Mercuri- Opening of Foyer à Bois (Fire Pit)
645 Wellington / Sœur Grises
Telephone: # 514-394-3444
You could imagine the excitement when I received an invitation for a cocktail dinatoire at Mercuri’s Restaurant for the official launch of their new Foyer a Bois section on November 12th. I was not going to miss this for the world as Mercuri Restaurant is one of my favorite Montreal restos and my top picks of new restaurant for the year. Since my last visit in spring, the new casual section was still in the works and the opening had been highly anticipated.
The new section attached to the restaurant is a more laid back casual affair with its long, high, light colored pine wood tables and chairs. The look is clean, slick, set in a minimalist decor with an open fire pit that warms up the room on any cold Montreal day or night.
The menu for lunch includes a mix of grilled favorites of both fish and meats at reasonable prices. In the evening you will find a more complex menu, dedicated to a vegetarian side and meat section for an array of tastes.
When we arrived at Mercuri’s this evening the place was already packed, I spotted my favorite bloggers The Montreal Food Divas at the bar and a few other familiar faces that I keep running into at these events.
Frenchie and I headed over to the bar to get ourselves some bubbly to start off our evening. For me it was an opportunity to finally tell the Montreal Food Divas how much I appreciated their blog and how much they had inspired me to finally start my own. I found Diva #1 genuinely super nice and hope I did not spook her out too much by introducing myself to her like that.
We then moved to the tables that were set up with generous platters of appetizers of mixed warm kalamata and cerignola olives, mixed grilled vegetables of carrots and what looked like parsnips or salisfy, herbed lemon potatoes and garlic mushrooms and grilled country bread slathered in olive oil. We manged to squeeze into the crowd and grabbed enough food for a few starters.
During the night, the food kept pouring from the fire pit, perfectly grilled tender succulent chicken breast on the bone with nineteen secret spices. Turkey wings in sweet BBQ sauce marinated in stout beer , and fish tacos with miso dressing and goat cheese, Gaspar pork ribs in a sweet & sour bitter orange and garlic sauce, grilled Mackerel infused with lemon and herbs and very tender and grilled flank steak laced in coffee and roasted garlic and red peppers.
We moved from table to table and when we could move no more we finally nestled in a corner and watched the fire pit roar its wonders. We asked the staff making the fish tacos if they were going to be an item on the menu and were told that it had not been decided yet, too bad because they were delicious.
We watched Chef Joe Mercuri work hard in the heat of the fire pit, spinning his magic. He stopped long enough to look up and say hello and chat for a few seconds. I even managed to get a kiss from my favorite chef and let him know how much I appreciate his hard work. I was in foodie heaven. Mr. Mercuri has got to be the most humble chef in this city. This evening you could feel not only the warmth of the room but the great aura he emanates with his generosity and passion for what he does. I am truly appreciative of his qualities, and the fact that he treats everyone as if we were in his home.
After a couple of glasses of wine, and more pickings we called it a night but as we put on our coats, he came to shake our hand and invited us back. Definitely!