WONDERFUL RESTAURANTS, TOP CHEFS, FINE CUISINE, AND HUGE SATISFACTION!
Luxurious, bright cuisine
LE CLUB CHASSE ET PÊCHE
423, rue Saint-Claude, Vieux-Montréal, 514 861 1112
Le Club Chasse et Pêche opened its doors the day before New Year’s Day, 2005. Created by Hubert Marsolais, former owner of Cube (2000-2004), and his associate Claude Pelletier, Le Club Chasse et Pêche is located in the building that once housed Fadeau. They have conserved the historical and architectural details, contrasting them with contemporary elements like artworks by Nicolas Baier. Pelletier and Chef Mélanie Blouin propose braised piglet risotto with foie gras shavings, or Kobe beef with lobster poached in butter. The wine list has a generous selection of French and Italian wines and private imports (70%); many wines are available by the glass. Open evenings from Tuesday to Sunday.
A Québec jewel
900, Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, 514 499 2084
This restaurant, owned by Christine Lamarche and Chef Normand Laprise, is perhaps the most prestigious in Montréal. This establishment, member of Relais & Châteaux, has been awarded five stars by the CAA and AAA automobile associations, and is highly rated in both the Zagat and Debeur guides. On the menu, creative, meticulous cuisine that emphasizes seasonal products and plays with flavours – all in a decor that is luminous, light-hearted, and warm, and where the art of table decoration is respected. A generous wine list stars French and Italian offerings. Toqué! is now open from Tuesday to Friday for lunch (starting at $25) with suggestions for wine by the glass. Open from Tuesday to Saturday.
French know-how with a Quebec accent
1227, rue de la Montagne, Montréal, 514 398 9229
For ten years, Jérôme Ferrer, an ex-pat from the south of France who now lives in Quebec, has been multipying his gourmet addresses, from Beaver Hall to Birks Café and Andiamo. Europea, however, remains his flagship restaurant. Located in downtown Montréal in an old Victorian house with a contemporary decor, Europea holds of many distinctions including Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux. Chef Ferrer proposes “techno-emotional” cuisine with a tasting menu of ten creations, a discovery menu (the fixed-price menu), or the Chef’s table (located in the wings of his kitchen). A generous wine list boasts wines from around the world, without neglecting local vineyards. Open seven evenings each week.
Flavour, authenticity, and simplicity
54, rue Saint-Pierre, Vieux-Québec, 418 694 1818
Originally from Breton, owner-chef Yvan Lebrun and his wife Rolande Leclerc, who managed Croquembroche in the Hilton hotel, learned their trade from Jean Soulard. For twenty years, they’ve been expanding Initiale restaurant, now situated in a discreet, welcoming, hundred-year-old building that once housed a bank. Over the years they collected distinctions including Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux and five diamonds from the Canadian and American auto associations (CAA/AAA). Many dining options are available: à la carte, the thematic menu with choices (starting at $76), and the tasting menu, for trying a bit of everything (starting at $129). The chef’s challenge will surprise you. According to Lebrun, “the simplicity and the precision of the dish recreate the quintessence of the product.” Initiale is open evenings from Tuesday to Saturday and for lunch Thursdays and Fridays.
Homage to the sea
219, av. du Mont-Royal Ouest, Montréal, 514 360 6060
Another eatery from duo Hubert Marsolais and Claude Pelletier opened earlier this year. Pelletier is executive chef and Yasu Okazaki is chef de cuisine. Seafood with eclectic variations and Asian influences take center stage here. The wine list is short with an emphasis on whites and some subtle reds, 70% of which are private imports. The space is long and narrow with low ceilings – a mixture of brass, galvanized steel, slate, and glossy, seaweed-green wood. Artwork adds to the decorative menu and lighting conjures up images of the sea. Open Tuesday to Saturday.
PHOTOS: NICOLAS RUEL (LE CLUB CHASSE ET PÊCHE), HANS LAURENDEAU-SHOOTSTUDIO (TOQUÉ!), PATRICE LAMOUREUX (LE FILET), © RESTAURANT INITIALE