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Les Chèvres


Patrice
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Wear a goatee!

I hope I can grow one back in time!

Thanks for the link, the room looks like I will be right at home. Now all I have to do is wait patiently until they call my flight.

Edited by Johnathon (log)

"Expect nothing, be prepared for anything."

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Small picture in today's "La Presse" newspaper:

www.cyberpresse.ca/tendances/article/1,157,1086,042003,278142.shtml.

It's a sharp looking place, I would dress appropriatly...

Unfortunately, this picture appears to be unavailable at present.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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maybe you forgot to remove the period at the end of the URL, docsconz?

A simple mistake that makes a big difference. Thanks!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was just there on Friday. It started off as a shopping night, some nice drinks at Rosalie (boy that evening office crowd gets pretty gino"esque" during happy hour). The drinks are great however. We the had a huge craving and headed out to Chevres with reservations.

I'm gonna keep it simple: The food was amazing, the service was atrocious. No arm intented, I will go back many times but sometimes, setting proper expectations with customers is much better than trying to justify errors.

Location:

When we walked in, we were quite impressed to see how the place turned out, the wall treatment, the light neon colors just in time with the right palette (but not for long), that cheese counter is to die for... that cheese counter is criminal ! The dessert area for dressing, it's all pretty good. Couple of physical points that I wasn't a fan with: The tables are to long, I was closer to my neighbor than my girlfriend, plus it gives all the reason in the world to hear annoying Outremont patrons to talk about cars, houses and retirement plans to the rest of the crowd... The menus are set up in what I described as my personnal tables of commandments, do the exercise, the thing just flings everywhere, you cannot hold the menu and a glass of water... Finally, those yellow tinted treatments on the top windows show a lot of grime probably from the glue, they should be shinning. I aslo think that you should use the bar area as the entrance and bring people over to the main room, not the other way around.

Service: It started with our entry, Mr Beausoleil showed up at the reservations area, jovial as always. He was looking for his maitreD "Y'est ou mon petit bonhomme?" "Suivez moi on va le trouver", I was under the impression he would seat us but it seemed some other guy was doing that. Turns out we walked all the way around, once the maitre D was found, without a hint of awarness, he pointed the table that we could sit at, never budged one second from his discussion with his friends (sorry, he was having wine with some guest). Give me a break, how in the world does a kid like that actually tell Beausoleil what to do... get that sorry ass MaitreD out of there, he obvioulsy didn't even bother look around for the best table, he nudged us 5 inches away from another couple, just enough space to let the waiter wiggle his bum on our table to serve the other table. Then we got the waiter who just started, fresh... lesson one: learn to set proper expectations with your customers. Please let us know that you are starting... It's OK, it's not a crime, everybody needs a start. There was back up but back up seemed to be quick to point out his collegue was a junior and that we would be in good hands with him... I've seen that game to often in the corporate world... I am suprised Mr Beausoleil did not notice all this, we had to ask for the menu, no water was brought... Our menues were taken but not the order, we were starting to laugh pretty hard... While the MaitreD was sipping wine away with his friends... That bread girl is so cute and efficient, she simply needs to smile a little bit more. BTW, the new waiter was very nice with us, he was just so green and it seems no one was out the babysit him... this is really not the best way to start someone out.

Food: Well what can I say, Chevres' energy is all in the kitchen and the type of food presented. We started off with more drinks (after we had caramelised pineapples on bread with fresh tomatoe juice), my drink was delicious fresh grpaefruit squeeze, campari, white porto.

I decided to go with the artichoke/tomatoe/olive cake that was very, very good. I am guessing some oil of truffe. I thaught there was to much olive guarnish, the strong taste kind of took over the artichokes, but really I was impressed with the dish, the sommelier (who is quite the character) had a pefect selection for this dish. How do you do these olives guarnish ? We had an argument about it, I settled for a kalamata puree, mixed up with japanese tempura mix and then dried up in an oven or fried and granulated ?

My friend had the potage the topinambour...that was also very awsome... vive la creme d'antan a 42%.

For main, I had the betacarde ravioli (little gems), I'm gonna say Shitake (but they were small) and grilled fenouille....mmmm that was good, offically beats my favorites ravioli dish at Area. My friend had some kind of crepes with compotte d'ognion, asperges... but I concentrated on my plate the most. I am suspecting a good amount of butter in that betacarde ravioli, the betacrade could be lifted from a tiny squeeze of organic blood oranges or something as such, especially with the fenouille. One plate got my liver really going.

