We walked up and down St. francois Xavier 3 times without luck finding the restaurant. Finally I googled the exact address and found it that way. There was a small wooden door with the plate 408 on top, nothing else. I decided to try the door and it was open! When you first walk in, there is a small hall way with "Garde Manger" printed on a black board, surrounded by all the cut-outs from newspapers and magazines featuring Chuck Hughes. As you walk further, there is a black curtain that leads to the dining room area and the kitchen. As I walked in, I saw a girl sitting at a dinner table, on the phone, with huge binders laid out in front of her. The kitchen is exposed to the dining area, almost like a sushi bar where you can see the chefs in action. There was one chef in the kitchen at the time, probably preparing ingredients for service that night, sadly it wasn't Chuck and I learned that he was in Toronto for the weekend. They didn't seem to mind my intrusion at all, or rather it was like they didn't even see me. I tried to make a reservation with the girl after she got off the phone, but had no luck. I left disappointed, but took a bunch of pictures at the door.
A while later, I got a call from Garde Manger to say that a table was free on Sunday at 6PM. I was so excited that it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. There were several things to consider though: if we ate at 6 and left Montreal at 8, Kevin and Kate won't make it back to Guelph until 1AM, and Chris would have to stay up late to finish the assignments due for Monday. To make up for all these inconveniences, the food had to be amazing. And it was.
I wondered around the restaurant as we waited for our food. They didn't seem to mind me snapping pictures as they worked.
|Bruschetta with Swiss Chard, lentils, Goat Cheese, Crispy Prosciutto|
|Short Rib with Goat Cheese Mash|
|Flank Steak with Fried Cheese Balls and Bone Marrow|
My dish was the flank steak. I lucked out with that one because every component was delicious. The flank steak was charred so that it was really crispy and had a nice smoky flavour. The cheese balls were also a nice addition. I'm guessing its potatoes and mozzarella so I'm gonna try recreating it.
|Chicken Pot Pie and Duck Confit|