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Le Club Chasse et Peche - a review (longish b/c it was unbelievable!)

I should start by saying that what makes this restaurant phenomenal is not just the unbelievable food, it is the impecable service paired with a complete lack of attitude. There were some very beautiful people eating all around us (I swear I recognized some minor celebs)and some folks who clearly had some cash to burn. No one was in suits, but the casual outfits on display were not cheap.

We came in, clearly not among these glitterati, and were treated with incredible respect. Lambert and the rest of the staff made us feel completely welcome and as if their only purpose that night was to serve our table. We gave ourselves over to Lambert, letting him choose our dinner for us. When ordering wine he asked our wine budget and suggested that we let him pair our wine with each individual course instead, and we happily agreed.

We started with champagne (it is our honeymoon!) and he brought out oysters to go with it. They were New Brunswick oysters, mildly salty. Two were plain, two were topped with creme friache and caviar and the final two were baked with cheese and chorizo.

Next came scallops, just barely cooked, seared on top and topped with a lemon creme sauce and resting on a fennel and garlic puree sauce. The effect all together was like eating scallops in merangue. These were paired with a lovely gewuertztraminer.

We shared two main courses. The first was duck, paired with a St. Emilion. (The duck up here is quite gamey - not sure how I feel about it.) It came with a little confit, a tiny bit of mashed potatoes, and a black truffle, which we cut up and mixed in with the confit/potato. Un-frickin-believable. The magic of the dishes is that each ingredient blends perfectly with the others, but is completely memorable in and of itself. I can name every vegetable that came with the duck, I think - a lovely little carrot, a white radish, a golden beet. I actually wanted to lie down on the floor with bliss at this point,(although the glass of wine with every course may have had something to do with that as well).

Next came beef, paired with a granache/cab-sav blend. The sauce was lovely, and included lima beans and pearl onions - two vegetables I care little for, normally, but were done perfectly here. They brought out another slice of their fantastic bread (crisp and flakey crust, whole grain bread...yum) to mop up the juice with. This also came with a little plate of vegetables: A little mound of corn and tomato succotash, a parsnip puree, and a fig (what a fig!) baked with gorgonzola.

A cheese course followed, with another glass of the gewuerztraminer. A spanish, a swiss and a french cheese. I have to say, the first two were a nice sort of palette cleanser more than anything, with only the french cheese standing out.

Dessert for me was a chocolate cakey thing with whipped cream and walnuts. My husband had a shortcake tart with wild blackberries and blueberries. We ordered port to go with it - our only mistake. We should have asked the staff what to have. The port was lovely, it just didn't go with the dessert in the symphonic way all the other wines before had gone with the food.

We paid $300, and will scrimp and save to do it again. It was a perfect combination of theater, fantastic food and highly trained and professional servers all done with a completely chill attitude that I have yet to see anywhere else.

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  1. Great review, commie hound! Your report had me drooling. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. (Note to self: Must book reservation at CC&P soon!)

    1. I second everything you wrote!
      I brought my boyfriend there for his birthday last year and we had the most wonderful evening, every bite was orgasmic. really, I never ate that good!
      the stunning interior design was done by Bruno Braün. ( who designed BILY KUN on mont-royal and HB BAR ROOM in the cute little village of Ste-Thérèse up north)

      I am so happy this place is getting all the credit it deserves...
      I have my boyfriends birthday on saturday again, and this year, I know I wont be able to top that experience *if anyone has a suggestion, let me know!

      1 Reply
      1. re: jennina

        Fow a completely different...but oh so good experience, maybe you could try Raza on Laurier? South American chef Mario Naverette makes a fine and revisited version of his native country's typical food. Loved it.

      2. thats hilarious (and coincidental!),
        he brought me there for my birthday in february,
        we have a type of competition going on!!
        yes, I loved Raza too, I think I will reserve at Anise,
        We have never been...and I hear its quite a magical experience...

        1. It sounds like the perfect honeymoon diner! I know exactly how you feel. My partner and I went there and had such a wonderful meal we felt like laughing with pleasure. Every bit of the meal, from the tongue in (cod) cheek decor to the owners gathered around our table to talk about an inexpensive bottle of wine to the creative, lovely food makes this a restaurant these Torontonians envy...And, happily, we went into the (spotless and organized) kitchen afterward. Wonderfully humble chef!

          1 Reply
          1. re: duckliver

            We've already made reservations for when we're in Montreal in September. After reading this review, I'm not sure we can wait 'til then! Thank you for posting it!

          2. Do you think that Club Chasse et Pêche would do for a single diner on an odd night or did it seem especially couply? I'm spending some time in Montreal (from Boston) and am looking for a $100-$250 meal pp. I've been disappointed with Bonaparte's, didn't like the menu at Brumoise (sp?) and like Chez l'Epicier, but want something on a higher level this time.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sailormouth

              I've heard some good reviews of Toqué, but I've not personally eaten there.

              1. re: sailormouth

                Even though Toqué serves excellent food (haven't tried the new location though) I think Le Club Chasse et Pêche would be better suited for a single diner. The food is as amazing as Commie Hound reported, the staff is very helpful and it isn't what I would call couply. You vould probably get a seat at the bar and enjoy a really nice evening. I've had the most extraordinary nights there. It easily fits your budget too.

                1. re: Simon Patrice

                  Thanks for your help! and, one last question and I hope you don't think I'm being horribly provincial, but can I expect most Montreal restos to be open on Sundays and Mondays?

