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 and flare.  

 “I’m finally 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 extraordinarily different. 

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. 

For you information, go to:

Decca 77 is located at 1077 rue Drummond, Montreal, Quebec, H38 4X

For reservations, call (514) 939-7329.