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Lemeac - a let down

m
maisonbistro Jun 6, 2009 08:47 AM

So, trying to rekindle the romance, we went out for a late night dinner last night. A few weeks ago it was a movie (Star Trek - if you are old like me and grew up with Captain Kirk and .Bones - you will LOVE IT) and dinner at Chez Levesque and last night it was just dinner at Lemeac - their after 10:00 menu. I've been to Lemeac a few times and always had a good experience so I do have basis for comparison - although it was my first time for the after 10. I don't know if the kitchen personnel switches over for the later night crowd or what, but the food and service were uninspired. There was just no zingg and if this were the first I was there, I wouldn't necessarily be inclined to go back. I had the minestrone with sausage (one paltry slice of maybe chorizo?) in a bland broth with crunchy veg (the veg were the good part), my husband had the tian of veg. with aged raw milk cheddar. Hmmm, where's the cheese? His main was beef tartare - which he claimed was quite dull and expected this since the waitress never asked him how spicy he wanted it so I'm assuming it's not made to order. A recently sampled tartare at Holder was markedly tastier. I had a salad tiede which was fine, but bland. I woulnd't say it was bad, but it was bland.

Since it was late, I didn't really want to stuff my face with the Pain Perdu, so I settled for a close second of the grilled pineapple. Alas and alack to my surprise, it was nothing like I remembered it, thinly sliced perfectly grilled pieced of pineapple layered with uber thin gingerbread - but this was just diced pineapple, which I don't think had seen a grill with a ginger thing and a quenelle of very good vanilla ice cream (I had asked to replace the anise flavoured one).

So overall, a very uninspiring meal. The service was also lackluster and uninterested.

Has anyone else had this kind of experience with the after 10 scene???

  1. e
    Evilbanana11 Jun 6, 2009 01:24 PM

    Didn't they change chefs recently?

    11 Replies
    1. re: Evilbanana11
      m
      maisonbistro Jun 6, 2009 02:32 PM

      Yes, you are right, but it's the chef from Le Local I believe who is now there, and I was expecting him to maintain the quality and oomph of his predecessor. In my humble opinion, if you are going to keep the same menu, to you need to prepare is with the same skill and flair (and I so don't mean presentation - but flair in the flavours).

      1. re: maisonbistro
        cherylmtl Jun 6, 2009 06:23 PM

        We ate there on Thursday - the first time I've been since the chef changed - and the food was definitely not up to the quality it's been on previous visits. Hubby had the tartare, and complained about it being too bland. I had the souris d'agneau (one of the specials of the day) with polenta and tarragon, and found the strong flavour of the tarragon overwhelmed everything else on the plate - to the point where I couldn't finish it. This is not a good thing...

        1. re: cherylmtl
          m
          maisonbistro Jun 6, 2009 07:29 PM

          Oh no, I was hoping I had just been there on an off night, or maybe we were just off. But this does not bode well indeed. I hope things pick up, because I really like Lemeac. I will give them another try during the summer.

          1. re: maisonbistro
            w
            weinerdog Jun 7, 2009 06:53 AM

            Say it aint so...am coming to town this week and have reservations at Lemeac! Been looking so forward to it, so hopefully things will get better. Any one else with recent experience? And any idea what their Salmon Pot au feu is?

            Cheers

            1. re: weinerdog
              carswell Jun 7, 2009 07:08 AM

              A large covered bowl of rich chicken broth in which are found various root vegetables (fingerling potatoes, carrot, turnip, etc.), a couple of green onions (scallions) and a sizeable slice of skinless salmon fillet poached in the broth. Somewhat plain (some would say boring) but homey and comforting, light but filling.

              1. re: carswell
                Alyson777 Jun 7, 2009 02:12 PM

                My favorite dish at Lemeac is the salmon pot au feu!!! I find a lot of their dishes somewhat plain but like you said.. homey and comforting

                1. re: Alyson777
                  w
                  weinerdog Jun 7, 2009 04:48 PM

                  Thanks! My wife was checking out the menu on line and asked...I'm going for the steak frites!

                  1. re: weinerdog
                    m
                    maisonbistro Jun 7, 2009 05:44 PM

                    Oh yeah, my order of fries (come on, I was having a salad after all) were nowhere near what they used to serve. Soggy and lackluster. I left more than half - and really, I rarely do that with good fries.

        2. re: maisonbistro
          e
          eat2much Jun 9, 2009 11:23 AM

          Just to clarify...Lemeac's former chef is now at Le Local....Le Local's former chef is at Bar & Boeuf. I'm not sure who is running the Lemeac kitchen.

          1. re: eat2much
            carswell Jun 10, 2009 02:08 PM

            «I'm not sure who is running the Lemeac kitchen.»

            Éric Dupuis. Formerly chef at Decca77 and Pullman. Before that, sous-chef at Leméac (go figure).

            www.cuisineduquebec.com/chef/dupuis-eric

            1. re: carswell
              wizpers Jul 19, 2009 04:34 AM

              THE chef never changed, only the executive chef changed... Richard Bastien is one of the owners...so....
              This place seats 350 -425 costumers every night...

      2. hungryann Jul 19, 2009 09:07 AM

        We were there last week and everything was up too snuff. I did not notice any drop in quality. The beef tartare was a tad spicy for my taste and the salmon tartare got a bit boring halfway through but these are minor quibbles. Everything else was wonderful (onglet, short ribs and pain perdu) and we had a fantastic evening. Oh, they were a bit stingy in the glass pours of my Sancerre ($12) but whatcha gonna do...

        2 Replies
        1. re: hungryann
          e
          Evilbanana11 Jul 19, 2009 01:06 PM

          Good to hear. As long as the chevre chaud, the onglet frites, and the pain perdu are still up to par, I shall return.

          1. re: Evilbanana11
            hungryann Jul 19, 2009 03:22 PM

            The table next to us had 3 orders of the chevre chaud and they were gushing about it, so it must still be pretty good.

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