BY SEBASTIEN ROBILLARD
I was invited to try the menu at MKT a couple of weeks ago. I had heard of that the restaurant had open a year ago on Metcalfe street but had never seen it. Naturally when we think of restaurants downtown we often look south of Maisonneuve and that’s why I had always missed it. The restaurant is between Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke and is worth finding.
Farm to Fork
The inspiration behind this Italian/Mediterranean restaurant is to have you experience seasonal menus using market fresh ingredients. The Montreal well known chef Marino Tavares who brings over 25 years experience in the kitchen wants you to experience the market in the heart of the city. He does so by working with local farmers to bring you the freshest produce. Fresh fish and seafood are also brought in from the finest markets.
I was fortunate enough that the evening was rather quiet as I was told it’s not always the case. They get a pretty big crowd for lunch and dinner is usually pretty busy too. I can understand why as they prepared me a tasting menu and I got to try quite a few dishes. The ambiance is warm and it’s a great place for business, dates or gathering with friends. If you are eating by yourself they also have a bar in case it bothers you to eat alone at a table.
For starters I was brought fresh cheese topped with pesto. Both were very flavorful and fresh, the pesto on top of the cheese was a great complement and paired really well. The salmon tartar with parsnip chips was also very good and I like the minced hot peppers that were added to the mix that gave a little kick without over powering the taste of the salmon. In my opinion you cannot talk about Mediterranean cuisine without some grilled octopus and this one served with bean purée was tasty and tender. The paprika smoked quail is a must to try, the smoked taste was not too pronounced and is not too heavy if you’re careful with your diet. The stuffed Gnocchi Totarella are also an item you must try from the menu, porcini mushrooms, white wine and the truffle carpaccio just gave them an great taste as they just melt in your mouth. I then had the bouillabaisse Mediteraneo that had a great balance of fish and seafood in a just spicy enough broth. At this point even if the portions were made for me to taste I was about done, but I still got convinced to try their gelato. I was glad they did as it finished the meal perfectly and was not too sweet and creamy.
Aside from their regular menu the restaurant also offers a 3 courses Table d’Hote for both lunch and dinner that ranges from 24$-26$ which is very reasonable for the quality and flavor of their food. If you’re looking for a good place to eat downtown I would surely recommend it, bring some friends and share some dishes to get the best experience out of your visit.