MTL à TABLE @ Helena – Portuguese Restaurant

Helena is a Portuguese restaurant in Old Montreal that serves up delicious pesticos (Portuguese tapas). Named after chef Helena Loureiro, also owner of Portus Calle on St. Laurent, this place surely is a seafood paradise! Despite many controversial reviews of this restaurant, I must admit that their 3-course MTL à TABLE 2014 menu at $39 was the best experience I had in that week.

From appetizers of tuna pavé and octopus to main course of calarmi rice and black cod, every dish came with such colorful, artistic presentation on the plate and  delicate flavors on the palate. Not knowing which bottle to pick (the list was in Portuguese), our waiter pointed out the Arco do Esporão White (2012). Its mineral-rich and balanced profile was a delightful pairing for seafood and I later discovered that it actually won the white wine category of the 10th “Press Choice” awards! Although this place is much more recommended for seafood lovers, Helena also offers delicious meat dish such as lamb (see photo below).

Many reviews criticized the noise level and lack of service, my dining experience was quite impeccable and I was able to have enjoyable conversations with my girlfriends. Modern ambiance built on traditional theme with beautifully embossed ceiling creating that blue and yellow (Mediterranean) tone – that night Helena led us on a gastronomy tour in our mouth and mind!

Tapas Restaurant, $$-$$$, Notable Value, Portuguese Cuisine, Seafood, Dinner, Business Lunch, Date Spot, Reservation (recommended)

Part of the MTL à TABLE 2014 appetizer menu choices ($39) – Red tuna pavé, green pea cream, mint & chouriço (chorizo in Portuguese) – the chorizo gave this refreshing, balanced dish a playful twist.

Part of the MTL à TABLE 2014 appetizer menu choices ($39) – Grilled octopus with tomatoes and peppers was so tenderly cooked and had such vibrant colors and lots of flavors. Even Tourimse Montreal Blog agreed that this is one of the 19 MTL à TABLE photos that will make you jealous and hungry!

Part of the MTL à TABLE 2014 main course menu choices ($39) – Calamari rice with giant shrimp was absolutely amazing (peeling the shell was a pain in the butt, but worth it)!

Part of the MTL à TABLE 2014 main course menu choices ($39) – Seared black cod with virgin chick peas and olive puree – the olive puree was such a great complement for the cod.

Part of the MTL à TABLE 2014 main course menu choices ($39) – Rack of lamb, maple roasted grelot potatoes, bacon and vegetables – this one is for the meat lover!

Part of the MTL à TABLE 2014 dessert menu choices ($39) – Pasteis de nata – Portuguese egg tart that comes warm and soft with a dab of cinnamon sugar (almost feel like having a mini French Toast but even better).

Helena 438 McGill Street Montréal, Québec, H2Y 2G1 | 514.878.1555 |

*Closed on Sundays/Possibility to have exclusivity of the restaurant for groups upon reservation.

Restaurant Helena on Urbanspoon

Read my other MTL à TABLE reviews:

  • Chez Ma Grosse Truie Cherie – Gastropub in the Village that serves up French-inspired Québec cuisine (unconventional pork dishes) prepared with local produces.