Club chasse et pêche – my review
Went to the Club on Saturday. A great foodie experience, possibly one of the best meals I ever had.
We were greeted perfectly bilingual and seated promptly. We wanted to have some bubbly as an aperitif (as we were celebrating a B-day, then again who needs an excuse for bubbly). They only had 2 bottles by the glass, one was Champagne Fleury that came highly recommended, the other was a Rosé Méthode Champenoise (sorry, don’t recall the name of the vignoble. Not wanting to break the bank immediately, we opted for the Rosé whilst perusing the menu. The hostess (I don’t feel waitress applies in this case, will come back to this later) did warn us about the residual sugar left in the Rosé, but I was not prepared for this sweet bomb. Not that it was terribly unpleasant, but much too syrupy for my taste. When it came to the wine, they had a very extensive wine list, heavy on the French reds. But I opted for the “Indigena” from Parès Balta (Penedes region in Spain). This wine house has won over my heart and taste buds. Whenever I come across Parès Balta on a menu, I cannot resist trying one of their organic bottles. Wine glasses were brought to the table, and I noticed that one of the wine glasses was not clean. I guess their kitchen towels were brand new, because it was covered with plush. I noticed the table next to us had the same problem. The glass was immediately replaced when I pointed it out. The wine was pre tasted, served for tasting and then decanted
For starters I had scallops, sort of their signature dish. They came fried one side, with a very subtle fennel purée and drizzled with slightly sweet lemon confit. The scallops were perfectly plump and juicy and the combination of the salty scallops and the sweet lemon was wondrous. Across the table there was a carpaccio of smoked lamb layered between crispy pine nut wafers and goat cheese cream, with a spoonful of lentil tabouleh. Greatly balanced and superb textures.
Main course I had the Chasse et Pêche wich consisted of American Kobe Beef wrapped in bacon on a bed udon noodles with an Asian sauce (my best guess is oyster sauce, maybe some fish sauce, sesame oil) topped with a smoked oyster and Chinese broccoli combined with half a lobster and creamy sauce on a bed of mango-kohlrabi salsa. The dished combined worked surprisingly well together. The mango-kohlrabi salsa was very refreshing in combination with the lobster. The Kobe Beef was very succulent, rare (but not bloody) although overpowered by the taste of the bacon. The smoked oyster worked well and confirmed the oyster sauce used in the Asian sauce. The lobster tail + claw were slightly underdone. I did not really mind for the tail, but I prefer the claw meat definitely more firm. I am not sure if this is a special cooking technique or chef’s preference to undercook lobster (granted overcooked seafood is a sin), but when the claw meat is more blubbery in texture, I am not entirely convinced. Across the table there was the fish of the day (halibut) on a bed of peas (or beans) and pesto with seared foie gras, poached egg and mushroom barley risotto. I only had a small taste of the fish and it was very tender.
We also shared a side order of veggies: an arugula watermelon salad with balsamic vinegar, pureed carrots with ginger and topped with spicy caramelized almonds, incredibly buttery grilled green asparagus and oyster mushrooms and caramelized onions.
As we were still finishing our wine, they offered us 3 cheeses. A QC hard raw milk goat’s/ cow’s cheese, a French Roquefort and a QC camembert. We opted for a small piece of the hard cheese and the camembert. They came served with wafer thin sliced toasted nut raisin bread and pear sauce. We shared a rhubarb tart with white chocolate ice cream. This was perfectly tart and the white chocolate ice cream provided the needed sweetness. We finished off with a good cappuccino, 10y Ardbeg Scotch and special aged Taiwanese green tea.
Total came to $275 (the alcohol bill was $22 for 2 glasses of bubbly, $55 for the bottle of red and $13 for the Scotch).
This place gets bonus point s for the service: very attentive, discrete, knowledgeable, perfectly bilingual and able to cater to the different clientele. They would follow the mood of the table going from very formal and serious to jolly and even playful at times. That’s why I refrained from using the word waitress, because their personnel is clearly experienced and restaurant educated. BTW, clientele was very varied, from older American tourists (that were ordering Tea with their food and used a fork as their only utensil) to sandal wearing locals, Harley Davidson adepts and babes flaunting what Mother Nature graciously provided them with.
Minus points for the bubbly Rosé. This lemonade is not a place for a restaurant like this. Yes, we were warned about some sweetness, but I always feel this gets underplayed a lot here in QC . I’ve had multiple bad experiences at SAQs. When they say a Rosé is mildly sweet, I usually feel like am downing kool aid afterwards. And to continue this side rant, why do they have to import so many low-end über sweet Rosés? I guess it’s a personal thing when you like’m bone dry like me (mind you, I don’t mind floral or fruity, but it get’s often confused for sweet).
And finally I found the décor to be amusingly strange. Contemporary art adorning the walls, but at the same time somewhat evocative of an old gentlemen’s club with leather chairs and dimly lit ambiance. Also I found the tables to be very close together and eavesdropping was inevitable. Oh and the bathroom had the ugliest green retro sink, mounted on a glass table with a big showerhead as faucet.
Just guessing about the Sweet pétillant rosé, it probably was a "Bugey Cerdon" or something like the "On Zoue" (I drank some at La Salle à Manger couple of weeks ago);
Both a great summer pétillant IMO and have their places in restaurants.
The waitress/hostess should have let you taste it before committing yourself on it.
It seems very likely, the alcohol level was around 6% and that also fits the description. Like I said, a matter of personal taste. But it should've been presented as: that's the bubbly by the glass en here's "something else". There's is plenty of other French not Champagne bubbly like Cremant d'Alsace, Blanquette de Limoux.
Anyways, like I said not terribly unpleasant but just not my thing.