Saturday, January 13, 2007

Les Fougeres

We had not been to Les Fougeres in more than 10 years. It was time for a rekindling.
After about a 35 minutes door-to-door drive, we arrived at Chelsea restaurant.

I went for the table d'hote and May went for the tasting menu with wine pairing.

Her first dish is the Qu├ębec duck foie gras terrine layered with duck confit and
Armagnac prunes. Very good. The sweetness of the prunes brilliantly highlights the soft and salty foie gras and duck confit. Nam!

Since I have quite a few less dishes than May, I wait as she is served her second dish, the lobster and red pepper bisque (left). It is very good; bold lobster flavour which makes us forget the terrible bisque we had at Le Tartuffe (sorry, could not resist). I am served a peanut soup which is excellent; not so strong as to feel like one's sipping peanut butter, yet very flavourful.

The Grand Banks scallop marinated in lime juice, fish sauce and mint follows. Honest dish. Nice pairing of a Gewurztraminer.

As May is served the ravioli with a filling of truffled leek fondant and poached egg yolk, served in a wild mushroom broth , I get my tiger shrimps on a bed of risotto. Again, we enjoyed the shrimp dish very much, although we are less impressed by the ravioli. That dish was somewhat of a miss for us; the truffled leek fondant's taste is subtle and the wild mushroom broth completely takes over the flavour. Mind you, the mushroom broth is very good. However, we would have liked to be able to appreciate the full richness that this dish had to offer with a more judicious combination of tastes.

Some Pinot des Charentes sorbet to cleanse the palate.

May gets her seared bison “poutine” with
Tellicherry peppercorn sauce and celery root frites
Oooohhh... bison! Really, really good. I'm still salivating as I write those lines! I have to say I thought the poutine side, with its celery root frites instead of potatoes, was better than the Foie-gras poutine we had at Beckta about a year and a half ago. Bison is cooked perfectly. Memorable dish for me...

My Osso Bucco is served with rosemary gnocchi and rapini. Very tender. Very well executed dish. I find that a good osso bucco is hard to find and it was somewhat of a test of Les Fougeres for me to order it. I am not disappointed.

Next dish for May is the lamb, apple and coconut curry with freshly roasted and ground spices. The lamb is tasty and very tender. May felt that the chutneys were a bit off: It had the reminiscence of an Indian dish without really being a true homage to it. I thought the chutneys were just way too sweet. Plus, it is a lot of food for this time of day, as it is now about 9pm.

May's next dish is a cheese plate which is too strong for her. Heresay! That's cheese! I'll have it! How could I not like it? I am a friend of all cheeses; I have never met a cheese I do not like.

We close the evening with May's apple beignet with cinnamon ice cream (left). Ok dessert, nothing too earth shattering. Makes me think that there aren't many places in the Ottawa/Gatineau area where desserts are truly amazing. This will require further investigations.

So, the damages were:
$45 for my table d'hote. Add $30 for wine pairing. $85 for May's tasting menu, $57 for her wine pairing. Add a Kir Royal to this and our final bill with taxes was $256.39

We had a very nice evening; the staff is attentive and friendly. The ambience is not as stuffy as fine-dining restaurants in-town such as Le Baccara, Beckta, Perspectives or Signatures, which gives Les Fougeres much more of a 'terroir' feel.

And when you think of it, at $45, the table d'hote is very reasonnably priced for one looking for a nice romantic dinner on an otherwise quiet saturday night.

Les Fougeres
783 route 105, Chelsea

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