Mario Navarate Jr. leads the Nuevo Latino Cooking in Montreal


With my injury, I must lie down on my sofa most of the time. Therefore, I watch more TV than I used to.

While eating lunch today, I watched Curieux Bégin at Télé-Québec. The show was dedicated to Latino cuisine. I included a tasty Lamb Shank recipe in French at the end of the post. This is how I discovered an amazing and likable Chef here in Montreal.

Born in Lima, Peru Mario Navarate Jr. operated two restaurants in the city. He is a rising star in Montreal. Raza opened in 2005. En Route magazine voted Mario Navarate Jr. one of the top 10 new Canadian Chefs in November 2005.

Two restaurants for this Peruvian Chef

Madre, meaning mother, opened last year (I think) on Masson Street. You will not be surprised to learn that the menu is inspired by his mother’s recipes.

Madre is about stylish simple food, a down-to-earth version of the upscale Raza, his first restaurant. Raza scored 28 out of 30 for its food in the 2006 Zagat guide.

The pencil drawings were inspired by pictures of him with his mother. Theses canvas drawings are hung on the walls of the restaurant. The décor is simple, like a family restaurant should be. The next picture showed Mario with his mother. The bottom pictures illustrates the typical dish styles at Raza.

I am planning to try his two restaurants this summer. I read excellent reviews on the Web from bloggers. What people are complaining about his restaurants is the short wine lists. I can live with that since most people were looking for bottles less than $40. But both restaurants propose food and wine bundles to save money.

The table d’hote at Madre proposes a three-course menu for $35 that becomes $58 with wine pairings. The tasting menu at Raza costs $59 for a 5 courses ($99 with wine pairings) or $70 for a 7-course meal ($120 with wine pairings).

What others are saying?

If you wish to read about an experienced meal at theses restaurants, read the reviews of Madre and Raza by MontrealFoodie. It is the first time that I visited MontrealFoodie so I cannot pledge for their taste but their reviews seem fair.

You can also read what the reviewer of Montreal Mirror had to say about his meal at Madre. Read what EnRoute (OnAir) said about Raza when it made their Top Ten restaurant list.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: Menu at Madre Restaurant – a weird navigation since you must press English on every page
Learn more: Menu at Raza Restaurant – same weird navigation
Recipe: Jarrets d’agneau braisés à la coriandre et à la bière by Mario Navarate Jr. [Curieux Bégin]

  • Mario Navarrete jr
    May 12, 2008 at 02:34

    Mario Navarrete Jr

  • S Lloyd
    December 6, 2009 at 00:46

    Did you get a chance to try it? If Not, I dinned at Raza this Friday Dec 4th and did a review of that dinner. Here is the link:
    It was a great dinner, Indeed

    • At Home with Kim Vallee
      December 6, 2009 at 14:33

      S. Lloyd: Since I like brunch, I am happy to notice that Madre serves one. As you know, I went there for dinner and I like it. But I never inquire to see if they serve a brunch. I forgot about Raza but after reading your review, I definitely want to go.

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