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Cabane a Sucre Recommendations?

It's that time of year again--or will be, soon enough. I can hardly wait and have started thinking of where I'll end up this year. Any recommendations? I'd rather not do the Toit Rouge again...I was thinking something a little more edible, high end maybe? Any thoughts?

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  1. hmm...for what it’s worth, here's a nice place I saw on-line ( just to let you know, i've never been). I was thinking of going this year...has anyone else been? Small, family run and all organic. It's not that much more expensive than your standard place...may be a tad far though...

    http://fermelecrepuscule.com/

    3 Replies
    1. re: Arktik

      Hi Arktik! We're considering Sucrerie de la Montagne for our wedding too, and I wondered if you could give some more info on your experience. Would you happen to have any pictures you'd be willing to share?
      Thanks!

      1. re: bubble77

        Hi Bubble77,

        we're considering having our wedding there, how was your experience/food? It's such a pretty place but I want to make sure the food was good :)

        thanks!

        1. re: strong

          Thanks strong! I'll look it up :)

    2. I have to say, the food at Sucrerie de la Montagne is pretty darn good.
      http://www.sucreriedelamontagne.com/e...
      We got married there because 1) it was in a country setting which was stunning in the fall, and 2) because it was the kookiest idea we could think of. It was fabulous. Beat the heck out of any cookie-cutter reception hall. People had a great time, and the food was way above the usual wedding fare.
      All this to say they do a really good cabane too.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bomobob

        had a very delicious meal at Sucrerie de la Montagne last year, would second this option. The Tourtiere was particularly memorable.But I didn't have to eat until the next day...

        Looking forward to hearing any reviews on the place Arktik mentioned, sounds very intriguing...

        Bring on the season of the syrup and pork products! Makes living through this crazy winter worth it.

        1. re: bomobob

          I went there this Saturday and hated it! Although the setting is quite beautiful and traditional looking the food was certainly not up to par.

          We had a tasteless "soupe aux pois", watery eggs ( I don't even understand how that's possible), and just generally underseasoned food i.e tourtiere, potatoes etc... So... since it is more expensive than most but does not deliver on the food which I think takes precedence over the rusticity. I would certainly give this place a pass.

          1. re: bomobob

            Hi bomobob,

            I'm so happy to have found someone that got married there :) Can you tell me more about your experience and the quality of the food?

            thanks for your help!

          2. Sucrerie des Gallants (http://www.gallant.qc.ca) in Rigaud is very good, and the setting is lovely. The wood log pavilion was built with maple trees brought down by the ice storm. The meal is buffet style.

            Sucrerie de la Montagne has a charming traditional decor, but I would rate its food below that of les Gallant.

            Ferme le Crepuscule only does its sugar shack for groups, and upon reservation only. I have never been, but my area coordinator for drop-offs organises a yearly trip.

            19 Replies
            1. re: Venusia

              I've been to Sucrerie des Gallants many times because I couldn't find another cabane a sucre that has the same quality of food. However, I want to bring some of my non-Canadian friends to experience cabane a sucre and see how the syrup is made but des Gallants does not have guided visit where you can see the syrup being made.

              So, I am looking for a cabane a sucre that is not touristy, with quality of food at least as good as des Gallants but with guided visit where you can see how the syrup is made. Do you have any other recommendation?

              1. re: Charminglamb

                I'm not sure. Des Gallant is an owner-chef auberge and the cuisine and ingredient quality are accordingly of a higher level that the home cooking you'll find at other seasonal sugar shacks. I know de la Montagne has a guided tour of their syrup-making operations, but most of the time they are not operating and they just show the equipment and how it would be used to make syrup. Keep in mind that the sap hasn't started to flow yet, you need 4 C days.

