I was invited last Wednesday to sample the new menu for La Cabane which officially opened its doors on March 8. We see more and more restaurants offering a sugar shack menu right here in Montreal but La Cabane is really pushing the experience to its fullest including the live band! Renowned chef Helena Loureiro, who is behind great restaurants Portus Calle and Helena, was in charge of conceptualizing the 2013 menu while Giovanni Apollo was in charge of the kitchen. The menu was made up of 4 courses:
Cod croquettes, piri-piri-maple aïoli Pork salt meat Sardines in apple cider Endive salad with lamb gravlax, bacon, Golden apples and a maple vinaigrette
Caldo Verde - potato, cabbage and onion soup with chorizo and rösti
Bean, chorizo, pork shank and smoked bacon stew with maple chicken legs and a poached egg Mix of braised and sweeten root vegetables
Maple pasteis de nata Chocolate pudding with a maple whipped cream Maple tart by Christople Morel
Overall, I really enjoyed the menu and atmosphere of La Cabane. The first course was delicious and I would have been happy eating it twice! I enjoyed every single component of the platter, especially the sardines that reminded me of home.
The second course was deceiving for my part. I have had Helena's Caldo Verde many times at Portus Calle and it was nothing like it at La Cabane. The rösti had no real reason to be there except for hiding the chorizo under it. A good example that a good dish cannot necessarily be reproduced by anyone.
The third round was my second favorite. It was definitely homey and each type of meat was perfectly cooked. The stew missed a little seasoning but with a good coat of maple syrup, you quickly forgot about it.
The dessert course was created by famous chocolate maker Christophe Morel. I loved the maple nata and wished it was bigger because the two other desserts were a miss for me. The beautiful maple tart, made of white chocolate, was good but I bit too sweet and I couldn't taste any maple. As for the chocolate pudding, it had a lot of potential but it left a little after taste that I didn't get (maybe alcohol?).
As for my general experience, I found the service inconsistent because of the person assigned to my area. It was a full house though and I'm sure things are more under control since the official opening. The chefs of La Cabane took the time to salute each table and it was a pleasure to meet them and share our experience.
If you wish to try it, La Cabane is open from March 8th to April 14th and is located in the Old Montreal right next to Bota Bota. You can reserve online, either for lunch or dinner right here. The price is $59/person before taxes, service and drinks.
Here are other sugar shacks happening in the city:
Sparrow in Mile-End / link
Terrasse Nelligan in Old Montreal / link