He is the man of the dreams of any foodie: inked with tattooes of food all over his arms, speaking in an adorable accent and he is a genius in the kitchen. Oh, did I mention that he is gorgeous :) Since his opening of the restaurant Garde-Manger, Chuck Hughes' popularity has not stopped growing. And of course, his own show on the Food Network only propelled him higher!!! And if that was not enough, he recently won over Bobby Flay in the Iron Chef America! How hotter can he get?!?
Although it is Montreal's worst kept secret, Garde-Manger is awfully well hidden. You literally have to peek inside the door to see the name of the restaurant. Otherwise, you'll have loads of fun looking for it!
Once you get into the restaurant, you get the feel of a young and vibrant energy right away. The menu figures on a blackboard and features fresh local ingredients. The waiter greets us right away with water, bread and caramelized onion and chipotle cream cheese instead of butter. We start off by ordering drinks: without a doubt, I HAD to order the giant caesar with the crab leg :) And oh how satisfying it was to munch on the crab while taking a sip of the well seasoned drink. For appetizers, we ordered a small plate of seafood to share and the oh-so-famour lobster poutine. Now, the plate of seafood is supposed to include shrimps, oysters and crab legs enough for 4 persons. The shrimps were somehow missing and were replaced by scallops. Noticing the mistake, the waiter brought us an extra plate of shrimp to compensate. The seafood was good, but nothing out of extraordinary though. As for the lobster poutine, which was one of the dish of Chuck on ICA, I think we had a different version of it. According to his cookbook, the sauce should be made of lobster broth thus impregnating it with the crustacean's flavor... which was not the case for our dish. It unfortunately tasted like an everyday poutine with chunks of lobster (they were at least quite sweet and i adored the texture!).
As for the dinner, I ordered the Kamouraska lamb chops, with Cigares au Chou, mint and honey sauce. The lamb chops were melting in my mouth while the mintyness of the sauce enhanced its unique flavor. The Cigares au Chou which consists of stuffed cabbage leaves with a mixture of ground meat and rice were unexpectedly awesome! This dish is usually not the fanciest and never really appealed to me. But oh my my were those stuffed cabbage ever so juicy and perfectly balanced to add enough character to the dish! Miammm!!!! As for my friends, most of them were highly satisfied with their choices. The highlights of their dishes: the bacon from the scallop plate was so thick and massive that it would have wowed the guys from EpicMealTime, the seabass 'en croûte' was pleasantly crunchy on the outside while revealing a tender and flavorful meat inside enhanced by the smoked tomato dressing, the fried cheddar from the tomato and avocado salad brought salad to another level while the duck was just plainly phenomenal.
To satisfy our sweet tooth, we ordered THE fried Mars bar and the decadent homemade brownie, both are served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Let me say, those are suicide items for any diabetic patient and will cause a relapse for a sugar addict. That being said, the Mars bar was sinfully good. The caramel just melts into the chocolate and man! what a feeling it gives to the taste buds! But it definitely needs to be shared or a heart attack is guaranteed! No. Actually, the brownie is much worse! It is covered with chocolate syrup and hot marshmallow! Decadent, rich, overwhelming, this dessert would not fail a chocolate lover! Its high quality cocoa combined with its desired texture would justify this phrase: '9 persons out of 10 love chocolate, the tenth person is lying.' But again, a tea, a coffee or a glass of milk is highly recommended.
The evening was just perfect, the service absolutely impeccable, the food was great. However, when the moment came to pay, it got a little complicated. Garde-Manger unfortunately gives only one bill per table, no negotiation. Yes, we were warned during the reservation. But since most of us shared plates and we all ordered differently priced dishes, it necessitated calculators to properly evaluate the price, the tax and the tips of each. I found it disappointing to end the night like so. Most of my guest were irritated by this. Nonetheless, I highly appreciated my experience and will recommend strongly this restaurant.
Ah et le bar croûté et sa salade de chou vinaigrette de tomate fumée...délicieux !ReplyDelete
You're invited to meet celebrity chef Chuck Hughes, owner of restaurant Garde-Manger and host of the TV show Chuck's Day Off. Chuck will be supporting Team RockStarr's Faceoff for a Cure charity hockey game on Saturday April 30th at 7pm at the LCC arena located at 4099 Royal Avenue, NDG.ReplyDelete
The game between the LCC Lions and the CTV Sports Knights will feature Chuck as a guest player. After the game, Chuck will hold a meet and greet with fans. You could also win a copy of his newest cookbook or a gift certificate to Garde-Manger in the raffle.
Tickets are only $5 and may be purchased at the door. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Segal Cancer Center through the Montreal Weekend to End Women's Cancers.
For more information, please visit www.teamrockstarr.com or http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=211693705523287.
Hope to see you on April 30th!