Madre Review

January 10, 2008 at 10:37 am (Restaurant review)

Derek and I went to Madre last week, a contemporary latin fusion restaurant on the East Side of Montreal. The restaurant is pretty tiny, and we kept getting glimpses of the chef cooking in the kitchen, seemingly all alone. The space feels kind of like a long hallway, except there are pleasant Mexican-styled drawings on the walls.

Derek called ahead to make sure they could make me a vegetarian meal. They served me a celery root soup as a starter (the other option was a beet salad). The soup was surprisingly light, I almost think it was vegan. The soup was very simple, just tasted like pureed celery root. It was enhanced by the inclusion of some very flavorful and crisp diced cucumber, and some piquant red bell peppers. It was supposed to contain chorizo, which they left out for me, and that probably would have added a missing dimension. Derek had a “duck ceviche” which he loved, and even I agreed it looked interesting and delicious. The ceviche was seared duck marinated in a spicy amarillo pepper sauce (the bright yellow pepper sauce you get at a Peruvian store). It also had onions, parsnip puree, and roasted corn kernels (dried kernels that you use for popcorn). Definitely a winner. I’d like to try to make something similar (without the duck).

For the entree there was no vegetarian option so the chef made me a homey South-American inspired pasta dish. The dish was a large bowl of cavatelli (which were almost gnocci-like in their chewiness) in a pesto sauce, topped with a sunny side up egg, a bit of queso fresco, and a garnish of pickled beets. It was fine, the flavors went together, but it wasn’t exciting, and wouldn’t look forward to having it again. Derek’s main dish was tasty but not very inspiring.

For dessert there was only one option: a tres leches sponge cake, topped in a mango chutney and avocado ice cream. I liked the chutney but found the cake bland and the avocado ice cream was lacking in flavor (not salty or sweet enough). All in all, we had a similar overall experience to our meal at Laloux (not bad, but disappointing), but Madre’s modest decor and (lack of) atmosphere definitely suffered by comparison.

1 Comment

  1. The joy of peruvian pepper sauce « From the kitchen of a captious vegetarian said,

    […] restaurant on the east side of Montreal. We weren’t all that excited about the experience (our review), but there was one memorable dish with peruvian pepper sauce that Derek loved, and has been on my […]

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