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Looking for Twists on Traditional Quebecois Dishes

I've got some friends coming to Montreal who want to try traditional Quebecois food and I thought it would be fun to find some twists on the classics. I already know about the foie gras poutine at APDC... any other suggestions?


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  1. There's this place on Mont-Royal called La Cantine. They revisit the Quebec classics like poutine, pâté chinois, jambon à l'ananas.


    1. La Fabrique offers its own take on the Joe Louis. I haven't tried it, though.

      1. Am seeing modern-day takes on pouding chômeur on more and more menus -- most recently at Cocagne.

        1 Reply
        1. re: carswell

          Rented out Les Trois Bouchons last year for a large group dinner. Of course everything was awesome, and for dessert they dropped large baing pans of poudding chomeurs on the tables. Memorable.

          That said, I wouldn't say TPB do modern takes on quebecois clichés, but they do great stuff with mostly locally sourced ingredients. Anyways, thought it was worth mentioning :)

          1. re: MartinSLR

            How about O"Chalet Or Kitchenette on Rene Levesque East

            1. re: duckiedmud

              What kind of food does O Chalet offer?

              1. re: duckiedmud

                I don't know about Ô Chalet, but the menu at Kichenette is very much American-inspired. It's a great restaurant, but there's nothing very Quebecois there

              2. re: MartinSLR

                re: jenga poutine. hmmm I wonder... forgot his name but a few years ago a local young chef who'd been working in one of the upscale restos replaced the head chef at Laika while the latter took his summer holiday... and one day he made jenga poutines. they are very neat. made everyone happy. :)

                1. re: bopuc

                  video on Poutine Jenga:


                  Interesting, but I have no problem believing the chef that it looks better than it tastes.

              3. L'Atelier on St-Laurent had a twist on poutine (with shredded rabbit meat and ile aux grues cheddar cheese) and a twist on pate chinois with game meat.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Em24

                  i actually tried it at l'atelier and i didn't like it too much (personal choice really). The sauce was too "sweet".. it wasn't thick as the ones i usually eat.

                  1. re: mak2k

                    You are right it is a thinner, sweeter sauce but I actually thought it was very tasty, but not traditional. Also, it does make the fries soggier thank usual.

                2. Restaurant Vallier in Old Montreal offers a couple of this Quebecois dish revisited - Duck Confit pate chinois, meatload, pouding chomeur

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: westaust

                    I LOVED their poudding chomeur. It was almost floating in that delicious, sweet, heavy-ish cream... Their mac&cheese (more american than Quebecois really) was quite tasty and the appetizer portion was very filling. The added bacon really gace it a great taste.

                  2. Macaroni restaurant advertise with a huge bilboard on St-Laurent, their Gnocchi Poutine... if that rocks your boat.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Maximilien

                      I drove past it last wednesday at around 5:30 PM and it didn't look very much open. Don't know if it's still in operation.

                    2. Hi Everyone,

                      Thanks for all your amazing recommendations! I've been working my way through them and here's what I've come up with...

                      I finally tried the foie gras poutine at APDC and although it was really delicious, I felt full after about three bites. My friend and I shared a single serving -- very smart move -- and we couldn't finish it. We also sat at the bar, which I highly recommend because that way you can see all the dishes that you don't have the appetite to eat. Plus, the chefs all seem to be having a riotously good time.
                      I also tried the poutine that Em24 recommended at L'Atelier and it was really great. I'd totally go back for that, especially because it's only $7 for lunch. The fries seem to be cut a little thinner so although the orange sauce is less viscous, it didn't make the fries soggy. I didn't feel like the cheese really added anything but I guess it's not technically poutine without the cheese.
                      I also tried to find the Poutine Jenga at La Montee (I found a great video of the chef making it) but it wasn't on the menu and I called to ask if they were still serving it but never heard back from the restaurant.
                      I saw the recommendation for Macaroni Bar but I went there with some girlfriends about two months ago and EVERYONE's pasta was ridiculously over-salted. When we told the waitress, someone from the kitchen came out to ask if we'd tried it before adding parmesan (which most of us had), basically implying that it was fine when it came out of the kitchen. They then took about 45 minutes to replace the dishes, at which point everyone who hadn't ordered pasta had finished eating. So I'm not keen on going back there.

                      JOE LOUIS DESERT
                      I tried it at La Fabrique and I have to say, it was a bust. Yes, it's rich and chocolatey but there's nothing very "Joe Louis" about it. The creamy filling is actually pastry cream, so it's really heavy, and the chocolate fondant is obviously really heavy and then, although it's chocolate-coated, they microwaved it, which was weird, so the desert didn't have that solid chocolate that cracks when you bite into it the way a Joe Louis does. It was disappointed because I love Joe Louis deserts. It was basically just a chocolate fondant, and not a particularly memorable one. I loved the out-of-the-way location, though, and the design of the restaurant so I'll probably go back for a main course.

                      PATE CHINOIS AND TOURTIERE
                      In the "pie" category, I tried the duck confit tourtiere at La Cantine, which was good (lovely mushroomy taste) and big enough to share, and the shepard's pie at Le Vallier which was DELICIOUS although I was really hungry that night so that might have contributed. The shepard's pie is also a duck confit dish and it's enormous so definitely share it, and it's served in a cast-iron skillet. Really great comfort food.

                      POUDING CHOMEUR
                      I read a glowing review of the Pouding Chomeur at la Cocagne so I tried that, and it was great but also enormous, and also served in a cast-iron skillet. Strange serendipity! It was incredibly filling too; so no need for desert for the rest of the week if you have that dish. Apparently a few different places do Pouding Chomeur, including APDC and Vallier, so I migth have to check those out as a comparison.

                      Thanks for all your great recommendations, everyone! I'm excited to keep exploring.