We liked it here. It’s a bustling sort of place on Church Street – the pedestrianised road at the heart of the city.
We’d made a reservation here on the strength of a single menu item – duck confit poutine. I knew poutine to be a “down and dirty” Quebec concoction, although I’d never eaten it. I’d sort of assumed this could be a more refined restaurant starter dish – a bit prissy even. Well, that’s me wrong again. This was an immense portion – easily main course size. A vast quantity of fries, chunks of duck (some bits nicely crisp, others nicely not), smothered in gravy and cheese curds. I wanted to finish it because it was so delicious but finishing it and having a hope of eating a main course was impossible.
My companion in life watched me eat, with an encouraging smile, whilst sipping a much more restrained starter – a cup of “soupe au pistou”. Vegetable soup with white beans, potatoes, peppers, celery in a lovely basil flavoured brother, topped with a local cheese.
Also fairly restrained was boeuf bourgignon – one of several dishes on the menu that can be ordered in small, or full portion. That’ll be small then, but it’s still a generous serving of beef, a little onion and carrot, delicious gravy and mashed potato. And this was not pomme purree or other sloppy version but pretty much just potatoes mashed. And better for it.
Restraint was out of the window again with a rack of four chops of wild boar. The meat was well flavoured, if a little chewier than you might expect, even from wild boar. There’s spinach, asparagus and alfalfa sprouts going towards the “five a day”. More of the mashed potato and a fruity relish which worked well with the meat.
Perhaps needless to say, we were much too full to consider dessert, but did have good espresso.