St. Lawrence – Sugar Shack (Cabane a Sucre) Dinner – Are you insane?

St. Lawrence is a restaurant in Vancouver that describes itself as “Classic French cuisine with Quebecois inspiration, St Lawrence is haute country cooking at its finest”.

This dinner was inspired by Quebec’s Sugar Shacks.  From my understanding, these are places that are very traditional to Quebec where maple syrup is processed and families gather for large meals.  The dinner was sponsored by American Express and cost $250 pp.  After I booked the dinner I thought to myself, “I must be insane to spend Michelin star prices at a restaurant in Vancouver”.  Buyer’s remorse set in.

Now, I have no problems paying for fantastic food, I believe it is an art form and appreciate a well thought out meal, but in Vancouver, this price pint is almost non-existent!  Even the celebrated Hawksworth, which is widely regarded at the most “Haute cuisine” in Vancouver, which I personally don’t think would rank globally near the top, only charges $185 for their tasting menu WITH wine.  I also just returned from Napa where a meal at the 3 Michelin Star rated Single Thread was U$275 pp, but mind you, wine was extra.

Anyway, I figured if I thought about the $250 as half food half wine, the fee made more sense, but still, the restaurant had big shoes to fill – and they did fill them!

Here was the menu for the evening.

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The meal started with Oreilles de Crisse which are basically pork rinds or chicharron as we call it in the Philippines.  I loved the presentation in the traditional maple syrup can from Quebec.  The crisps also had a hint of maple syrup.  It was the perfect bite of salty, sweet, fat and crunchy.  Well done.

Also as a start, smoked salmon with caviar and creme fresh; and Cretons (a pork pate).  Everything was delicious.

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Next, this split pea soup with bacon and ham hock covered by a perfect puff pastry shell.  I got so excited when the server put this in front of me, and it did not disappoint.

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After the soup came the chef’s take on a savory eclair filled with foie gras mousse and some cherries.  Very well done.  It was evident that a lot of thought went into the menu and how to incorporate traditional French Quebec ingredients in interesting ways.

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After this, a duck sausage with baked beans, duck prosciutto and maple syrup.  Needless to say, very good.

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The last savory course was a Galette de Cochon which I thought would be a type of crepe, but was actually a tart/pie like dish with pork, foie gras truffles and red wine sauce.   Very hearty and delicious dish.

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For dessert, a type of bread pudding with maple syrup that was also good.

20190410_205716.jpg …and finally, some maple syrup squares and roasted marshmallows.

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Service was fantastic.  The chef also explained each course and it was good to learn about his inspiration for each dish.  It was also nice to learn about the French part of Canada.  The country is so big that unfortunately, their cuisine and culture is not well known in the Western part of the country.  Each dish was also paired with a wine, and they gave generous portions and refills of it.

In the end, the meal was completely worth it, and I would return here (I had been before on a regular night and did enjoy that evening also).  9.5/10

 

 

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