I think Les Chevres are on to a very nice approach on food. It would be however nice to see that staff take in as much of the concept than the chefs. These folks need to go out and weed a couple of organic farm for a day, get there hands dirty. In August, you need to ask your producer to take in those city slicking hands of theirs for a good week end in the fields. It may not be obvious for everyone that it was the second week of the local asparagus offering, sometimes I read the menu, I read a certain tomatoe genus on a plate. I sware to god, I have a catalogue of about 200 heirloom seeds and I have never heard that name before. The whole approach to vegetables, where they are coming from, how they are grown, why some should be consumed as organic while it may not matter for other types. All that information should be part of the philosophy and should transcend from the kitchen to the maitreD. It may be too simple to tell a mere Bernard street mortal that he is eating organic, others might want to understand why, others may not care one bit. I think all angles need to be looked at, but the produce never lie, I want to have more appreciation for the produce and every step should be taken to focus on that without having to be preachy or educational.

Finally we get dessert, damn this is the hotest dessert place in town, no question about it. I had a chocolate creme (was there truffle oil and butter in there ?) broiled babana's, my friend had a small almond and orange cup cake with star anise ice cream, super good. We got some nice little peppered pastry at the end, from the kitchen.

I asked for an allongee and got a double espresso, that's when we decided to call it a night. As we were leaving, we got another nice little peppered pastry, the guy started talking and I said: "let me guess, gracieusete de la cuisine" The waiter was so happy that I clued in on that, only to see his face drop one more time when I told him the kitchen had already graced us once...

Edited by identifiler (log)
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If I saw the Maitre d' at the bar having wine with friends while all these problems were going on, I'd consider walking out. :hmmm:

The Maitre d' should be the soul of the restaurant, not a mingler -- even if it's his day off.

Thanks for the report identifiler. The food sounds fantastic.

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I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get this on here.

Novelty for its own sake doesn’t last. For that to happen there must be substance behind it. Les Chevres in Montreal is a restaurant that combines novelty with substance. The novelty is the reliance on vegetables and fruit for the preponderance and direction of its cuisine. The substance is the taste and the satisfaction produced.

My wife and I enjoyed a special 13 course tasting menu with wine pairings this past Wednesday evening. The pleasure started upon our entrance, where we were greeted by the wonderfully charming restauranteur and food visionary Claude Beausoleil amidst a setting resembling a tropical paradise. The décor uses texture and color to set a mood of relaxed elegance that captures the spirit immediately upon entering. It is certainly not the fanciest restaurant design I’ve ever seen, but it is one of the most successful at capturing the spirit of the food served there.

We were started with an amuse of red pepper juice with a crouton that was simply and delightfully refreshing. The next course , fiddlehead fern and young radish salad with citrus reduction and tarragon oil provided nice contrasts of flavor and texture that were nicely balanced by a Vouvray Mousseux Brut “Le Hautlieu” by Huet. Yves Larose,, the sommelier, proved to be quite dexterous throughout the meal in finding superb matches with a cuisine notoriously difficult to match with wine.

The following two courses were matched with Sauvignon de Touraine, Clos Roche Blanc, Roussel et Barouillet 2001. This was a mineral laden Loire valley wine that was reminiscent more of a premier cru Chablis. It worked quite nicely with both courses, the first of which was summery tangela and black plum tomatos with three textures. It is not uncommon to me for good food to be extremely representative of a place and to transport my spirit to that place. It is much more uncommon, however, for food to transport me in time. The tomatoes brought me to late August. These were no insipid, vacuous minter-spring tomatoes. No these harbored the essence of late summer. Simple, but outstanding.

A sunchoke and vanilla soup with roasted cippolini onions and pecans followed with a marvelous balance of flavors. The vanilla was just enough to give depth and balance to the sunchoke with a tangy counterpoint from the onion and a crunch from the pecan.

An amazingly generous piece of duck foie gras was presented next with parsnip puree and chocolate crumble. This was paired with a Banyuls Reserve from Domaine de la Tour Vielle. The banyuls picked up the chocolate notes without a hitch and smoothed the way nicely for the fabulous foie gras. It was at this point that my wife and I both began to feel somewhat full. Hah!

The artichoke, potato and olive crumble served along with Coteaux de Languedoc Pic St. Loup, Chateau La Roque 2000, Jack Boutin kept us going while flying us to the Mediterranean in our mouths.

A lesser cuisine would certainly have done us in by now, however, the next course proved to be the course of the dinner. It was asparagus crepes (made with asparagus juice instead of milk) with wild mushrooms, salsify and truffle ragout. This course captured the essence of both the asparagus and the mushrooms in a way I’ve rarely encountered before for either, let alone both. We had continued with the Pic St. Loup for this course a well as the next.

