Some names on the Montreal restaurant scene automatically become associated with quality and success. One such name is that of Chef Joe Mercuri. The man behind the popular Old Montreal eatery Mercuri, has helped develop the menu at the newest Houston location on Peel street in downtown Montreal, with exclusive signature dishes from Chef Mercuri which revolve around seasonal ingredients.
We started the media night on the ground floor with wine, beer and food that was being passed around. We tried several appetizers that included lobster tacos, grilled shrimps and foie gras. All delicious!
The tuna tartare really stood out, served on a crispy tortilla chip which added a hint of salt, the tuna was very finely chopped and not very spicy considering they used a sambal vinaigrette to dress it up. You can order this as an appetizer or a main and it’s served with wontons and mixed greens.
Another stand out were the crispy ribs with BBQ sauce. You can be sure that no one cared about getting their hands dirty at the event. The meat was tender, the skin crispy and the sauce just right. We could have easily made a meal out of this one!
As part of the media event, we were also treated to a special presentation by Chef Mercuri himself, where he explained the concept behind his signature menu, which will change on a regular basis. We started simply, with Chef Joe Mercuri’s signature grilled asparagus served with a fonduta, which is an Italian fondue. The fresh crisp asparagus and the creamy fonduta were a perfect combination and great way to begin our experience with the signature menu.
The dumplings were delicious, stuffed with sweet lobster and coins of chorizo for a little bite of heat which offered a nice balance. The sambal was mild, but it depends on how spicy you like your food. The outside of the dumpling was crispy, and the filling was plentiful – just how we like our dumplings!
Chicken can be very bland and let’s be honest, not too many places know how to make it memorable. But the sticky chicken at Houston is tender and definitely worth ordering. Beer battered and fried, it’s then coated in a chili-lime glaze that you’ll be licking off your fingers.
Chef Mercuri has been the executive chef with Houston since 2012 when he reinvented their menu and took them to the next level. It’s evident at the newest Peel location that his influence on his signature dishes will make Houston stand out. We loved what we tried and can’t wait to go back