I haven’t had much luck with finding excellent Mexican food in Montreal. In my dining experiences, many of our restaurants left me with a steep bill after liking but not loving my appetizer, and having an average or sub par main dish. I would often say that when I thoroughly enjoy both courses, that restaurant would become my favorite in the city. Itacate isn’t new, it has been around for a few years but I somehow never heard about it until recently, when the family restaurant switched locations and moved into a much bigger and nicer setting only a few doors down from the original location. Originally, the title under Itacate said “Cuisine Mexicaine,” but as more people started calling them the most authentic Mexican place in Montreal, it caught on; the title is now “La Vraie Cuisine Mexicaine” and not only is it now on every plate that they use, they even inscribe it on their burritos.
The interior of the restaurant is appealing; it’s very bright, modern and quite cozy with candles lit at every table bearing the restaurant’s name as well as their new slogan on every holder. Itacate also changed their menu, now offering new items at the same friendly prices.
The evening began with an amuse-bouche, a first for me at a Mexican restaurant. It consisted of two fried taquitos filled with potatoes and cheese. The surface was drizzled with cream and salsa verde, which helped make each bite a beautiful welcoming to their restaurant. The cool thing about these is that they’re sorta like an egg roll, but Mexican style, which I liked immensely.
We ordered nachos that had a tri color style paying homage to the colors of the Mexican flag. Although it isn’t hard to make good guacamole, Itacate’s was exceptional. Each dip was creamy, not too salty or runny, and had a great taste of garlic and lemon juice amidst perfectly ripe avocados.
I had no plans on maintaining a healthy diet for the night, so I had to be real with myself, for what I was about to order was far from nutritious. The Crema de Frijol was a puree of beans loaded with cheese, drizzled with cream, and featured strips of tortilla chips. The soup was out of this world, being the most delicious and wonderfully presented soup I’ve had at a Mexican restaurant. Incredibly rich in flavour and having a wonderfully smooth texture, this soup is a bean lover’s paradise.
The Enchiladas Del Patron is the dish that acquired my love for Mole sauce. Having never tried it previously, I fell in love with it almost instantaneously. The first bite hit me with dozens of different flavors, and it took me a moment to let everything sink in and get adjusted to what I was tasting. The bite caught me off guard and I thought for a moment how unique and almost weird the sauce tasted, but then from the third bite on, it became the most delicious accompaniment to any enchilada that I’ve ever had. Itacate makes their own mole sauce, which is extremely impressive considering how many ingredients the sauce is composed of. The most interesting part is the chocolate finish, which complimented the extremely tender decadent duck meat in numerous ways. This dish should be called wow, because that’s mostly what I was saying during each bite. The rice was the only thing that I didn’t truly enjoy. Perhaps it was the intense flavors from the mole sauce, or maybe I could have just gotten a lacking batch, as the rice was a bit dry and missing some flavor but I was so content with everything else that it really made no difference.
My girlfriend had the steak and chicken fajitas, which were fabulous. Generous portions of seasoned meat and chicken combined with shredded cheese and sour cream and sautéed vegetables was an incredible feast, and I would order this as my main dish in the future. The only thing was that the dish did not come with any guacamole, which I thought was a bit strange. Lucky for us, we had some leftover from the order of tortillas and used it with the fajitas.
Itacate was a pleasant surprise. Their mole sauce got me hooked, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in other dishes, such as the Pierna De Pato. The restaurant is a fun place to not only eat, but drink as well; they have a full bar with plenty of cocktails and mixed drinks. I hope Montreal has Mexican restaurants as good as this one, if they do I’d love to know where!
67 Rue Beaubien Est, Montreal, QC, H2S 1R1 T: (514) 276-5880
JarredReviews is my personal weblog. The opinions and experiences represent my own. If you read that I didn’t particularly enjoy a meal or restaurant, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it and see for yourself. Restaurants can have an off day, people make mistakes, we’re all human. My writing is mainly so that you can find out about great restaurants that you may have not heard about, and also to give you an idea of what I enjoyed that you can experience for yourself. Food reviewing is very subjective and you must take this into account and use your discretion when reading any review; If I have had a bad experience somewhere, do not let that stop you to try the restaurant for yourself.