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Oct 25, 2007 08:00 AM

Hidden gem: Bouchees Gourmandes

I was in old Montreal with some friends on the weekend. We wanted a bit of lunch, but the wait at Olive and Gourmando was long as always, so we decided to try out Chocolaterie Bouchees Gourmandes which is across the street. It looks like a patisserie/chocolaterie, but they also serve daily specials which are listed on a large piece of paper at the front door. We decided to go for the brunch special for $35 dollars. They bring a bunch of food family style and you can feed 2-4 people easily on this special. We weren't expecting much, but boy were we pleasantly suprised!

We started with a small plate of smoked salmon garnished with onion and capers. The salmon was very high quality and delicious. There were no off-putting fishy smells, and the garnishes were perfect. A very well-executed classic. We then got a plate of cottage cheese with fresh fruit, all the fruit were fresh and flavourful, and carefully chosen. Again, very well-executed. Then other salads appeared. There was a plate of beet salad and celery remoulade, both fabulous. Then the plate of Boston lettuce with a shallot vinaigrette, again perfectly excecuted. We then had a seafood stew in a tomato Basque style sauce with shripms and scallops, all cooked to perfection and not overcooked. We then had a beautiful crepe with strawberries and chocolate sauce. What was striking about the whole meal was the attention to detail and high quality of the ingredients. The menu itself is simple fare, but everthing tasted fantastic and was obviously prepared with love!

We also had croissant with quince jam and caramel sauce, all made on the premises, and all fantastic. I could have finished the caramel sauce by myself! And I had the chausson au pomme, also made there. The apple sauce was not too sweet and had a very concentrated apple flavour. The pastry was incredibly flaky and buttery. The coffee is also excellent.

This is very well-prepared flavourful food and a very reasonable price. The service is slow, so only go when you have time to sit back and relax and enjoy the food. The whole place seems to be run by two people, and man and a woman, and they are attentive but not speedy. But enjoy the pace, the food is well worth the wait.

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  1. Wow, that sounds awesome! We will definitely check it out--thanks for sharing!

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodismyfriend

      A addendum to the original post: I forgot that we also got a cheese and herb omelette with the brunch which was light and fluffy and well-seasoned. I had forgotten that omelettes were not supposed to be rubbery and flavourless until I had a chance to have this omelette. I have not raved about an omelette like this before. The omelette came near the end of the spread, and by this time we were stuffed, but all of us forced ourselves to eat it because it was so good.

      Also: Just to clarify, the croissant and the chausson au pomme were purchased separately from the brunch (we did not need to get them, we were just being little piggies). But coffee seemed to be included in the brunch, as well as toasted baguette pieces.

    2. I have try this place too and I am agree with all what you say. We take the brunch and for two it was too much but so good!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Calembredaine

        Yes the big brunch special is huge and I think it could easily feed 3 people, and probably 4 people.

        I went again recently, but we didn't get the brunch, but we got an omelette and a ham and cheese crepe. Again, everything was wonderful. The chausson was also as delicious as I remembered.

        My problem is that I spend way too much when I go! If I just ate the lunch I'd be fine, but then I buy a jar of jam, some chocolates, last time, some jarred fois gras... The chocolates are fabulous and everything tastes homemade and special. It's all the extra stuff that runs up my bill... but it is worth every penny!

      2. I will wholeheartedly second moh's recommendation, Bouchees Gourmandes is the quintessential hidden gem, a great place to spend a lazy winter late morning or early afternoon.

        Their hot chocolate (valrhona-based) is as good as any served in Montreal. The service is very warm and attentive (albeit slow; the owners are a very hospitable French provincial couple.) In many ways the place is an anthithesis to Olive et Gourmando, where service is hurried and the vibe is more urbane (perhaps a bit on the pretentious side.)

        4 Replies
        1. re: MTLjam

          You know, I still haven't made it to Olive and Gourmando... I get side tracked by this place every time.

          I have to report that their take home products are also wonderful, if expensive. I bought a bunch of their caramel sauce for home, and it has rocketed to the top of my list of favorite things to smear on a day old toasted baguette. It is a very soft, smooth burnt caramel spread, much softer and less sticky than dulce de leche (which I also love). It spreads with the consistency of soft butter. It separates fairly easily, but it is easy to stir back into its original consistency.

          I also finally had the potted fois gras, which I believe they only prepare at Christmas. We scooped off the layer of duck fat (and used it to prepare pan-fried potatoes the next day - very decadent) and then cut off chunks to smear onto the cranberry Rainforest crisps - wonderful texture, wonderful flavour, very simple and rustic yet so completely luxurious.

          These people make their food with love. You can taste it is every bite.

          I have this feeling I will never make it to Olive and Gourmando.

          1. re: moh

            Oh, for shame, moh! I can't believe you haven't made it to O&G yet - once you finally get there, you'll realise what you've been missing...

            1. re: cherylmtl

              And moh - if you're into chocolate - and given your past hot chocolate posts, I cannot imagine you aren't - I highly recommend you go on a Friday and try the Valhrona chocolate-chocolate brioche. And of course, the "crack brownie." Oh, and the apple-cinnamon brioche kicks ass as well. Sigh. Having O+G around the corner is the *only* reason I sometimes still wish I worked in Old Montreal. Do report back when you finally make it. You won't regret it. You may only regret you waited so long. ;-)

              1. re: kpzoo

                You may also regret it if you go too late and they are out of the Cuban, or any of the sweet stuff.

        2. Thanks for sharing this---we finally made it there a few weeks back and had a lovely meal. Same offering as what you described above, but we were given duck confit instead of the seafood stew. As you say, tons of food which three of us shared, all very nicely prepared. The only sad part was that I was sitting by the door, and my wallet was stolen out of my purse which I had, without thinking, left on the floor. Keep your eyes on your bag and you should be fine:)

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodismyfriend

            Oh dear! I am very sorry to hear about your wallet, that really sucks...

          2. Glaff reported in the Restaurant Closures 2008 thread that Bouchees Gourmandes closed this week. This is true, they have closed, but I have some hopeful news.

            I dropped by Bouchees Gourmandes this morning, and the chef was there with a friend, clearing out the place. I asked him what was happening. They were having problems with their landlord, but they are intending to look for a new place and try to reopen within about a month. They intend to keep the same name and phone number. He looked to be in good health, and looked cheerful. So.... I am hopeful they are planning to reopen soon, and I will keep my eyes peeled. I told him he had to reopen, or I would be heartbroken!

            1 Reply
            1. re: moh

              That's very hopeful news. Wishing them the best of luck.