Mike CohenMtlRestoRap

Since 1996, Ferreira Café on Peel Street has been a great Montréal ambassador of modern Portuguese cuisine. Warm and refined, while chic and relaxing, this is an ideal spot for anyone wanting to savor delicacies. When I saw them on the Montréal en Lumiere lineup, I decided it was time to drop by for my first tasting and was I ever impressed.

The quality and the freshness of their products is their number one priority. This goes for their meticulous selection of products, an olive oil production (which I had with my sourdough bread served with olives and lupini) and a truly impressive fish selection from Portugal caught and served within 24 hours.

Angus rib at Ferreira Café

The 16-ounce Angus rib perfectly prepared for two

At Ferreira, wine is a celebration. Renowned for their collection, their wine cellar is filled predominantly with Portuguese wines, and the largest offering of fine Porto in Canada. Their cellar is where you can see the extent of their passion and knowledge. Carlos Ferreira, the owner, knows each producer personally and has carefully chosen each wine for its quality and price. Their cellar also features the F wine from their own vineyards in the Douro Superior. I enjoyed a glass of Carlos Ferreria F Bruto prosecco from Portugal.

My friend and I first looked at the selection of On Ice offerings, choosing the magnificent seafood platter, consisting of lobster, viger shrimp, oysters, mussels in escabeche and octopus ceviche, Matane shrimp and clams. There is also a wide list of appetizers and exclusive caviar.  For the main course my friend had the eight-ounce filet mignon while I opted for the 16-ounce Angus rib. It was perfectly prepared and cut in two, so it can be shared, or you can take the remainder home for the following day, which I did. Indeed, save room for the dessert menu. I zeroed in on the chocolate mousse, which is made with Ferreira oil, and comes with ice cream.

seafood platter at Ferreira Café

The popular seafood platter

Groupe Ferreira is comprised of four restaurants, each offering a unique experience and showcasing the best ingredients available. The story began in 1996 with the opening of Ferreira Café on Peel Street. The restaurant quickly became the go-to spot for Portuguese cuisine in Montreal, and businesspeople met there regularly. Eight years later, Café Vasco da Gama opened just steps away, serving sandwiches and premium salads and supplying catering services to eager gourmets. There are also two Campo grilled Portuguese chicken restaurants downtown, one on de Maisonneuve and the other at the Timeout Market.

Over and above her responsibilities as Director of Operations of Groupe Ferreira, Carlos’ daughter Sandra makes a point of sharing innovative ideas and gives time and energy to local charities. Always on the lookout for trends in the restaurant milieu, her vision and passion are certain to take that of her father even further.

Carlos Ferreira himself selects the suppliers with whom the company does business, in addition to offering his own wines and olive oils. It was a pleasure to meet him for the first time as well as director Damião Santos, a veteran in the restaurant service industry.

Ferreira Café has indeed established itself as one of the best restaurants in town. In that case, there is no mystery: a visionary owner, an inspired chef, high-quality products, and a talented and dedicated team. In Montreal, Ferreira Café gives Portuguese cuisine all its nobility.

When Carlos Ferreira opened his flagship restaurant nearly 30 years ago, he wanted to create an upscale Portuguese presence downtown among a slew of French and Italian establishments. “I wanted to be an ambassador of my culture and through my restaurant, show how beautiful my country is, and pay homage to it,” Carlos says.

The restaurant can seat 130 people, as well as about 45 on a seasonal terrasse. There is a beautiful private room that can accommodate 64 to 72 diners, and a smaller one that can fit 12. Besides a very regular clientele, they have a successful catering division with fully personalized menus for large events.

Ferreira Café is located at 1446 Peel Street. It is open for lunch Monday to Friday 11:45 am to 2:30 and dinner Monday to Thursday 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm and Friday and Saturday: 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm. For more information call 514-848-0988 or log on to https://ferreiracafe.com