                I've heard there

                1. re: Venusia

                  That would be around June this year, the way things are going ;-)

                2. re: strong

                  I was at Gallant today.
                  It was (based solely on my previous c.a.s. experiences) surprisingly good.
                  Although I haven't been to a cabane a sucre in many years, this was nothing like other cabanes that I went to in the past.
                  WAAAY better in terms of the atmosphere (bright, cheery, clean) and of course the food. Very good quality ingredients and preparation. Not heavy, slathered in over-sweetened syrup and buttery sauces. Great value for lunch, $18 + tx which included, iirc, pea soup, ham, sausages, baked beans, fluffy omelet, meatballs, tortiere, roasted potatoes, bread, some cold salads like potato, cole slaw, marinated beets and onions, etc, 4 or 5 desserts including and apple crepe, maple sugar pie, tea/coffee and all you can pull 'tire'.
                  Doable for my lacto-ovo vegetarian friend who picked out a bit of meat or two from the soup and beans, enjoyed the omelet, salads and desserts and skipped the obviious meat dishes.
                  The service was warm, efficient and comfortably bilingual, they left the impression that they really enjoyed their jobs and were happy to welcome you.
                  It was kind of early, both in the day and season so it wasn't very crowded but I could see how reservations would be necessary.
                  Highly recommended. Planning a return, perhaps with a spa visit too :)

                  1. re: HungryLurker

                    It seems I am the only one that was disappointed with the buffet style format! The one time I went with my friends I found that the food wasn`t the greatest...or maybe it was because it was servied like in the all you can eat restaurants...

                    1. re: MissRocki

                      I mostly agree. The food at Gallant is pretty good but it just feels like eating from a maple-themed breakfast buffet at some hotel. Not at all the cabane experience that I crave. Absolutely without any spirit to it.

                3. re: Venusia

                  "Ferme le Crepuscule only does its sugar shack for groups, and upon reservation only. I have never been, but my area coordinator for drop-offs organises a yearly trip."

                  Can you elaborate a bit more on this, please? Is there some place that I can sign up for a trip to and back from a Cabana a Sucre? I haven't been in years, and would like to go. Unfortunately, I don't have a car, and the people that I know that do are not interested in going to a CAS.

                  Also, wasn't there mention of a Cabane a Sucre type resto in Montreal? I seem to recall reading about one in another thread here on this board.

                  1. re: Chai Latte

                    «Also, wasn't there mention of a Cabane a Sucre type resto in Montreal? I seem to recall reading about one in another thread here on this board.»

                    www.chowhound.com/topics/393836

                    ...not that it will be much help.

                    1. re: Chai Latte

                      Theme restaurant (oy vey!) Le Cabaret du Roy in Marché Bonsecours offers a sugar shack package. I couldn't tell you if it's good or not as I have a dangerous allergy to theme restaurants.

                      http://www.oyez.ca/Cabaret/f_cabane_e...

                      1. re: SnackHappy

                        Thanks, SnackHappy. If I can't find any other option, I just may try this place.

                      2. re: Chai Latte

                        Sorry, I should have been more specific. The coordinator takes names and makes a group reservation, but everyone is responsible for their own transportation, although I'm sure there would be people willing to carpool.

                        Here, I just googled "cabane a sucre bus trip" and I came up with: http://montreal.kijiji.ca/c-events-Ca...
                        It's pricey, but you are also paying for transportation.

                        1. re: Venusia

                          Thanks, Venusia. The price isn't that bad when you consider that it covers transportation, meal, and sleigh ride.

                          BTW, on a slightly tangential note, while reading this Saturday's classifieds in The Gazette, I noticed an add for buying maple syrup direct from the producer. Most of us get our maple syrup from JTM or Atwater Market vendors, but I guess if anyone wants/needs to buy in bulk, this may be a point of inquiry.

                          1. re: Chai Latte

                            This may be worth investigating. We get our syrup every spring from a close friend who knows a producer very well. This guy sells his regular syrup to the co-op, but he keeps the superior grade (AAA) for friends and family. This is the stuff you can't buy in stores, and is about 10 dB better than anything we've ever tasted. We've been buying it from him for 5 years now, and it's like...like...I can't even describe it. This stuff is so amazing. Essence of maple. The sweetness seems to slip in behind the maple when you're not paying attention.

