Chuck Hughes hits the spot: Garde Manger Restaurant Review
When Montreal chef Chuck Hughes turned up the heat on Iron Chef America by defeating culinary master Bobby Flay with Canadian lobster, expect to reserve almost 2 months in advance at his Old Montreal restaurant Garde Manger. A small and quaint resto/lounge located on the corner of rue Saint-Francois-Xavier and rue Saint Paul boasts a very knowledgeable staff, darling cocktails, and above all, the ultimate fine dining experience. With fresh seafood and Mediterranean cuisine as their specialty, the written menu on the chalk board changes every day.
Leaving the famous lobster poutine that was featured as one of his dishes on Iron Chef America for my next visit; our table was decorated with the most picturesque dishes one can lay their eyes on.
A must for a party of 3 or more is the Seafood Platter garnished with Tabasco and other interesting sauces – Price starting at $45 for the small platter enough for 3 people.
My favorite, the exquisite seared scallops with pancetta is made with perfection and recommended to eat slowly to savor every explosive bite.
The beautifully cooked duck with fois gras almost melts in your mouth. And the lamb chops carefully laid upon stuffed cabbage rolls makes for an aesthetically pleasing dish, but lacking in substance with regards to the lamb.
To top it all off, the popular deep fried chocolate mars bar accompanied with a large scoop of ice cream is a sensation within itself.
The loud atmosphere and table-dancing clients in no way hinders the mood unless you’re looking for a quiet, uneventful evening. Unfortunately, our own local celebrity, Mr. Hughes himself was not in the kitchen that evening, otherwise he would’ve been showered with unanimous gratitude by satisfied foodies and bar topers alike.
Garde Manger restaurant information:
408 St-François-Xavier, Old Montreal
Hours: Tue–Sun 6 pm – 3 am
Price: appetizers $10-$20, main courses $25-$45
Payment: Cash, Credit Cards