When fine dining is combined to one of the most diverse and popular cuisines in the world; things can quickly become a lil magical. Mercado (meaning market in Spanish), is a newly opened elegant modern Mexican restaurant in Montreal’s little Italy district. Quick and easy taquerias such as La Capital and T&T Tacos and Tortas (two of my personal favorites) are great but now – Montreal is home to a new style of quality cuisine founded by Mexican chef Fabian Enriquez.
Taste. Combining the traditions of his country’s cuisine and Montreal’s diverse fusion gastronomy; we are now (trust me on this one) grateful to have Mercado. Something new to the palette, artistic in presentation, and without a doubt, made with love. It is a family affair with his brother teaming up with him in the kitchen and his wife managing the floor. Black cod, pork belly, octopus, shrimp, boned beef, etc. the menu has something to satisfy everyone. Fabian attentively worked on it for over a year. Everything we ate from the appetizers to the dessert was unique in its own way and enchanting altogether. Montreal’s fast-changing restaurant scene is exciting but unfortunately – it’s rare to try a new place that you would go back too. As for Mercado, my bet is that the meticulous care in the dishes and service make it a spot you will want to keep on your list.
History. The founder, born and raised in Mexico City first came to Canada 14 years ago, not knowing either official languages. He first came to Ottawa but soon discovered and fell in love with Montreal’s festive lifestyle. He soon decided to immigrate here. His fairy-tale like story continues with his first job as the dishwasher of Old Montreal’s classic eatery Titanic. It quickly becomes the place for him to grow and expand on his culinary passion by working in the kitchen and moving up. Enriquez then wisely proceeded in attending culinary school in Montreal where he was able to solidify his skill set and mastery. He rapidly gained enough insight and experience to become the favorite chef of the bistro. It’s after much thought and persuasion from friends and family that he decides to create Mercado.
Culture. Another touching point for me was the decor and all the Mexican art he chooses to showcase. From the colorful street art on the walls to the handcrafted skills (imported from Mexico); I couldn’t help but ask if he was selling them. He also privately imports mezcal; aka the alcohol with the worm in the bottle, which adds a genuine touch to the menu and cultural experience.
When. Serving dinner Wednesday through Saturday & brunch Saturday and Sunday, I invite you all to relish in this charming newcomer.