Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
Longstanding Casa de Mateo's closure late last year left a gaping hole in Old Montreal's dining scene; the historic borough's regulars had to go elsewhere for their Mexican fix. That void was quickly filled in June with Emiliano's, a newcomer attempting to revolutionize the city's conception of the North American nation's cuisine. A tasting event was held this Monday evening to showcase this original proposition to some of the city's influencers.
The restaurant's contemporary interior comprises a bar area and open kitchen on the ground floor. There was a solid turnout and lively atmosphere for a Monday. For tonight's tasting, members of the media were guided to the more intimate, semi-private mezzanine upstairs. Between the street-side terrace, bar vibe below and cozy setting above, there is something to satisfy all moods in this well-distributed space.
tagged: BAR SCENE
Emiliano's menu strongly promotes Mexico's rich, diverse culinary heritage from its origins and influences to regional flavours. Omnipresent favorites such as tacos, tamales, quesadillas and enchiladas are exoticized with queso fresco, mole and al pastor; highlighting the cuisine's Aztec roots, Northern/Oaxacan variants as well as its Lebanese connection. As for spirits, a short but creative cocktail menu is followed by a long list of tequilas and a selection of imported beer.
Dishes are presented family-style; meaning sharing is of the essence here – you will want to try everything anyway! Bright and mellow flavours were brought to life with just enough background heat to tantalise the palate; ¡muy bien! Throw in the contemporary plating and you end up with one of the most unique Mexican restaurants in town.
"Makers Mark bourbon, vermouth, Grand Marnier"
"avocado, cipollini, thai red pepper, coriander, lime juice, pineapple, snow crab"
"spicy (aguachile) marinated octopus, red cherry tomato, pickled red onion, avocado"
"queso fresco, mango, avocado, chorizo, cilantro"
"white crispy fish, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro mayo, cipollini, lettuce, lime"
"pulled chicken breast, chipotle, onion, cilantro"
"lobster, chorizo, banana pepper, crema fresca, roasted pepper coulis"
"tortilla stuffed with pastor, topped with red sauce, sour cream, cilantro, pineapple"
Although it's hard not to swoon over Emiliano's authentic, refined take on Mexican cuisine, we'll stick to our guns and not award it a score – as per our policy regarding comped meals. In conclusion, not only is this new Old Montreal tenant the only Mexican eatery in the area, it's an excellent one at that. ¡Salud!
Price per person: $34.73
"Brought a party of 15 people to celebrate my best friend's birthday; it was a wonderful, fresh, upscale Mexican dining experience!
My favorite is the Spicy Octopus Ceviche, it was beyond excellent !!
BRAVO to Carlos, the Chef and the staff !!"
"Thanks for pitching in Alexander. Emiliano's is a wonderful addition to Old Montreal's dynamic dining scene."
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.