Bilingual site shared with Nancy Snipper, acclaimed author and cultural affairs journalist. July 2016 ushers in her new site: SN Travel and Arts without Borders. Check it out!
Site bilingue partagé avec Nancy Snipper, auteur acclamé et journaliste des affaires culturelles. Juillet 2016 inaugure sa nouvelle site: SN Travel and Arts without Borders. Vérifiez-le!
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Chef Natalia Machado
‘preciosa’. She’s a VIP cuisine wiz who’s snagged top honours in two international
TV reality chef shows, has dazzled diners in Industria Argentina Restaurant in New York for over twelve years, which resulted in a big
beyond-the border buzz – so much so that Montreal’s
trendiest, L’Atelier d’Argentine
convinced her to head its kitchen in Old Montreal. Since January, she’s been
cooking up exciting dishes whose delicious tastes put the accent in
contemporary Argentine cuisine.
“Give me great
ingredients and great food comes out of it,” says this talented chef whose ease
and confidence is as refreshing as her philosophy: “I use simple ingredients,
fresh produce and seasoning, slow cook them in a certain way to bring them back
I had the great
pleasure to enjoy several of her dishes while soaking up the incredible
atmosphere that is totally exciting and warm. The interior is like a prism of
space-age elegance with atrium glass wall curves, marble counters, leather
chairs a stone fireplace, super cool ceiling lighting with sensuous-shaped
bulbs hanging from cork and steel round bases, andfloor to ceiling glass which brought before
you the beauty of Old Montreal.
I have to admit the fun evening was enhanced
by the live music of Drum Addiction -
a unique ensemble of talents who will be playing on weekends so, do check them
out. The group features singer, Leticia Manfil and DJ - Pablo Guadalupe.
are drummers, but at L’Atelier they are going for the smooth international
style. Leticia’s voice is a mix of Sade (whom she sung), Roberta Flack (whom
she also sung), and Alicia Keys. She’s stunning to watch and hugs anyone in
sight. Pablo spinned out eclectic easy-on-the nerves- music that included tango
electric vibes, the Bossa nova beats of Gilberto Gil, and the crooning voice of
American jazz vocalist, Kevin Mahogany. On keyboard was Ignacio Villaverde who
just happens to be married to ‘la Preciosa Natalia’. If music be the food of
love, play on!
My companion and I
ordered a six-course meal that started with three different appetizers. I fell
head over heels in love with the buñelo de espinaca – spinach and fontina
cheese fritters with roasted garlic mustard. The soft texture and taste were
Then sitting on a long white plate I spied a series of mini empanadas;
each offered a different filling:first,
there was cheese, then came a corn goodie; another tasty delight consisted of
hand carved beef with spring onion and smoked paprika; and finally, smoked ham
with bacon and provolone ended my affair with empanadas.
The tatin de tomates
which featured fresh beef tomato, mozzarella, black olive, and basil oil was
not my favourite, but my companion adored it. Maybe it was that big juicy
tomato sitting sensually over a perfectly shaped roundel of cheese that excited
his taste buds.
For the main course,
he ordered the brotola – roasted garlic hake with purple potatoes and bell
pepper escabeche. It was so tender and juicy (I had a piece). Did I mention
that colour seems to really dazzle the senses too, as each plate served to us
featured a great dish with colour being in the presentation from green to white
to red and now purple. It was a sensuous feed indeed. While my companion was
feasting on eh fish, I was yumming it up over my incredibly perfect grilled rib
eye steak. I dipped it in the two sauces on the side: chimichurri and salsa
corolla. Wow! That chimichurri is to Argentina what ketchup is to North Americans,
but the latter is a taste of fresh heaven. It consists of parsley, garlic, red
bell peppers and red wine vinegar mixed with the Machado magic.
We ended our feast
with the dessert: pamquques - dulce de leche with a delicate small oozing
caramel and cooked banana.
It must be mentioned
that the sommelier, Alexandre Rioux paired every one of our dishes with wines
that from the first sip thrilled us: I adored the 2011 Chardonnay, Vida
Organica from Mendoza
(west of Buenos Aires bordering Chili). It was so light and perfect, as was the
2012 Fabre Montmayou made from Torrontes, the most popular white grape grown in
The wine kept coming, including a 2012 Malbec from San Juan from the Graffign Winery. It was the
most perfect gentle red wine I had ever tasted. Alexandre sure knows what to
serve, and happily each wine poured was light and devoid of dryness or
heaviness. I went ecstatic over an incredible wine served at dessert, but I’ll
keep that one a secret. Just ask Alexandre for that nutty flavoured white wine
that comes in a slim bottle. It offered the nicest taste I had ever savoured,
similar to the dessert wine of Samos Greece, but far superior -
exquisiteness like liquid silk falling on your tongue.
If you think that
Argentine food is about roasting meat in the campo, you seriously need to go to
L’Atelier d’Argentine. The whole evening was a sensual dream that transported
me to the country itself. Make your reservation by calling (514) 2873362. The
location is 355 Marguerite-d’Youville, Vieux-Montreal. The website is www.atelierargentine.com