A few years ago, Village restaurant Mezcla was a darling of the culinary scene — the critics raved about it, crowds loved it, and it appeared on the very first Eater 38. Since then, things changed. Chef Marcel Larrea, who demonstrated his training with one of Peru’s top chefs on the Mezcla menu, left (now he’s at his own recently opened Peruvian-Japanese spot, Tiradito).
Montreal Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman recently paid Mezcla a visit and the resulting review was an evisceration, with Chesterman writing that “I knew my beloved restaurant of old was a distant memory.”
Regardless of the possibility that Mezcla had possibly had a bad night when Chesterman visited, the impression was that it had fallen from grace.
But there’s now a new chef on the scene, and it may help Mezcla turn it around. Her name is Soraya Ramiro: Spanish-born and raised on Spanish-Mexican cuisines, she studied French techniques in Montreal and currently works as a personal chef. In her own words, her kitchen does raices, the fusion between Spanish and Mexican food.
Her first menu for Mezcla isn’t yet available — the restaurant is sticking by the old menu until the holiday season passes, and while Ramiro started at the burners just days ago, she’ll fully take the helm with a new menu in January.
It seems safe to guess that Mezcla will follow on with the Peruvian focus that Larrea imbued: Ramiro was the 2014 winner of the Peru Gourmet culinary competition, and was rewarded with a tour of Peru’s major dining destinations.
Ramiro’s website features dishes that showcase a mix of her influences: a quite Peruvian scallop tiradito, a chupe stew with fish, seared foie gras with fig and a blue cheese pannacotta with pear on the desserts side. Of course, this doesn’t mean those dishes will show up at Mezcla — but it’s a hint.
Stay tuned — the new Mezcla menu will be published as soon as Eater can get it.