WILL TRAVEL FOR FOOD
Nuevo Latino brunch at Madre

Last night I was supposed to spend the evening at Raza, one of Mario Navarrete Jr's restaurants, to taste and to learn how to make some of his delicate Nuevo Latino dishes. The event was canceled due to the many inches of snow we got for the last couple of days so instead, I decided to share my brunch experience at Madre, one of his other restaurants.

It is no secret that Nuevo Latino cuisine is one I particularly like and that Madre is one of my favourite restaurants in Montreal. I have had some amazing culinary experiences there, especially when it comes to the ceviche and sweet potato bread pudding. I had been wanting to try their brunches and so on a beautiful winter Sunday a few days ago, I drove to the other side of town for a different kind of breakfast. I wasn’t disappointed!

The meal started with some of the warm homemade sweet potato bread that I love so much and that has become a signature at Mario’s restaurants. I then ordered the poached eggs & chorizo bubbles with caramelized onions on toasted bread. I must admit that there were what I thought as too many chorizo “bubbles” on my plate (and how do they stay “bubbly” for so long?). It was hard to see the food underneath but once I dug in, everything was excellent! The eggs were cooked to perfection and the chorizo slices were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. 


Poached eggs & chorizo bubbles with caramelized onions on toasted bread

My brunch companion went for the corn cakes with pork shoulder, sunny side up egg, patatas bravas and tomato salsa, a beautiful and very generous plate of food that he had a hard time finishing.


Corn cakes with pork shoulder, sunny side up egg, patatas bravas and tomato salsa

After our plates were cleared, there was a little dilemma at our table. We started debating whether or not we should order the sweet potato french toast with caramelized bananas and dark chocolate that had caught my eye on the menu. It was pure gluttony at this point since we were already full but really, was there ever a doubt? It was just too good to pass up! The french toast was soft and sweet and the bananas caramelized and drenched in sweet syrup. The dark chocolate and the fresh fruit added a nice contrast to the sweetness of the dish. Absolutely delicious!


Sweet potato french toast with caramelized bananas and dark chocolate

If Madre wasn’t so far away from where I live, I know that I would be there at least once or twice a week. And I know exactly what I would have too: ceviche, homemade corn bread and sweet potato bread pudding. Every time. The brunch was delicious and different from anything else you get in the city but the dish that will definitely keep me going back there is the ceviche, always.

Madre
2931 Masson, Montreal
514 315 7932

Dinner
Tuesday-Saturday: 5:30pm-10pm

Brunch
Sundays: 10am-2pm

Read my review of Mario Navarrete Jr’s À Table restaurant here.

Alsace au menu: latino edition


Alsace au menu host Philippe Fehmiu

Wednesday night was the 3rd Alsace au menu evening. I hadn’t been to any of them yet and it was time to fix that, especially that this evening was going to be a Latino one, and I absolutely love Spanish and Latino food! The evening took place at Pica Pica, a fusion Spanish and Latino tapas restaurant, and started off with a glass of Crémant: we were off to a good start! The place was buzzing with food bloggers, some members of the press and a lot of people who were just there for the good wine and food.

I was warned by some “experienced” Alsace attendees to go easy on the wine and I’m so happy I listened! I am a red wine kind of girl usually but I must say that some of these wines can probably easily convert me to white, especially the Pinot blanc thatwas served with the main meal… but I’m getting ahead of myself!



First appetizer: Scallop ceviche

The first appetizer, a very nice scallop ceviche, was prepared by presenter Philippe Fehmiu himself and accompanied by 2 different wines: Riesling, Willm 2009 et Riesling, Léon Berger 2008. My personal favourite among those was the Léon Berger which accompanied the ceviche beautifully.


Second appetizer: Caribbean-style pulled pork “taco” mille-feuilles

The second appetizer was a Caribbean-style pulled pork “taco” mille-feuilles which was accompanied by a Pinot gris, Léon Beyer 2008. The pulled pork was delicious and made even more scrumptious by the accompanying wine. I would’ve easily had another plate of this!

Before the main meal arrived, sommelier Aurélia Filion from Bu sur le web, presented one of her favourite Allsace wines, a Cépage d’Alsace, Marcel Deiss 2008. Have you been counting? That makes it 5 different wines so far, so yes, pacing yourself is a very good idea!


Main meal: chicken sofrito in a mole sauce, caramelized cod and chipotle lobster

The main dish was a beautiful plate which included chicken sofrito in a mole sauce, caramelized cod and chipotle lobster, among other things. It was accompanied by my favourite wine of the evening, a white wine that could convert me to a white wine drinker in a heartbeat, the gorgeous Pinot blanc, Arthur Metz 2009. Just a whiff of this wine will have you converted. It smelled (and tasted!) of roses and litchi. It was crisp and just sweet enough, I don’t know much about wines but I do know that I liked this wine!


Alfajores with dulce de leche

I was looking forward to dessert, especially since the description sounded so good: Alfajores with dulce de leche! However, I must admit that I was disappointed by it, which is very unusual for me! The alfajores was very dry and the dulce de leche parfait was not to my liking, with a hint of sourness that I did not find appealing. The wine that accompanied the dessert course was actually better than the dessert and my second favourite wine of the evening, a Gewurtztraminer, Arthur Metz 2009.

The final count of wine glasses was 7, including the Crémant (which I don’t have on the picture above)! All in all a very enjoyable evening that was made even more fun by the good food, the abundance of wine glasses and the company of like-minded foodies.The night was also punctuated by some interesting speeches and anecdotes about Latin America by hosts Philippe Fehmiu and Maria Sanz.

The next Alsace au menu evening is sometime towards the end of November and will be a Mediterranean edition. Maybe we’ll see each other there, I’ll be the one holding the glass of white wine ;)

Alsace au menu
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Bu sur le web
Follow Aurélia on Twitter: @busurleweb

Restaurant Pica Pica
1310 De Maisonneuve Blvd East
514 658 2884