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Ferreira Café: Montreal's First TASTE MTL

Sunday, November 11, 2012

in  restaurantportuguesedowntown coreupscale<$40

Main Image

The Pitch

For Montreal's first ever restaurant week, where 100+ participating restaurants offer 3-course menus for either $19, $29 or $39, we wanted to go to a familiar place that's usually unaffordable.  The choice of Ferreira Café was easy: when else can you sample a full dinner for $39 before 10PM at this bastion of Portuguese gastronomy?

The Mood

Mood Image

Ferreira boasts an intimate and upscale interior with its long bar, signature wall of broken, colorful dishes and open-concept kitchen on the mezzanine level.  The place is perfectly suited for a special occasion or for plain people-watching.

tagged  see & be seen, special occasion

The Food

The menu revolves around Portuguese seafood dishes; some are classics while others are updated versions.  It also includes some meat dishes and surf & turf combos.  For TASTE MTL (MTLaTABLE in French), we had a choice of two starters, two mains and one dessert, all of which we sampled.

Cured Mediterranean Sea Bass

Starter,   rating:  hit

"Yuzu and fresh coriander".  The fish was succulent and the yuzu dressing added a nice citrusy flavor, while the julienned radishes added some crunchiness.  A very balanced dish, both flavor- and texture-wise.  We just wish there was a little more of it.

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Warm Mushroom Salad

Starter,   rating:  hit

"Truffle oil and parmesan tile".  There's something about mushrooms and garlic that works so well.  The truffle oil added more punch to the bold flavours of the mushrooms and garlic, while the parmesan lent a bit of saltiness and crunch.  We could eat a barrel of this salad.

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Famous Ferreira Porc and Clams

Main,   rating:  so-so

Three thin loin steaks sitting on top of home-style roast potatoes "garnished" with three clams.  We say garnished because there were simply not enough of them.  Also, they were overcooked for our taste.  The pork was tender, the potatoes crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the sauce added some sweetness to balance everything out.  Overall the dish didn't work too well for us, but that's personal preference.

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Pan Seared Fresh Cod Steak

Main,   rating:  hit

"New potatoes, roasted pepper marmalade and bouillabaisse broth".  THIS is why you come to Ferreira: nobody else masters fish steaks like chef Marino Tavares.  This dish could've been a classic in our books had the fish not been very slightly overcooked.

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Caramel and Ferreira White Port Flan

Dessert,   rating:  hit

The custard was sweet and smooth with a hint of port flavour throughout.  The raspberries cut through the sweetness and the caramel crunch added some texture.  Excellent flan!

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tagged  table d'hôte

The Service

The beautiful hostess warmly greeted us and showed us to our table, and our attractive waitress was very friendly and attentive.  The food came in a timely manner and was at the right temperature.  Really can't say much here, we wish all restaurants have service like this.  If we want to nit-pick though, our TASTE MTL menus had greasy stains on them; not something you'd expect at Ferreira.

tagged  hubba-hubba, love the attention

The Verdict

We love Ferreira for everything it offers: the consistently good food, the ambiance, the great service…  Whether it's for a special occasion, to show off to out-of-towners, or a pricey lunch, you won't be disappointed here.  At $39, the TASTE MTL menu did a good job of showcasing this seafood haven's capabilities at a budget-friendly price.

tagged  solid

Price per person:  $39.01


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Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys that like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.

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