APDC Cabane à sucre 2010
Went to APDC cabane à sucre last night. The place was again bustling, the service nice and friendly although we had a couple of hiccups. First, we were told that a fishless omelette would be served to the persons who had severe allergies in our party, which never happenned. A mix up apparently. That was comped with shooters for all of us so no harm no foul. Also, we had a lot of leftovers and were told that it was not possible to doggy bag them. They glady do it at the restaurant though... Oh well.
On to the food, the apps are basically the same. Pea soup with foie gras, buckwheat pancakes with cretons and gravlax and a salad with oreilles de crisse, ham and cheese. Everything tasted as I remembered it. It also came with chicken feet dipped in a tangy BBQ sauce. Not being fond of offal and such, it left me kind of indifferent.
On to the mains, there was a smoked fish omelette with beef brisket on top. The brisket was falling apart and very meety and tasty. There was a head of cabbage stuffed with lobster on top of a black lentils ragu. Didn't taste it due tu allergies. There was also a big confit duck leg and beef tongue. The duck was quite good. Again with my offal aversion, I wasn't impressed with the tongue. Tried it anyway but hated it. Just a matter of me not liking the stuff, nothing was wrong with it.
Desserts saved it for me. The banana split was the star along with a maple mille-feuilles. It also came with tire d'érable on snow and small crêpes bathing in syrup.
All in all, I left a little disappointed. Maybe it was the novelty effect that worn out, maybe the mains were not up my alley but I felt that for $75 with tip and drinks I didn't get enough for my money. I would have gone much farther at the restaurant for the same amount.
I'm bummed out too... this is the second year in a row that I've missed out and both times I've emailed months in advance with no callback or contact. I think I sent an email (several actually) on Dec. 01 as well and hadn't heard a thing. Could someone please tell me how they got their res confirmed and when they contacted so this doesn;'t become an annual disappointment?
I sent my e-mail on Dec. 01 (for a reservation of 6) and got a call in January. Some of my friends sent a e-mail few days after me and did not reveived any call. The CPDC received more than 4000 requests in 45 days! This year, the ''reservation period'' was from Dec 1st to January 15th...If you sent a e-mail before or after this period...forget it!
I'm not sure...but I think most part of available places are filled with big groups and the waiting list is very very very long. They keep some places for small group...but it get full very fast.
I originally sent in an e-mail like everyone else but then I visited the restaurant. I shamelessly needed my seasonal fix of foie gras and I left my information there. A week later I got a call from them (yesterday) and now all systems are go! The sugar shack season is a bit more than 3 months, which is longer than what I expected.
I find they run it too late. We went the first year in mid to late April and it was something like 20 degrees that day! Not a good day for eating tons of rich, heavy food in a small room that really heats up with all the people. I actually felt quite ill at one point and had to head outside to cool down a bit. I think March is the perfect month to go to any Cabane a Sucre.
Hey everyone, I have a reservation at the Cabane à sucre APDC for tomorrow (Saturday, April 17) at 11:30am that I cannot fill completely. There are 4 seats available if you have a group that is interested. You can send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you the name under which the reservation is being held.
I went for the first time and really enjoyed it. I took home the maple cotton candy, the maple macarons, the maple beef jerky, and the taffy for some friends who didn't have a chance to come. All very good.
The real loser was the chicken feet. All skin, no meat, and it didn't pull off very easily. Not my bag.
I have pictures on my blog: http://cookbookfixation.blogspot.com/... I went a week ago and loved it. As per Chowhound mod requests I am posting the full text here even though it doesn't make much sense without the pictures.
In Quebec during the maple syrup season families traditionally go to sugar shacks to eat endless amounts of traditional foods such as pea soup, smoked ham and maple syrup pie. This year the food bloggers group to which I belong decided to go Pied du Cochon’s Sugar Shack. Martin Picard’s take on a sugar shack menu is decidedly more decadent than a traditional place and if I have to beg, borrow or steal I need to find someway to go next year. 3 hours worth of non-stop good food had me in foodie heaven.
Like all sugar shacks the seating was fairly rustic. We all sat at long picnic tables and the food was passed around family style. It was nice in a big group but it must be a bit awkward if you’re sitting with complete strangers.
Our sitting was at noon and I arrived just in time. I was so worried that I was going to miss the first course but I got there as everyone was ordering coffee and tea. Since I saw that they had Kusmi tea which is excellent, I decided to have some.
I picked the sweet love tea which is a blend of black China tea, ginseng and liquorice roots, spices, guarana seed and pink pepper.
It was really good. I need to buy some for the house.
We had bottles of maple syrup on the table to pour over our food since most sugar shacks have pretty much everything from sausages to dessert drenched in syrup but strangely enough it went pretty much untouched throughout the whole meal.
To start off with we had a traditional tourtiere, which is a savoury meat pie accompanied by a home made tomato ketchup.
We had one pie for the entire table of roughly 15 people so we each had a small slice but since there was so much food yet to come it was more than enough. As you can see from the pictures there were generous chunks of meat in the filling. The home made ketchup was a bit plain, it was diced tomatoes with onions and some seasoning but it did a nice job of cutting through the richness of the meat and the pastry.
Up next was the pea soup with chunks of Foie Gras. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night. Pea soup is traditionally peasant food so I loved how they took something so humble and added such a decadent ingredient.
