There was a time when I would have been apprehensive about going into a restaurant like Seasalt & Ceviche, a seafood lovers dream with a great view of Old Montreal. I wouldn’t haven’t had much choice because I wouldn’t eat any of the seafood and fish on the menu. Times have changed and so have my appreciation of great seafood. I sat with a few friends for an intimate media dinner last week as the chef dazzled us with a selection of items from the new menu.
With a decor inspired by the American Atlantic coast, Seasalt & Ceviche has the ocean in its DNA, from the name all the way to the complex and surprising menu. We kicked off our night with cocktails (what else would we do?) from the new drink menu as we mingled around the bar, snapping pics of the pink neon “Rosé All Day” that adds a distinct sunset hue to the restaurant’s relaxed vibe. Once we had all arrived took to our seats and the show started.
The first dishes out of the kitchen consisted of delightfully spicy crab cake bites with a Queso Fresco sauce. It takes a few second for the spicy kick to hit and when it does, it amps up the dish. We were also served a plate of spicy tuna tartare which was served with Kimchi mayo, Nort, Togarashi spices and Ponzu. The tuna was fresh and the spiced were well balanced.
Next we received a kale salad in a creamy cider dijon vinaigrette. Although some of us thought that there might have been a little too much dressing, I felt that there was just enough. The salad was satisfying and helped sustain us through the night. A plate of fish ceviche was served with the salad and this is where I took a set back to admire the plating. The chef did a great job with each presentation but he took exceptional care with the ceviche. Served with radish and coriander, the dish was fresh and flavourful.
Rounding out the meal we were served a seafood ceviche which was similar to the fish ceviche served earlier but with unique elements such as chilis, avocado crema and a coriander vinaigrette. We were also served a plate of grilled octopus (which was my favorite dish of the night) which was meatier than I expected. It was served with capers, grilled chorizo, onions and a smoked paprika sauce. I have a weakness for smoked paprika.
Finally, we received a plate of seabass which was served on a bed of roasted vegetables and coated in fresh herbs. The seafood and fish served over the course of the night was all incredibly fresh. Montreal isn’t close to any ocean so when I am seated in a seafood restaurant and trust that the fish isn’t just fresh, it’s also sustainably sourced, I’m impressed.
For fans of gathering for a great glass of wine and a few bites while a DJ spins up a unique atmosphere, Seasalt & Ceviche features a DJ on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. There’s also a private room for parties and in the summer the restaurant expands into a second room that looks like you stepped into Miami in the 80s and that’s a very good thing.
This restaurant is the type of place where you can’t predict the fun you might have. At the beginning of the night when we were asked if we wanted red or white wine and a friend curtly replied, Chardonnay and nothing less with the comedic timing of a pro, we knew we were in for a good time.