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Perfection as Thierry Daraize Awards La Table des Gourmets Five Stars

Blockbuster rave.

Plates like this help win critic over
Plates like this help win critic over
La Table des Gourmets

Ever since La Porte closed in 2013, Montreal's critics and diners have kept a close eye on Pascale and Thierry Rouyé. The couple's subsequent Val-David, Laurentians restaurant, La Table des Gourmets, scored three stars on four from Lesley Chesterman last December, is up for a best new restaurant in Canada nod from enRoute, and, yesterday, got a look from Thierry Daraize.

The Journal de Montréal critic walks into the restaurant with "une sensation de bien-être, sûrement due à mes pressentiments, je savais que j’allais bien manger et mes attentes furent plus que comblées." Pascale Rouyé is a natural hostess: "Elle connaît tous ses clients, même les trois jeunes hommes sur la terrasse, des cuisiniers venus eux aussi de Montréal pour découvrir la table des gourmets."

Thierry, and son Maxime's, menu dégustation starts off well, thanks to a lobster medallion submerged in broth perfumed with fennel bulbs. Beef's tongue with mustard, peach, sour cherry, and honey is a "plat maîtrisé et savoureux." Daraize's mouth waters with the next dish, the (unidentified) catch of the day in celeriac broth, garnished with daikon, green apple, and crunchy buckwheat. From here on it's basically one hit after another: Icelandic cod, beet purée, lobster emulsion, roasted cauliflower, raspberries and yellow beets; lamb done three ways, the liver, loin, and gigot; and, finally, calf's liver with sardines, stuffed zucchini blossoms, spinach, mint, and barley. Daraize loves it all. "C’est délicieux!"

Desserts maintain the tone, capped off by a kouign-amann from the Breton chef. Add "gentil, détendu, attentionné" service, and prices Daraize deems astonishingly low, and you have the critic's first perfect review—five stars on five— in ages.

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