Bilingual site shared with Nancy Snipper, acclaimed author and cultural affairs journalist. July 2016 ushers in her new site: SN Travel and Arts without Borders. Check it out!
Site bilingue partagé avec Nancy Snipper, auteur acclameé et journaliste des affaires culturelles. Juillet 2016 inaugure sa nouvelle site: SN Travel and Arts without Borders. Vérifiez-le!
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Friday, 14 June 2013
Decca 77 ... Two Personalities
Chef Jean-Sébastien Giguère
makes it doubly delicious and daring!
by Nancy Snipper
Ten-year-old Decca 77
sports architecture that is creatively cool and sophisticated without being
pretentious. Its sleek cutting-edge interior of greys, black and brown tables
with suede chairs and banquettes is full of eye catching surprises – like that
long wide suede red cushion running along one wall near the main bar. Marble,
marble everywhere: black on the counters and grey on the walls. Wonderfully huge glassed-in cages hold hundreds
bottles of wine for all the diners to see. There’s a white queen size leather
chair that sits smack at the entrance. It seems to be waiting for an important
diner to pose in, and above it, strides an enormous rectangular white glass
chandelier. Its enormous space can accommodate 120 people.
This exciting interior
is a great introduction to Decca’ 77’s new shining star, Chef Jean-Sébastien
Giguère. You know that any chef who worked with Christophe Geffray - former
private Chef of France’s President François Mitterand - and Normand Laprise at
Montreal’s stellar restaurant Toqué! is moving places. There are just so many
cuisine coups in this chef’s tall hat to mention here, but suffice it to say,
that his talent is so huge, Decca 77 snagged him knowing his impressive
culinary pedigree would give the restaurant something so daring and new that
tongues would be wagging long after diners left the restaurant.
The most important
innovation that this stellar chef has brought to Decca 77 is the double cuisine
personality expressed through two distinct dining experiences. Part of the
restaurant is a Brasserie, and the other a restaurant. It’s an exciting
concept, but it does mean double work for Chef Giguère. Dishes served in the
Brasserie space highlight simplicity, quality,
efficiency and very affordable prices. The restaurant space showcases Chef Giguère’s
artistry, precision, and the mastering of his craft with incredible know-how
living my dream of running my own kitchen. Both sides of the restaurant allow
me express my creativity in different ways, and to design menus that
incorporate local ingredients as much as possible.”
The food I tasted was
incredible. If you have a party, a wedding or business meeting, you must insist
Giguère’s team serve these wonderful little starters: foie gras sandwiched
between a slim meringue wafer topped in a dot of strawberry puree. The sweetness
at the end mixed with the silky foie gras was doubly delicious.
Another starter from
the Brasserie menu featured a triangular number that was so original, I wanted
to frame it, but I ate it instead! It consisted of 1608 melted cheese from
Charlevoix, and it made an awesome combination with the Shitake and Oyster King
Mushrooms that all rested in a subtle caramelized glaze that slinked sensuously
around the triangle.
I was eager to set my
taste buds into the restaurant side of culinary excellence. Every dish I had
was a stand out, perhaps because one of the trademarks of this daring chef is
the way he is able to mix sauces with the main dish and introduce a variety a
tiny legumes and sweet surprises to create a new flavour sensation. Take for
example the Calf’s sweetbread. It came with rhubarb confit and black garlic.
There were even tiny bits of hazelnuts and onion and celery to give kick and
colour. This was my favourite main dish.
My dining companion
really liked the salmon that came from the Brasserie menu.
but I thought
the filet mignon with these tiny baby clams, asparagus and bordelaise sauce was
I have decided not to
include every photo of all the dishes we enjoyed included some truly winning
appetizers.After all, something must be
left to surprise your eyes and palette.
However, allow me to finish off with the
dessert tray served on black slate. We had strawberry soufflé, (from the
restaurant menu), Kalhula Tiramisu, melt-in-your mouth chocolate truffles and
Bomboloni flavoured with orange, chocolate and vanilla sugar. The iced nougat
and pistachio arlette was sinful. I was ready to fly to heaven (or be lifted –
I had eaten so much)!
Lest I forget to
mention, you may recall that wire cage full of vintage wines… well… we had the
chance to enjoy wonderful pairings with our meals. The wines came from several
private domains from Italy, France, Spain,
Argentina, and New Zealand and
not one of them exceeded the year 2011.
Most were dry, one was
citrus and another pungent (the red Bourgogne).
The food, the atmosphere and the warmth of the waiters, as well as the charm of Christophe Truffert, Decca 77's general manager makes for an exciting dining experience both
in the Brasserie and the restaurant. For those who just want to head for a
drink after work, there a mid-level floor with a lovely bar where business
people come to relax.