By this time, we were getting so full that only a miracle would get us to enjoy another bite.The miracle did not come with the next course. While the swiss chard raviolis, fava beans, carrots and crosnes in curry sauce was good, it was not sufficiently good to get us to call forth the fit of superhuman gluttony that it would have taken to finish it. The miracle did come, however, when we began Patrice Demers desserts. They were all simply amazing – sweet and balanced without being cloying or harsh. We were started with avocado, lime and coconut milk foam served within an egg shell along with pineapple sorbet and carrot salad. The desserts were accompanied by Muscat de Rivesaltes 2000 from Domaine Cazes with light bubbles. Mango sorbet with cardamom flavored yogourt was served alongside a pistachio financier, that was perhaps the least memorable of the dessert courses. The financier was slightly dry and lacked a truly compelling flavor. It was the one dessert I could have done without. This was more than made up for by the next dessert, however. This was the jivara chocolate cream with caramelized banana and truffle flavored milk broth.Wow. At this point, I ws way over the top and too full to really notice or appreciate the mignardises.

I cannot say enough about the friendly and consummately professional service of both the waitstaff and the sommelier. The level of consideration and attentiveness was simply perfect. Congratulations to Claude, Stelio, Patrice,Yves and the rest of the staff on an incredible team effort. Run, do not walk to your telephone to make a reservation!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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That's a great review, truly describes the essence of the kitchen... it also is a good indication of the revolving flavors around a shifting menu. My pasta did not contain the same garnish, the asparagus crepes had a compote d'onion confit.

I can't believe you did not touch those cheese ! I was strictly prohibited from having them at the table under my pregnant friend's warnings...

It truly is a wonderful food experience. I was also very impressed with the sommelier's choices in wine, it is not an easy menu to pair with, especially the first time, since it's with complete mystery and anxiousness that you wonder which of the wonderfull ingredient in your plate will dictate the flavours. I'm going back there a soon as I have free time, plus weeknight... weeknight is always better to appreciate a restaurant (thursday my choice).

The tasting menu had a variable tomatoe plate, curious to find out of you had that and what kind of tomatoes were served.

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The cheese table was truly beautiful to behold, but it was not part of our tasting menu and by that time we were already so full that to even think about adding another course was in fact unthinkable.

We did have tomatoes as our first course after the amuse. They were exquisite as described in the report.

I don't get back to Montreal nearly as often as I would like. I am originally from Brooklyn. Right now my two favorite cities to visit in the eastern half of N.A. are New York and Montreal (I consider Chicago in the western half). Toronto, Philadelphia and Boston are runners-up.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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BTW, maybe I didn't get to see that menu long enough but I did not see any KID (babe goat) on the menu, there was foie gras (it was duck) which is highly recommended but was unavailable lat in the night, a fish and a organic pintade for game.

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i believe the KID arrivals are kind of on hold for a bit now... i believe the KID season is kind of winding down, as i understand. KID, i always laugh when i think about it. mmm... pan seared KID LOIN.

and the foie gras, yeah, it is selling like crazy man. tons of foie gras pass through those doors per week, it's madness!!!

"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

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and the foie gras, yeah, it is selling like crazy man.  tons of foie gras pass through those doors per week, it's madness!!!

But man is it good!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Had an absolutely wonderful meal at les chevre last week one of my favorite new restaurants . Me and my girlfriend ate like kings. Every dish was memorable, in particular the soup the foie gras (wow) and the chocolate mousse with truffled milk. It felt really good to be able to sit through a meal and be content without eating any fish or meat(except for the foie gras but that is an option, I could not resist...) The dishes were well explained through every course and highlighted by the Chefs talent to bring out the natural flavour and essence of every dish. Good luck in the future and I wiil be back very soon. Thanks for a great night.. Anthony

Edited by youngbro (log)
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  • 1 month later...
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  • 1 month later...

Dined out at Les Chevres a few weeks ago. Chose the tasting menu and was not particularly thrilled. My complaint is more with the texture of each dish or rather LACK OF. The first three courses were all moussy/puree variations, including a particularly dull mushroom flan. No outstanding flavors.

The somellier was slow, he totally missed one course he was planning to pair with a white burgundy. (This really ticked me off because it was the one wine we were really looking forward to ,'Jean de la Vigne'2001, Domaine Cordier). He did apologize and managed to serve us the burgundy later on.

The cheese course that was offered was a spin on a grilled cheese sandwich. Personally, with all those wonderful cheeses on display, I really would have preferred a simple cheese plate to finish.

I really want to like this place but its just not working for me. Anyone else feel this way? :unsure:

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