This time of year, a lot of Montrealers spend their weekends looking for a maple sugar high. Quebec is home to over 250 sugar shacks. We’ve already concocted a guide for the best sugar shacks outside of the city. If you can’t drive an hour out of the city lines, not to worry! Montreal has some urban and gourmet sugar shacks in town. If you are worried about breaking your diet with a maple binge, focus on the fact that 100% pure maple syrup is a great source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
For the fifth edition of La Cabane, Chef Giovanni Apollo of Les Éclusiers par Apollo and Chef Daren Bergeron, executive chef of Fou d’Ici, have decided to come up with a different approach. Apollo and Bergeron have invited past La Cabane chefs to join forces with them and create a 2014 menu that is full of culinary talent, and above everything, is all about maple syrup.
This year, five chefs have come up with a five-course menu that is sure to be a gastronomical delight. The five-course meal starts with a cod croquette with an endive with vingarette, sweet and salty pecans with a Piri-Piri maple syrup aioli by Helena Loureiro of Portus Calle and Helena. This is followed by a smoked squash soup with candied maple salmon with a beurre noisette brioche from Les 400 Coups’ former chef, Marc-André Jetté.
Guests can enjoy a five-course brunch or dinner at $59 a person. La Cabane is also hosting a 5 à 7 open bar on Wednesday and Thursday nights from March 12 to April 10 at $25. Cocktails will be supplied from Le Lab’s event-company, ProxiBar Mixologie.
Looking for a way to enjoy the sugaring off season with a great view of the city? Head over to Terrasse Nelligan, the rooftop patio of Hotel Nelligan. This urban cabane à sucre offers a traditional sugar shack menu: pea soup with salt pork, maple sausages, soufflé omelette and baked beans. For dessert: maple syrup pie, maple taffy on snow and pouding chômeur (breading pudding with maple syrup).
Terrase Nelligan offers a Sunday brunch where parents can bring their children in on the maple fun and let them enjoy the perks of Terrase Nelligan’s petting zoo. Fridays and Saturdays are adult playtime. During these two adult-only seating times, you can unwind thanks to a maple martini with the maple taffy stir stick or a glass of warm mulled wine.
Chez l’Épicier’s chef, Laurent Godbout, will be adding some new flare to the gourmet maple game. Un Chef à l’Érable takes place within the Old Port district, at Scena, and makes its debut this maple season.
The menu, which was created by Godbout and will be catered by Maison Carrier Besson, will be a four-course dining experience. First course will be a pea soup with maple crème fraiche with grilled pork fat. Following courses include pork spread made with ham and foie gras on grilled bread, gourmet meat pie with mushrooms in a black pepper and cognac sauce.
Godbout saved his most innovative ideas for his dessert course. S’mores with maple bacon, sugar and raspberry pie in cones and beignets with a maple cream are sure to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Un Chef à l’Érable will only offer a lunch service on Saturdays and Sundays with dinner services on Fridays and Sundays at $60 a person.
If you would like to enjoy your maple experience in a low key environment, then this is the place for you. Les Délices de l’Érable includes a bistro, a museum and a shop all under one roof. At the museum, customers can learn how sap is harvested for free.
Snacking on your Citadelle maple verrines, maple ice-cream and sipping your hot maple milk is sure to make you the envy of your friends. To make it up to them, you will just have to purchase something from the Les Délices de l’Érable’s shop. Maybe some blueberry maple syrup, organic maple jelly or maple mustard will mend your friendships. If you are looking to offer something a little more unique, Les Délices de l’Érable carries a line of maple body products called Samara. How many can say they have received an all-natural maple bubble bath, massage oil or lip balm.
84 Saint Paul Street East, Montreal, QC H2Y 3R1
Finally, if you find yourself walking around the Plateau and would like a sugar shack treat on the go, head over to Mont-Royal metro where you will find the Kiosque Mont-Royal. During the sugaring off season, the kiosk becomes a sugar shack. Selling such maple sweets like maple butter, maple tarts and organic syrups, Kiosque Mont-Royal is worth the quick detour. Definitely stop for their maple taffy on snow – they do not skimp out on their maple taffy! For only $2, you will receive a generous portion of Quebec’s sweet gold.
482 Mont-Royal Est, Montréal H2J 1W4
Credit featured image: @mtlshot