I wrote about La cabane, the urban sugar shack in the heart of Montreal’s Old Port last year on this blog.Well, it’s that time of year again! It’s maple season and La Cabane is opening the ball. It will be the first of at least three sugar shacks I’ll be visiting this year and I am looking forward to each one of them since there’s nothing I love more than maple!
This year, it’s the team from Pastaga restaurant that will be taking over La Cabane’s menu. I spoke with Pastaga’s pastry chef Isabelle Leroux, who assured me the menu was a collaborative among Pastaga’s three chefs: Martin Juneau, Frédéric Boucher and herself. Instead of reinventing the traditional cabane à sucre menu – which has already been done – they decided to take a walk down their respective culinary memory lanes to create the menu. The dishes are a wink at popular Québécois food in general and each of the chefs’ family traditions, like the boxes of whippets that were part of the weekly grocery list at Isabelle’s house and that have found their way to the dessert section of the menu.
I was invited to the media launch of La Cabane on March 7 and I am happy to report that it is just so much fun! The “reinvented” rustic decor is a collaboration among several local artisans and includes beautiful funky lamps and a huge mural in the back. Last year’s moose head is back, perched high up on one of the walls with a bird’s eye view of the room. There’s traditional rigodon music being played with electronic instruments and everything on the menu is absolutely delicious and comes in copious amounts. Some of my favourites include the bison smoked meat, the blood sausage pie (which you can also find at Pastaga) and the team’s take on pork and beans, the absolutely delicious and oh so crispy pork belly and molasses beans.
When I visited the kitchen, I found the Pastaga and La Cabane teams in a relaxed and playful mood in the company of chef Daren Bergeron, who is no longer with Decca 77 and is now lending a hand to his friend Juneau for the duration of the La Cabane event. After being interviewed by several of the media present at the event, the chefs were cheerfully putting the final touches on the dishes and seemed to be eager to start the service… and so was I! Take a look at the menu below and tell me you wouldn’t be too?
Here’s a look at the delicious menu:
- Bison smoked meat with homemade melba toast
- Organic salmon rillette with marinated onions
- Homemade bread stuffed with pulled pork
To warm up
- Duck and noodle soup, cipollini onions and soda biscuits made with duck fat
- Blood sausage tart, apple chutney and root vegetables
- Crispy pork belly, white bean with molasses
- Hot chocolate and mint gelée
- Maple syrup whippets
- Frozen nougat (molasses pie style)
- Beignets stuffed with maple butter
La Cabane is open until April 15 so hurry up and reserve your table soon!
From March 8 to April 15, 2012
Price per person: $59 (+ taxes and tip)
Kids under 12: $20 (+ taxes and tip)
By reservation only
514 444 4383
Scena, the Jacques Cartier Pavilion, Old Montreal
Wednesday – Saturday 7pm