Tag Archives: Portuguese

Douro

8 Oct

There are restaurants that, for some reason, become family favorites. Be it for a specific food item, the wine list, the decor or even the service, these are places that you will go back to time and time again because you enjoy it and are in the mood to go back. They become staple of the rotation when the family seeks a nice place to enjoy a nice weekend meal. For my family, Douro is one such place. Given we recently went back for a nice Saturday evening meal, I figure now would be a good opportunity to talk about it.

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For the uninitiated, Douro is a Portuguese restaurant located of the fringes of Little Italy here in Montreal. They serve tapas style dishes or you can stick to the classic appetizer/ main course format if you’d like. Each time I’ve gone, I have stuck to the tapas menu. Amongst the tapas options on this evening, we went for chorizo sausage, grilled squid, grilled calamari, garlic shrimp and cod cakes. Every item is cooked very nicely without overdoing the ingredients – simply allowing the natural favors of each items shine through with some slight enhancements. The grilled squid is of particular note here.

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The next serving brought forth some delicious mussels as well as 2nd helpings of squid and cod cakes. The mussels were rather small but they were still delicious as was the garlic and white wine broth.

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To top off the evening, a deliciously fresh pastry. Nice flaky crust and a buttery smooth filling.

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Add to this delicious food a nice bottle of Portuguese white wine and you have yourself a very nice meal to enjoy. The service is outstanding and personable. I have some minor quips about the decor of the restaurant (although I seem to be the only one who feels that way) but they do not distract for the great food you will enjoy. If you are looking for a nice enjoyable Portuguese meal, I highly recommend giving Douro a shot. Maybe your family will enjoy it as much as mine.

Cheers!

Douro
6518 Boul. St-Laurent
514 273 6969

Douro on Urbanspoon

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Restaurante Helena

12 Aug

Restaurante Helena is a Portuguese style place located in old Montreal that opened at the end of June. I was looking for a nice restaurant to go enjoy a nice meal with a friend prior to the fireworks in the old port, so we gave it a shot.

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The menu is a combination of tapas style plates or classic entrees and mains. We chose to stick to the tapas options. First up, we had the cod croquettes with a piri piri aioli. Simple but perfectly done. The croquettes had a good crisp to them without the fish in the middle being overdone. The aioli was a great compliment with just the right level of spice without overpowering the fish.

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Next up, clams with chorizo, corn and Sao Jorge cheese. A nice light dish where the extra elements didn’t take anyway from the key ingredient here, the clams.

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Following the clams, we got the tempura shrimp with bisque sauce following with the plat of grilled octopus, squid and chorizo. Both were very executed and delicious. The standouts of note here were the bisque sauce and the grilled squid.

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All in all, the food was wonderful and perfectly in keeping with what you would want looking for a good Portuguese meal. As with most tapas plates, you always wish you could have more on the plat, but that comes with the territory. The wine options were relatively plentiful – with the caveat that II don’t know much about Portuguese wines. We asked our waiter for his opinion and the choices he made for us were wonderful. I will note here however that it actually took our waiter about 45 minutes to actually come take our orders after bringing us our wine. Because of our discussion at the table, we didn’t actually notice until about 30 minutes. Given we weren’t really in a hurry, this didn’t bother us in the least but I feel like I need to mention this anyway.

Helena was a pleasant discovery and given its proximity to old Montreal, another great option for people heading to the old port. Anyone looking for a good portuguese place would be wise to check it out.

Cheers!

Helena
438 McGill
514 878 1555

Restaurant Helena on Urbanspoon

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