The chunks of Foie Gras were pretty generous and went surprisingly well with the peas.
Up next was some salmon gravlax.
We also received some buckwheat pancakes to eat with them.
The salmon was really fresh and of great quality but it tasted very plain, almost like sashimi from a Japanese restaurant.
Next up was a salad of mixed greens with chunks of ham and cheddar topped with pork rinds.
I had one bite of the pork rinds and then proceeded to pick them off my salad. They were very puffy and crisp so I would image if they’re your thing that you would love them. The salad was strangely enough, one of the few items other than the desserts that actually had maple syrup. The dressing was a tangy maple syrup mix which tasted amazing. For me the salad was one of my favourite parts of the meal.
There was also cretons which is a ground pork spread.
Usually you eat this spread on toast. I thought that this was just ok. It was very grainy and a little bland.
These were chicken feet cooked in barbeque sauce. Ok, I have to confess I didn’t even try them or think about trying them. The thought of eating chicken feet freaks me out, I was afraid I was going to end up swallowing and chicken foot nail and the thought of that makes me shudder. Those who were more adventurous than me and gave them a go said that they were good.
This was an omelette with smoked mackerel and other mixed seafood. I didn’t catch the description of everything that was in there since the waiter was talking at the other end of the table. This was good but it tasted almost like an egg custard rather than an omelette.
This was one of my favourite parts of the meal, lobster and pork meat stuffed in a cabbage with French lentils. There were nice chunks of lobster meat and the sauce was very rich.
There was also a chicken cooked in maple syrup with maple syrup baked beans. This was good, the chicken was moist and tasted as though it had been brined and the maple beans were not cloyingly sweet which was good.
This was beef tongue with celeriac slaw. The slaw was good, it was tossed in a creamy sauce but I just couldn’t bring myself to try the tongue. Especially since you could see all the little taste buds poking up.
Finally, we got to the best part. Dessert! This was maple taffy which I absolutely love even though it is so simple. It is made by boiling maple syrup and then pouring it on fresh snow, or in this case ice chips. A popsicle stick is then twirled around in the syrup to pick up the taffy.
I think I did a pretty good job of getting all the taffy.
These were pancakes absolutely drenched in maple syrup. They were very eggy and puffy which made me wonder if they were actually just fried egg whites
This was a banana split with maple ice cream, maple cotton candy, chocolate sauce and chunks of maple sugar. The combo of the chocolate sauce with the ice cream and the maple cotton candy was really good and a lot of fun but the bananas weren’t ripe enough and I just ate around them.
Last but not least was maple mille feuille. I could have sat down and eaten this whole thing by myself or at least eaten the filling. It was delicious although the actually puff pastry was a tad over cooked.
There were food items to take home but at that point I was so full that I didn’t want to think about eating anything else. It actually took me 24 hours to eat anything after that massive pig out.
All in all the food was delicious and well worth the 50 dollar price tag. I thought the chicken feet were an odd addition to the menu though and I’m willing to bet that they went mostly untouched at most of the tables. The one thing I was slightly annoyed at was the fact that coffee and tea were not on the drink menu so everyone assumed that it was included in the price but it was extra. Other than that I have very few qualms.
Possible there was a difference from the 1st weekend, but here are the differences that we had last night:
The egg omelet has pulled pork shoulder in the center, with smoked mackerel
Duck is actually chicken half cooked in maple syrup
Cabbage was stuffed with lobster, foie gras and pork
Dessert had grand-meres (not crepes) fried in duck fat bathing in syrup.
I saw some people walk out with the meat pie in pizza style boxes w/APDC logos on them - possibly purchased to go?
Good food. Martin was there - and what irked me is that he only stopped by the tables were people bought his signed cookbook - with not more than 106people there and two sittings, a quick chat at each table would have been nice. But it did not affect how I found the experience. Loved it.
Lucky you! He wasn't there when we went from what I could see. That sucks that he didn't stop by to say hi to the other tables. I noticed that they were selling maple cotton candy, t-shirts, tourtiere and some other food items but strangely enough the cookbook was the only thing I didn't see.
The night I was there, he only stopped by the tables were people bought high-priced wines.
Personally, I preferred last year's dishes, by far.
It was a bit frustrating to be able to stare at the huge and superb beef cuts hanging in the meat cold room while being served tongue...
That said, we had a fantastic evening. It took 24h before I could eat something.
these comments about where Picard chooses to stop by are strange to me. Indeed, I was there last year with a large group of 22 to 32-year-olds. We mostly drank beer, with one of us 'splurging' on an inexpensive bottle of wine. Even so, Picard stopped by our table and spoke to us for a while, saying he was glad to see young people enjoying themselves.
this man has his faults, but I highly doubt he would stop by tables only because of their wine purchases.
Great over-view. Thank you! We're headed out the weekend after this so, as PS mentioned, it's nice for a bit of an idea of what to expect.
Regarding the doggy-bagging; I'm wondering if that, due to the Cabane a Sucre supposedly being a 'lab' of sorts for Martin, that they prefer not having these items taken home and manipulated for other restaurant's potential recipes. One can only wonder. At any rate, I have no issue respecting their wishes.
Also, as you mentioned, Campofiorin, this being our second year going I'm fully expecting to take a break after this one as well. Interesting feast but not every year, surely.