Posted on November 5th, 2012 by .

Imagine how awesome it would be if someone told you that your most favourite thing in the world has an entire week dedicated to it. Although Shark Week already exists, you can imagine my excitement when I heard about TASTE MTL, Montreal’s first ever Restaurant Week…

Joining the league of extraordinary North American cities like New York, San Francisco and Vancouver who also host respective restaurant weeks, it came as no surprise when Montreal announced one of our own. For 11 days, November 1-11, TASTE MTL becomes Montreal’s inaugural restaurant week. Close to 100 restaurants scattered around the city are offering table d’hôte menus at $19, $29 or $39, showcasing Montreal’s finest talent, luring local foodies and visiting epicurean enthusiasts.

I visited Ferreira Café in the Downtown core – a popular upscale Portuguese restaurant.  Serving inspired and refined Portuguese cuisine; their “ocean-fresh” ideology resonates through all their signature dishes. If you’ve ever seen a restaurant menu that you’ve wanted one of everything, go with a friend and you’ll be able to tackle Ferreira Café’s Restaurant Week menu. Chef Tavares and team are offering a choice of two appetizers and two main courses as a part of their 11-day showcase.

Warm mushroom salad, truffle oil and Parmesan tuile. Served on a square of puff pastry, this dish is earthy and aromatic.  Toothsome bites of warm sautéed cremini and oyster mushrooms in a simple pan sauce. The mysterious notes of truffle linger long enough to be highlighted by the sharp Parmesan chip and its crunch.

Cured Mediterranean sea bass, yuzu and fresh coriander – thin slices of fresh sea bass topped with strips of next-to-candied yuzu.  The Japanese citrus awakens your palate as it intermingles with the bitters of diced radish and shaved celery tops.  The fish was sweet standing alone – a true testament to the quality and freshness of the fish.

Ferreira Café’s famous pork and clams. Slow-roasted and seared, the pork was fork tender and delicate as you make your way through the slightly crisp pan-sear. Briny little morsels of clams took on the richness of the braising liquid as did the potatoes did the rosemary from the roasted pork.

Pan seared fresh cod, “new potatoes”, roasted red pepper marmalade and a bouillabaisse broth. A thick cut steak of cod, the meat was supple and sweet. The savory marmalade balanced the broth whose spicy notes were reminiscent of Portuguese piri piri sauce. You could smell this dish coming.

For dessert, caramel and Ferreira white port flan.  The tartness of the berries were able to take away what we thought was an overly sweet flan.  However a great way to round out the back and end a great meal.

The Montreal Restaurant week – Taste MTL initiative is an amazing opportunity to explore Montreal’s culinary landscape featuring some of our city’s finest and most talented chefs and Ferreira Café’s refined menu is no doubt a great way to start a week of culinary hedonism.

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