                  1. re: sailormouth

                    No, most are either closed Sunday, Monday, or both. Le Club Chasse et Peche, for example, is closed both Sunday and Monday. The same is true for Toqué. This topic has come up many times on this forum. Do a search. You should be able to find lists of restos that are open Sunday or Monday.

              2. Thank you all so much! Looks like Chez L'Epicier again, which is by no means a complaint. I must say I was little surprised about the volume of "Sunday in Montreal" threads.

                1. Thanks all. Went to Chez l'Epicier and got the tasting menu. Lovely carrot soup amuse bouche, nice but boring pea soup preceded a too artsy cauliflour and salmon dish served in tiny jar. An absolutely fabulous foie gras mousse with chanterelles in a red wine sauce. A very good duck dish had grits (or hominy) along with berries and lima beans and a very boring tray of four different desserts. I sat at the bar, where the bartender was nice, but not very helpful except for undercharging me for the wine.

                  I walked by au Pied du Cochon and it will definately be a priority next time I'm in town. Thanks again!

                  1. Thank you for the suggestion!! We went to Le Club Chasse et Peche last night and were very pleased. I’ll try not to repeat comments already made, but rather fill in more detail.

                    First, there’s no sign on the door. So remember the address: 423 St. Claude.

                    What makes the interior design work is the consistent color palette and the cohesiveness of texture. They could improve the light fixtures.

                    We went in casual clothes on a Saturday and were very underdressed. At most tables, the men wore jackets and many had ties. The crowd was decidedly older, but this may have been due to a large group seemingly celebrating a milestone. Despite our dress, we were treated with total respect and care. I would have felt more comfortable dressing up a little, though.

                    The menu has about 16 items total. It’s refreshingly small, but extremely difficult to select from. Every single dish looks delicious in writing, and the waiter brings the words to life as he describes each one further. The wine list, while deep enough in variety, has predominately young wines. In order to get to a good vintage, they’re asking you to spend hundreds of dollars per bottle. We settled for a couple of bottles of Barolo at about $160 per bottle.

                    Without repeating the detail previously provided by commie hound, I’ll second the oyster recommendation. They are delicious. Start with the fresh, and work toward the baked.

                    I’m not a big fan of foie gras (I know... blasphemy), but this version I really liked. It had a crust on one side which gave it a little more of a bite than I’ve had before. I think that allowed me to focus less on the texture and more on the taste, and I really enjoyed it. It’s served with white and red figs and a little piece of honeycomb. We also dipped the bread into the drizzled honey after we ate the dish, and that was a nice bonus.

                    The tuna sashimi is wrapped around baby white asparagus and then topped with a veal jus. I would never have put veal jus over sashimi, but it worked perfectly. The sauce somehow made it taste kind of creamy.

                    The chanterelle tart was unbelievable. The mushrooms were perfect: not waterlogged, and not all shriveled up. And the sauce was deep and rich and delicious. The crust, too, was done perfectly. It was thin enough to remain light and not detract from the mushroom flavors, yet strong enough to provide a nice shape for the dish.

                    Like the foie gras, the sweetbreads had a crust to it. This served to add texture, as well as caramelizing it slightly to add a beautiful richness.

                    The Chasse et Peche dish for this evening was Kobe beef and a half lobster. It was served with a small roasted Portobello mushroom and a spinach ravioli. The beef was served seared rare. The crust was delightfully tasty and the rare meat was very tender, as expected. The flavor was good. The lobster was thankfully small, and correspondingly quite flavorful.

                    We also ordered the vegetable plate, which came with (1) a delicious potato salad with bacon bits in there, (2) a mixture of chick peas covered with a very light and mild curry sauce and (3) a wonderfully light puree of parsley roots and leaves. This went especially well with the rich sweetbreads and Kobe beef.

                    For dessert, we got a cheese plate, which had a very nice soft Quebec cheese, a tangy white goat cheese and a stinky French cow cheese.

                    Overall, this meal was outstanding. The food was creative and prepared well; and the presentation was very elegant. The service was friendly and accommodating; and the ambience was exactly what I like: Not too loud, but not silent, either... Not too light, but not so dark you can’t see what you’re eating.

                    It’s a little pricey, though. For three it was $680 including wine, before tip.

                    I would recommend this restaurant for a special event or to subtly impress someone, or even just to treat yourself to an occasional very nice evening. Reservations suggested, if not required.

                    Club Chasse et Peche
                    423, rue Saint-Claude, corner of Saint-Paul
                    Old Montreal
                    (514) 861-1222

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lil mikey

                      Your conclusion that's it's pricey at $680 is a bit misleading, considering that you got "a couple of bottles of Barolo at about $160 per bottle" which means you spent almost half of that total on the wine!

                      1. re: eoj

                        For another data point, I was there last Saturday with 4 others and our pre-tip bill was under $500. Only three drank wine, but it was paired by the glass (which is more expensive than buying a bottle or two to share). The person who looked at the wine list told me that decent bottles of wine could be bought for between $40 to $60. We had an average of three courses each (one had cheese, two had dessert, one had both, one had neither). The food was wonderful and the service charming. If I had to pick a minor weak point it would be the dessert.

                    2. Yeah, I see your point. But it was still over $100 per person, before wine and tip... For me, that's pricey. Worth the money, but pricey.

                      1. Four of us 30-ish Manhattanites went to Chasse et Peche in Nov'05 during a long weekend in Montreal. We had the same lovely experience as Commie Hound. We had a great table, ordered lots of wine and drinks and had a blast. We'd loved the ambiance - not too subdued, but not some party scene either (we went out for that after) it was a perfect anchor to our evening in the old town.