                            1. re: bomobob

                              Interesting - I'll have to ask about AAA. We buy from the producer as well, but we tend to gravitate towards the C and D varieties, also not easy to find in stores. Darker, richer and a deeper flavor than your common A-B grades.

                              1. re: CroqueMadame

                                This is quite light in colour most years, but has a base note that makes you feel like you've turned into a maple tree...intense. In my experience, the darker the syrup, the raunchier it gets. Still maple-y, but also kind of sickly sweet.
                                The first time we tasted it, we almost polished off the first can with two spoons. It was like nothing we'd ever tasted before.

                                1. re: bomobob

                                  Bomobob, I'm beginning to think that there is a lot of variation between one producer to another. More than the "coop" would like us to believe. For instance, we were at a B&B in Anse-St-Jean about a year and a half ago. They served "C" grade syrup. Let me tell you, it was disgusting, it was thick, sickeningly sweet, reminiscent of molasses (yuck!). Almost what you describe in your post. Whereas, the producer from who we purchase our C + D syrup, their product is downright thin (in terms of viscosity), not overly sweet, but simply a deeper darker, more layered maple-y taste.

                                  1. re: CroqueMadame

                                    You know, I don't think there are any well defined standards, except maybe for colour. My friend designed an opacity sensor for the producer, and I'm pretty sure the light-dark range is the main determining factor in grading. The darker syrup has more suspended particles than the lighter stuff, but it's true that it's not necessarily a measure of taste.

                                    As you've no doubt found, the good stuff, whatever it looks like, makes even the best store-bought product taste like telephone pole syrup.

                              2. re: bomobob

                                Well, if anybody's interested in purchasing maple syrup direct from the producer, go to:

                                www.lessucreriesideales.ca

                                This company, Ideal Sweets, also produces butter, smoked salmon, and other goods. They are located in Ham-Nord, QC. You can see the catalog, but they don't list their prices. To order, you have to create an online account on their website. This company has won some awards for their maple syrup.

                                1. re: Chai Latte

                                  Yikes! 13 bucks for 500ml.

                                  I don't think so :)

                      3. Today marks the start of cabane à sucre season! Will probably make my way to les Gallants in the next couple of weekends.

                        Interesting article (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/mag...) in the NY Times on Marc Séguin's tree-tapping and sugar shack meal with Martin Picard etc.

                        Probably not a project for this year, but I do have 7 sugar maples on my property that are each 2-3 feet in diameter. I'm sure I could put several buckets on each tree. Would anyone know if it would be worthwhile for me to eventually rent an evaporator and try tapping my own trees? I don't even know where one could get this sort of equipment in Montreal.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Venusia

                          Howdy!

                          If you don't need the manuals, I'd suggest craigslist or Kiijii. If you want the manuals,
                          http://www.leaderevaporator.com/ or if you want something more local:
                          http://www.siropderable.ca/

                          1. re: zekesgallery

                            Thanks! Hum, I see I have to research this a bit, not sure I want to spend 100s of $$$ to make my own syrup. Maybe I can get some used old style equipment at Finnegan's market this summer. Maybe I can just tap one tree and boil a pot on the BBQ for the fun of it. I'll have to try it one day, I cannot have all these maple trees for nothing!

                            1. re: Venusia

                              You could do it on your stove top, even if you tap all your trees. You have to boil the sap every day, so it should all fit in one big stock pot.

                        2. I have go two times to Le Domaine des cerfs in Chertsey and it is delicious. It is a little place, very calm but beautiful. You can do hiking in the mountain and see chevreuils.
                          http://www.domainedescerfs.com/fr/eve...

                          Near Quebec city, I recommand Passions gourmandes http://www.passionsgourmandes.com/

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Calembredaine

                            What are their prices? I can't find them anywhere.
                            I think the roast caribou dinner will be enough to draw me out of the city.

                            1. re: Moosemeat

                              I remember that the price is similar to other place (cabane à sucre) or just a little more... Be careful, the caribou is on the menu champêtre not on the menu cabane à sucre. ;-) Everything is excellent and serve in assiettes de porcelaine.