What's the deal with Giovanni Apollo?
I don't listen to TV much so I missed a lot of his exposure. Never heard any buzz related to his actual food though.
A friend told me about his new project of "Cabane a sucre en ville" and I must say I am extremely weary of the concept. On one hand I must applaud the continuation of Martin Picard's initiative, on the other hand it looks like a TV chef wants to make money on the coat tails of a trend.
The problem is that I never ate at his flagship restaurant (Apollo) so I really cannot judge. I must admit that my restaurant budget for this type of restaurant is currently dedicated to... other ventures.
Anybody did try it? How was it? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong and I'm actually missing out on something.
La Cabane has nothing to do with Martin Picard. It's a concept by Scena, the people who also do Chez Leon at Christmas. The first chef to do it was Danny St-Pierre in 2010. This year it's Apollo and Darren Bergeron along with all the previous chefs doing "5 plates by 5 chefs".
As for Apollo himself, he seems like a nice enough guy, but he also strikes me as very publicity hungry. I've only been to his Apollo restaurant once when it was in the current Pastaga location and I was quite underwhelmed. He always gets decent reviews, though.
When I was talking about the "martin picard initiative", I wasn't implying that picard is behind La Cabane. I was mainly saying that I'm seeing a lot more "high end" treatment of "cabane a sucre" themes recently although it seems I was wrong on thinking it was Apollo behind it.
Thank you for the comments on Apollo! Kind of confirms what I was thinking!
I've been to Apollo a few times (before I even found out he was kind of a TV celebrity), but never for the "regular" menu, which I find awfully expensive. The first time I went, it was for Montréal à Table. A 3-course meal at Apollo for $39, that was a great deal! And the food was excellent. It was well worth it.
Then, I also went for Montréal en Lumière last year, where they had a special Argentine menu. It was a tad more expensive than MTL à Table, but still not the full Apollo price. It was very good, but, this time, the dessert was disastrous, so I wasn't as satisfied.
So, I guess that's kind of my verdict: if there's a special deal, it's definitely worth trying. Otherwise, I'm not sure. It just doesn't fit my budget.
That said, the bar of the restaurant (and I'm NOT talking about Apollo Bistro -- I mean the "original" Apollo, on University St; the bar in on the right-hand side once you go in), is really nice and has a different menu from the restaurant, which is still very good and quite affordable.
So, if you wanna give it a try, but are not ready to tap into your savings, getting a drink and eating at the bar could be a good idea.
It doesnt seem too hard to have a 2 course meal there for under 35... not cheap but I dont think its very expensive. The lobster looks like a pretty good deal and the duck-onion soup sounds good.. I want to go.
Edit: The bistro looks way more expensive which is strange http://www.apolloglobe.com/bistro-menu
I dont know which one you are talking about in the first paragraph..