Through successful shots, and sometimes not so much, our restaurant critics talk about their experience, introduce them to the team in the dining room and in the kitchen, while explaining what motivated the choice of the restaurant. This week’s Laurentians restaurant: L’Épicurieux in Val David.
Published April 4
Why talk about it?
Last January, the Statistical Institute of Quebec published its annual report on inter-regional migration in Quebec. Region with the highest growth? We give it to you in a thousand: Laurentians. About 12,000 more people decided to settle here in 2020-2021. Not surprisingly, the gastronomic offer in the region has abounded in recent years. In 2019, while reporting on a gastrocooker in Laurentia, a quick visit to L’Épicurieux allowed me to get to know its very friendly team, which offers catering in a human way. We were also impressed by the very creative dishes, very aesthetic and oriented to our local terroir. So, we are back to live the experience in the proper way.
Who are they ?
L’Épicurieux was born from the desire of Dominique Tugue, a guy from Sainte-Agate-de-Monts who worked in several restaurants in Montreal, to offer his region a table worthy of his name as well as his image. He teamed up with his wife Marie-Michel Demarchais and chef Fanny Ducharme, also from Laurentius, to present L’Epicurieux. They are supported by a small dedicated team: William Lamarr and Aymeric Paquette in the kitchen, and sommelier Elia LeBeau on the floor.
In this beautiful and cozy dining room overlooking the open kitchen, which is complemented in good weather by a large covered terrace where you can hear the murmur of the Rivière du Nord, local products are displayed with grace and ingenuity. .
The strength of L’Épicurieux undoubtedly lies in this union between a high-level gastronomic experience and an environment that remains relaxed and friendly. The best of both worlds that.
Nothing gets stuck here, neither in the service nor in the atmosphere, very warm. The staff is smiling and friendly. We can’t stress enough the kindness of the kitchen team who went out of their way to create a dish with the taste of a son looking at the delicious and airy sweet potato agnolotti he was offered.
The restaurant offers only one formula, the seven-course tasting menu – we’ll come back to that later. Is this the perfect place for a family vacation? Probably not, but as they say, there is a way to average. Usually one of the daily specials is enough. But there was also a problem child on the menu that night. The cooks even went down to the basement to dig up some dried macaroni that was used to make instant macaroni and cheese. The problem is solved, and now the parents can enjoy their evening with relief!
Offered creations change frequently. Everything we tasted on this cold winter evening was carefully prepared and beautifully presented. The chef has a certain talent for creating creative and successful harmonies of flavors and textures using local and seasonal ingredients. What you try here may not be like anything else. And it is for this reason, among other things, that we love L’Epicurieux.
Vegetables take pride of place in some dishes. The season calls, a lot of root vegetables gleamed, everything is very well cooked.
Here, fried celery cubes were accompanied by “misonnaise” (miso mayonnaise whipped with camelina butter, a local treasure) and camelina seeds. This plate was served with nori and pistachio crusted cod and carrot puree. Two dishes with subtle flavors, but very harmonious.
There, fried mushrooms paired perfectly with creamy parsnip puree and smoked hazelnuts. They accompanied very tender beef coated in birch syrup, topped with beetroot purée—the best companion, even if it was too salty for our tastes—and roasted buckwheat for a crispy touch.
The success of the tasting menu also depends on the order in which the dishes are served, on the gradation to avoid overloading the palate with tastes that are too intense at first. Success as far as we know. The pace between services was also neither too slow nor too fast, indicating a well-established kitchen.
A few words about a dessert that is memorable, not too sweet, very balanced and original: zucchini panna cotta topped with crispy pumpkin tuile and deliciously fragrant tonka bean ice cream. An ending that everyone liked… even a rebellious child!
in our glass
One of the pleasures of staying at L’Épicurieux is getting to know the wine list, which has several gems and rarities. Natural or biodynamic wine is present, but always simple and easily digestible. We highly recommend choosing a pair that includes five wines to taste. Sancerre Auksinis by Sébastien Riffault, a maceration with the smell of honey and ripe fruit, delighted us, as did the incredibly sweet Jurançon by Château Lafitte, a dessert wine aged 15 months on the lees, with a lively and unctuous taste, smelling of exotic fruits.
Good to know
As previously stated, L’Épicurieux only offers a tasting menu. If you have dietary restrictions, if you are a vegetarian or even a vegan, just let the restaurant know when you book, but not on the same day please!
The tasting menu is $80 per person, a very reasonable price for the quality offered. You leave happy, but not too full. Add $65 per person for wine pairing.
L’Épicurieux welcomes clients from Thursday to Saturday from 17:00 to 23:00. Reservations are absolutely recommended.
2270 Church Street, Val David