to him that the “professional eater” decided to become a professional pizza maker and open his own shop in his neighborhood, Parc-Extension. Today, Segreta is even the Montreal branch of maestro Saieva’s ASR PizzaLab Academy. You can take training courses there. “ I feel that I really belong. I found something that I’m really passionate about and I continue to learn every day,” says Richi Ourichian.

There are many ways to experience Segreta. My favorite is undoubtedly the consumption on the spot, to fill a little peckish afternoon. Depending on how busy it was at lunchtime, the choice may be more or less great, but there are always new plates in preparation. There is little counter space in the window, but we don’t stay long here. One or two squares, an espresso, then continue your day, perhaps by indulging in a visit to the neighboring workshop-boutique, Heirloom, where you can shop second-hand clothes, exceptional hats and unique jewelry from Alexandre Bergeron. In all transparency, if it is close to 5 p.m., it is also possible that I then go to the bar or on the terrace of Denise, to swallow a glass of natural wine. This corner of Beaumont Avenue is a real little island of happiness.

Segreta also lives in a group. At a recent picnic at Jarry Park, we ordered four whole pizzas (with five plump pieces each), served to go in the custom boxes that comfortably hold them. Tell you about the collective taste ecstasy that took place on the grass that evening…

When it’s for sharing, a balanced combination of pizza bianca and pizza rosso (with tomato sauce) is in order. Even if this classic garnish may surprise neophytes of romaine, the potato is in order. I really like the one that also contains Italian sausage. The mashed potatoes are tender and the seasoned meat adds lots of umami. Mushroom lovers are also well served by a few options. The supplier of oyster mushrooms, shiitakes and other superb maitakes was just passing by when the photos were taken.

I like to add a caprese to the order, to serve as a salad! It is a pasta topped with tomato sauce, pesto, arugula, cherry tomatoes, fior di latte cheese, parmesan and olive oil. That said, the team is working on panzanella (bread and tomato based salad) perfect for summer, to complete the menu. It will surely be a success.

The other delicious options are too numerous to name them all. In addition, Richi Ourichian and his cooks are regularly tempted by a seasonal product. Better to go there and choose with your eyes. Perhaps they will also be tempted by the very, very good house tiramisu or by the items on the “grocery store” wall displaying a host of fine products.

Here, we open the appetite with an Italian soft drink and close it with an espresso. Between the two, there are also sloches and granitas.

On site, tips cost $6 to $8.50. By the half meter (five pieces), we will pay from $24 to $45. The bianca (the airy, crispy dough with sea salt and olive oil only) is $15 and the rosso (garlic, oregano, parmesan, olive oil) is $22. Salads are $13-$15 and tiramisu is $6.

There are possible vegan options for some pizzas, even the spicy sausage. Custom orders are accepted, provided they are made at least 48 hours in advance.

Segreta is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., then Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 413 Beaumont Avenue.