Posts Tagged ‘chef michele mercuri’

My last visit at le Serpent (Addr: 357 rue Prince, Montreal; Phone: 514-316-4666) was a long time ago. It was a big hit, when it opened, and their Chef, Michele Mercuri, is a Chef capable of world class cooking, but I was curious to see if it is still one of the better tables in Montreal. Past meals are reviewed here and here.

Remembering the dazzling all’onda  risotti of Chef Michele Mercuri, I had to order the seafood risotto again. Every Chef has his touch and with true focus on the matter, you won’t fail to connect a dish to his creator. I doubt Michele has cooked this one, as it was not as dazzling as only himself can make it. But hey…it was really good,  all’onda and delicious. Whoever has cooked this risotto did a fine job. 7/10

Lamb was cooked sous vide. Again, seasoned really well (meaning judiciously, with enough punch/excitement). Wild peas and a  very minty sort of “pesto” that both added to the enjoyment of the dish. Delicious and really well conceived. This was a daily offering, which I suggest you always order at any restaurant where the Chef is skilled  (the case here) as, naturally, it is the opportunity for his skills  to shine through 7.5/10

Strawberry mousse, white chocolate, rhubarb and strawberry sorbet tasted fine and  I can see, now,  that  Pastry Chef Masami Waki is  better than what I initially thought —  (she is a consultant here, therefore not present at the restaurant but the kitchen brigade did assemble her creations and they are of a good pastry standard).

Overall food rating: 7.5/10 A reliable standard of cooking that continues to deliver some of the better restaurant food in town. Seasoning/flavors, everything was on point. And yes,  Pastry Chef Masami Waki’s fans were right … she is more talented than what my assessment of her take on the Tiramisu (check that out here) would suggest. Eventhough Pastry chef  Masami Waki is some sort of “consultant” for this house, whatever she is asking that kitchen brigade to do/replicate/mimmick/assemble… sounds right (except for her tiramisu, it seems…). It will not dazzle, but it feels right.

Bottom line: I was  not floored, this time,  and I kinda found the bill a bit too “ambitious” for what was on display, but I will come back here before returning to plenty of popular local eateries that I tried recently, which is a comment that I have rarely appended to my restaurant reviews in Montreal.

What I think days later: It is against Chef Michele Mercuri usual standards that I assessed this meal and in that regard, it was good, not startling. But this kind of “good” is already a lot by our local restaurant standards, standards that are as laughable as that local restaurant that just opened and that I recently reviewed and that every single so called local food expert is raving about but that can’t even season its food correctly. Yeah, I know, lol, that’s Montreal: you can be a culinary genius here, without any knowledge of the basics of cooking. At least, of Le Serpent, I can say that I am not referring to them when I have to remind myself that we have an amateurish restaurant scene . Le Serpent is a great restaurant by Montreal standards. It could be even better, but in Montreal, that would not be necessary.

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Just a quick recap about some of the latest restaurant openings + some of my recent meals

***Opened at the end of December 2013, Restaurant Le Serpent quickly became a favourite and one of the few restaurants that I can comfortably recommend in Montreal. Chef Michele Mercuri is simply among the very few
raw/true talented chefs  you’ll find in town (along the likes of Chef  Navarette Jr of Raza, Thierry Rouyé of La Porte,   Chef Lenglet of Au Cinquième Péché, Alexandre Loiseau of  Bistro Cocagne)
***Restaurant Le Richmond  recently opened, offering  Italian cooking in  what looks like one of Montreal prettier  restaurants.  I have not visited the place yet, but I saw that they had the genius idea of using what’s easily and currently the best meat in town at this moment, Marchand Du  Bourg‘s steaks.
***Jun I, based on a recent visit, continues to be the benchmark  for a true Japanese sushiya in Montreal. One of Montreal very best food destination by several notches.
***Went to Chambly trying Restaurant Tre Colori. Before going there, I read the online opinions about the place
and they happened, based on my experience there, to be severely innacurate:  Tre Colori is certainly neither a bad table,  nor a top flight restaurant, though it proved, while I was there, that it was capable of top-flight items like the
best lamb chops I ever sampled in Mtl & its surroundings. If my praises over those lamb chops generate high expectations in your mind, then I’ll invite you to review the basics of any restaurant kitchen: they usually have  brigades and one cook who cooked your food today might be replaced by another one on a different day, the quality of meat that was available on X day might not be available on a different day, the chef who cooked something stellar on X day may be cooking your food again BUT in a totally different mood, etc. So sync your expectations with those realities. That said, I did not dislike  Tre Colori and would happily return there.