Mezcla–Mixing It Up South American Style
We had the pleasure of discovering this Nuevo Latino fusion restaurant on a recent trip to Montreal. A mixture of Latino cultures, mainly Peruvian but even a dash of Chinese, made for an unforgettable experience: a delight both visual and palatable. Located off St. Catherine Street in what is called Gay Village or simply Le Village, this unassuming restaurant is a wonderful culinary experiment in originality.A small bistro with no more than 20 small tables and a lively bar in the middle, Mezcla caters to a late evening clientele. We arrived late but the dishes on the blackboard– the specials for the evening–were still mostly available. Even at 9:30 Mezcla was almost full.
The amuse bouche was a delightful small bit of duck liver in an aioli that was tinged with jalapeno and a slightly sweet aftertaste, perhaps maple syrup. Quite an excellent start to a superb meal, a surprise little fugue before the main concert.
The first dish came sizzling hot: octopus served in a small cast iron pan, placed on top of carmelized yucca with a splash of maple syrup, something we found rather unique not only to Montreal cuisine but also Vermont.
Our entrees were the braised bison short ribs served with parsnips and mushrooms in a demiglaze and crispy duck with foie gras (arepitos de pato y foie gras) with a soy glaze topped with a sprinkle of watercress sprouts on Chinese steamed buns.
All wines were reasonably priced, including a rose cava, which is rather difficult to find in the States. This menu takes the imagination to new heights making the Nuevo Latino more accentuated on the “Nuevo” for its unbelievably unique experimentation of flavors, mixing up the cuisines south of the border with those from around the globe. Hope you get to try Mezcla in the future, a delightful gourmet adventure!