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Mont Tremblant report

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I didn't find much info on eating in the Mt Tremblant area before a quick trip we took up there last week, so here's a report on what we found.

We stayed at a B&B near the old village of Mt. Tremblant, about 2 km from the ski village. The old village is small, charming and sits at the edge of Lac Mercier. In an area that is generally overbuilt with resorts and hype, this village has a refreshingly low key, human scale atmosphere. We were also surprised to realize that it appeared to have a concentration of the best restarants in the area. It's also a great place to x-country ski with a network of trails where you could ski for days. The convenient local bus service provides service to the ski mountain and to other resorts in the area.

At our inn-keeper's recommendation we had our first dinner at Le Bernardin, the restarant at the Hotel Mont-Tremblant near the lake at the heart of the village. In keeping with its reputation as a favorite with the locals, we found the restaurant to be very comfortable and a good value. Our price fix dinners were $16 - $20 CA, including appetizer, main dish, dessert and coffee. After skiing in the cold, the good, well-presented bistro cooking felt especially nourishing in more ways than one. There was a delicious vegetarian option and the restaurant claims to emphasize seasonal cooking. The small hotel has breakfast/dinner packages for $70-80/person.

Next to le Bernardin there's an Italian resto with red checkered table cloths that another couple staying at our B&B highly recommended. They said the restaurant wasn't fancy but the food was excellent. I don't remember the name.

We checked out the Cayenne Grill on our second night -- a high energy restaurant featuring fusion tapas etc., influenced by spicy dishes from around the world. We hadn't made reservations and even mid-week on a sub-zero night the place was packed so we sat at the bar and enjoyed tapas, getting good service from the friendly bartender. The dishes were very inventive and tasty -- ostrich carpaccio, roasted vegetables with truffle oil, pancetta wrapped dates. We had been warned that the prices were inflated but sticking just to tapas and glasses of wine our bill was in line with a normal night out.

On the way back we stopped at the Far Hills x-country ski area in Val Morin, which was lovely, quiet place to ski. We looped around on the trails, skiing up to the Far Hills Inn for lunch. The dining room was nearly empty, and the food was basic lunch fare but we thoroughly enjoyed it -- sitting in the warm, sunny dining room with a long view of the far hills, with white table cloths and china. Sometimes it's more about the setting than the food... Dare I admit that on Chowhound?

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