5145 Wellington St./Desmarchais
Telephone :(514) 362-1818
Cost: $ 79.01
Chef Hats: 5/5
For the last fourteen years, Restaurant SU and chef and proprietor Fisun Ecran, have brought to Montreal one of the best restaurants serving fine Turkish cuisine. Located at the end of Wellington street in Verdun, it is a true gem among a plethora of restaurants that permeate this busy street. Opened in 2005, I first visited Restaurant Su back in 2011, after friend’s recommendation. I was totally blown away by the exotic and delicious flavors presented in Ecran’s carefully prepared plate presentations. At the time, virtually unknown Ecran had just come out with a cookbook and was making her rounds plugging the book on the Quebec television circuit. She was also just a handful of female Montreal chef’s making a name for herself in a domain that is basically dominated by men. Restaurant Su and its chef did not remain in obscurity for long and today it no longer is a well-kept secret but enjoyed by many foodies.
We visited Su again last November for the Montreal a Table Festival to sample their reduced-price menu. We received a three-course tapas style meal for $ 43.00 each. Su on regular nights has a discovery menu for $ 52.00 and a brunch menu at $ 17.50 on weekends. They also have an à la carte menu if you prefer to make your own choices. They also have a great wine selection and many imports from Turkey and a good choice of Bio wines around the $ 50.00 range.
If I loved Restaurant Su back in its early days, I love it more today. Restaurant Su named after Ecran’s daughter, meaning blue in Turkish messed well with its colorful blue décor, comfortable seat cushions and Turkish plates affixed to the walls. Today it has matured more like a fine wine and gone are the ocean blue banquettes that lined the walls. Replaced by lighter tones of beige and black leather banquettes and light wood tables. Presently there are only a few light-colored tables remaining from the old décor. Everything has been toned down along with the ambient lighting that give way to a relaxed and pleasing décor and setting the stage for a perfectly delectable evening.
The service is also very professional, pleasant and friendly without any pretentions. Our waitress was well versed in the menu and the dish presentation were fully explained. She made suggestions for our wine choices that paired well with the meal. We chose wine by the glass, a $14.00 a Kara Sevda 2016, Chamlija from Thrace Turkey. An aromatic dark full-bodied red, with berry and dry herbal notes which paired well with lamb and the entrees.
All our meals came served on a communal wood plank to share among three with enough portions for all. We started with three entrees, Muhammara, a thick roasted red pepper spread topped with hazelnuts and served with a basket of bread. A simple classic Middle Eastern dish which bring forth flavors of cumin, olive oil, lemon zest and nuts. Perfectly executed here, it was an aphrodisiac.
Also, on the chopping block was a large mound of a Salad made with Celeriac, apples, radishes and pomegranate seeds and hazelnut topping. A great palate cleanser, it was super savory and refreshing. Lili just loved the sweet and sour blend and the crunchiness of the nuts and seeds. She has discovered that these are the type of salads she prefers the best.
Last but not least were three Beignets made with squash and mint served on a bed of hummus. Soft pockets of delicate squash flavors and refreshing mint, and to compliment it the most balanced creamy hummus that was heavenly. Each entrée was as equally delicious and we did not have a preference. All were masterfully executed and beautifully presented with a good blend of flavors and textures.
For the second service for our main dish we received six pieces of Kamouraska Lamb chops topped with pistachios and mint sauce. Tender pieces that were not overpowering or mutton tasting, served with on a bed of delicate mint sauce and topped with roasted pistachios.
Along with Poached Swordfish kebabs atop a bed of almond polenta and herbed salsa which was a pleasant surprise yet very simple.
For dessert we received three pieces of Revani cake, a moist yogurt sponge cake topped pistachio nuts and soaked in orange glaze and three pieces of homemade Turkish coffee/chocolate cake made with almonds and topped with pomegranate seeds, which was simply decadent. I also ordered a Turkish tea to go along with the cakes.
This completed our evening and the festival, but we vowed to be back for brunch. After all these years its nice to know there is a place that is so consistent that we can count on it every time to have an exotic meal anytime.