Helena – MTL à TABLE visit

I went back to Helena during MTL à TABLE and this time was even better than the lunch special! The presentation of the food is just so beautiful. The taste is delicious and the food is just the right portion for us.

Helena
Helena

Appetizers

The grilled octopus is very tender and reminded me of Greek grilled octopus. Super good! That’s my favorite appetizer.

Helena - Grilled Octopus Grilled Octopus, tomatoes & peppers
Helena – Grilled Octopus
Grilled Octopus, tomatoes & peppers
Helena - Red Tuna Pave Red tuna pave, green pea cream, mint & chourico
Helena – Red Tuna Pave
Red tuna pave, green pea cream, mint & chourico

Main dish

The olive puree on the black cod is the highlight of the dish. It complements the fish perfectly.

Helena - Seared black cod Seared black cod, virgin chick peas and olives puree
Helena – Seared black cod
Seared black cod, virgin chick peas and olives puree
Helena - Rack of lamb Rack of lamb, maple roasted grelot potatoes, bacon and vegetables
Helena – Rack of lamb
Rack of lamb, maple roasted grelot potatoes, bacon and vegetables
Helena - Calamari rice Calamari rice, giant grilled shrimps
Helena – Calamari rice
Calamari rice, giant grilled shrimps

Dessert

Speaking of Portuguese dessert, most people will think of natas. Helena’s version is cute and sweet. And the chocolate crumbs are surprisingly delicious too! Not just a useless decoration. 🙂

Helena - Pasteis de nata
Helena – Pasteis de nata

Helena

438 McGill, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 2G1

514-878-1555
Restaurant Helena on Urbanspoon

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Osteria Venti – Fine Italian Cuisine in Old Montreal

Venti Osteria is a fine Italian restaurant located in Old Montreal. It serves up delicious and slightly pricy food. But the overall atmosphere is warm and welcome. And the food is amazing! I’ve always been skeptical about expensive Italian food because I don’t think they are that much different from each other. But Venti Osteria truly blew my mind!

We went during Montreal a Table event and tried their $39 table d’hôte menu.

Venti Osteria
Venti Osteria
Venti Osteria - Bread
Venti Osteria – Bread

Antipasto

The tuna is super delicious! All the ingredients added to the flavor of the tuna and the acidity of the olives is perfect with the fish. This is probably my favorite dish of the night.

Venti Osteria - Crostone di tonno Olive oil poached tuna, olives, celery, onions and parsley
Venti Osteria – Crostone di tonno
Olive oil poached tuna, olives, celery, onions and parsley

Veal tail is a bit exotic for me. I feel it’s lacking a little bit of flavor. But the tail is cooked very well and melt in the mouth.

Venti Osteria - Coda alla vacinara Braised veal tail, soft polenta, marjoram
Venti Osteria – Coda alla vacinara
Braised veal tail, soft polenta, marjoram

Intermezzo

This is surprisingly spicy. But very good.

Venti Osteria - Fusiloni al pommodoro piccante e basilico Spicy tomato and basil fusiloni
Venti Osteria – Fusiloni al pommodoro piccante e basilico
Spicy tomato and basil fusiloni

Piatti

All of the main dishes are well prepared and very flavorful (and filling!) My favorite would be the shrimp on the trout!

Venti Osteria - Trotta allacqua pazza Poached trout with a fish broth, tomatoes, garlic, shrimps
Venti Osteria – Trotta allacqua pazza
Poached trout with a fish broth, tomatoes, garlic, shrimps
Venti Osteria - Ossobuco con fregula alla milanese Ossobuco alla milanese with fregula
Venti Osteria – Ossobuco con fregula alla milanese
Ossobuco alla milanese with fregula
Venti Osteria - Fettucine ai funghi Fettucine with wild mushrooms ragu and roasted duck
Venti Osteria – Fettucine ai funghi
Fettucine with wild mushrooms ragu and roasted duck

Dolci

At this stage we were already so full that we thought we couldn’t eat another bite. But the tiramisu was light, moist and fluffy, we finished it all… Such piglets we are…

Venti Osteria - Tiramisu al Frangelico e Galliano Tiramisu with Frangelico Galliano
Venti Osteria – Tiramisu al Frangelico e Galliano
Tiramisu with Frangelico Galliano
Venti Osteria
Venti Osteria

Overall, this is a great spot to try some delicious Italian food! Not another tourist trap in old Montreal. 🙂

Osteria Venti

372 St-Paul Ouest
Montreal, QC H2Y2A6
(514) 284-0445
http://www.osteriaventi.com/

Osteria Venti on Urbanspoon

Helena – Fine Portuguese Cuisine

Helena is a fine Portuguese restaurant located on McGill street in old Montreal. To be honest, I’ve never tried fine Portuguese food. My impression of Portuguese food is mostly Piri Piri chicken (which is delicious, btw!).

I went for lunch special. Table d’hôte at $22 is a pretty good deal! Especially considering a regular main dish is around $30-40 in the restaurant. However, it would be a good idea to prepare for an extra long lunch break because it does take a while to get the food.

To start up, the restaurant is beautifully decorated with lots of light. The bread is served in little white bags with the restaurant’s logo on them. A little detail but very cute and thoughtful.

Helena - Bread in a bag and olives
Helena – Bread in a bag and olives

I chose Caldo Verde as the appetizer. The taste is quite light and we had to ask for some salt and pepper. It seems to be the case for the rest of the meal. The flavor of the dish is not very salty or strong, to emphasize on the freshness of the ingredients.

Helena - Caldo Verde Portuguese soup, potatoes, chouriço,  kale, olive oil
Helena – Caldo Verde
Portuguese soup, potatoes, chouriço,
kale, olive oil

The roasted halibut is cooked just right. It’s also a bit light in taste. So we were happy to add a bit fleur de sel that was provided by the waiter.

Helena - Roasted Halibut
Helena – Roasted Halibut

Cheese cake is very delicious! It has chocolate flavored marbles inside. The unknown fruits on top is sour and compliments the taste perfectly.

Helena - Cheese cake
Helena – Cheese cake
Helena - Salmon Tartare
Helena – Salmon Tartare
Helena - Grilled Pork
Helena – Grilled Pork
Helena - Fried Fish Filet
Helena – Fried Fish Filet

Overall, the food is quite good. I’d definitely go back for their lunch specials. But not sure if I’d shell out $60-80 for a dinner there…

 

 

Helena

438 McGill, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 2G1

514-878-1555