Restaurant: La Cantina
Restaurant type: Mexican, Latino
Prices: $5-$16 entrées, $11-$22 mains, $5-$6 desserts
Date: Saturday August 31st 2019
Table of: 5
My favorite dishes: aguachile shrimps + quesadillas + octopus and bacon tacos
Last month, my family and I had the pleasure of trying the all new La Cantina as their guests! La Cantina is a new higher end Mexican restaurant, located in downtown Montreal on Stanley and Maisonneuve. They offer some very authentic dishes like aguachile (spicier version of ceviche), as well as some nice twists on classics like octopus and bacon tacos (so good). Everything from the designers to the decor and accessories of the restaurant are imported from Mexico and its a very beautifully done space; very unique in the Montreal market. For those who have been, the owners behind La Cantina are the same ones as T&T Tacos y Tortas in the Plateau. Here are the dishes we had the pleasure of trying:
- Chicharrones: pork rind chips
- Guacamole with tortilla chips
- Aguachile shrimps: habanero, burnt tomato sauce, red onion, red pepper, jicama radish and cilantro, accompanied by nachos
- Quesadilla: flour tortilla with Oaxaca cheese and Spanish chorizo
- Octopus and bacon tacos, with chipotle mayo, pico de gallo with orange juice and flour tortilla [I removed the mashed beans purée]
- Rib-eye tacos with Oaxaca cheese, sautéed onions, guacamole and flour tortilla
- Golden tacos with beef brisket, served with cream cheese and lettuce
- Churros with chocolate and dulce de leche sauces
- XX Dos Equis
Overall we had an amazing time at La Cantina and enjoyed some excellent dishes. Service and wait times still need some polishing, but to be expected when a new restaurant opens. There were three dishes that I very much enjoyed: the aguachile shrimps, the quesadillas and the octopus and bacon tacos. The aguachile shrimps were like a shrimp ceviche, but much much hotter. The server warned us though which was a good idea, as one of the kids had originally planned on eating it. Personally, I thought it was just a tad too hot; I don’t like it when my tongue stings for too long. With that said, it was a delicious dish, with a lot of complexities, textures and flavours going on and overall a nice balance of all these elements.
The chorizo and cheesy quesadillas were a winner with everyone, especially the kids. You really can’t go wrong with that combination of ingredients! I chose the octopus and bacon tacos as my main dish and I loved them; it was very unique, original, creative, flavourful and delicious. The octopus was perfectly cooked and seasoned; nicely charred on the outside and still soft and non-chewy on the inside. With the addition of bacon, it just makes any dish great really. The kids all ordered the rib-eye tacos, which they very much enjoyed; one of them said it was the best taco he’d ever eaten. Personally I thought it was good, but could have used a bit more seasoning; but I did like that it was topped with sautéed onions and guacamole. Alex had the golden tacos with beef brisket which we also enjoyed a lot.
To put the cap on this delicious meal and also Alex’s birthday, we ended with some homemade churros, chocolate sauce and dulce de leche. The churros were very good and extra coated in sugar and cinnamon. Dipped in some chocolate or dulce de leche, it was the perfect way to end our meal. Thanks for having us all! ❤
If you are in downtown Montreal and looking for a higher end Mexican dining experience, La Cantina is the place to go! They also serve weekly lunch and will soon be starting bottle service (right?!). You can enjoy a nice and authentic Mexican lunch, or party it up at night with their full menu and some Mexico-style bottle service. Salud!
*This restaurant post does not contain my usual restaurant review criteria of restaurants, as this is a sponsored post where I was invited to the restaurant as a guest.
*All photos and comments are mine