The revenge of the sugars
Local, original, sugar shacks
Whether it’s the Cabane à Tuque, which eco-responsibly offers a menu that’s local, organic and vegan; or La Tablée des Pionniers which innovates beautifully thanks to a gourmet menu; or the more traditional Érablière du Berger which provides myriad maple products entirely locally created … those with a sweet tooth should be able to have their revenge and this year celebrate sugaring-off time as it should be celebrated.
LA CABANE À TUQUE, WIGWAM STYLE
This sugar shack, unique in Québec, has for the past five years presented a delicious, healthy, local and organic menu of foods. To adapt to public health measures, a wigwam has been set up on the site of the family sugar bush, allowing guests to eat outdoors.
Simon Meloche, owner of the Cabane à Tuque, has also taken care to set up dining corners right in the forest for more privacy. A format of takeout dishes is also available, but you must bring your own containers to avail yourself of it, because Cabane à Tuque produces no waste.
A menu both original and delicious
The first course is the traditional pea soup, smoked baguette of bread and vegan creton. Then the serious stuff: a millet and vegetable tourtière; a temp’oeuf with vegetables – tempeh of 100 per cent local yellow peas without soy, used to replace the omelettes; pork and beans without the pork, and brown-fried potatoes.
All this is served with a homemade tomato-onion catsup, sauerkraut, maple syrup and marinated beets. The finale is buckwheat and spelt pancakes served with fruit compote, poor-man’s pudding with amazake, maple taffy on snow, a chaga drink and a maple reduction. “It’s hearty” Simon notes, reminding us that vegan food, contrary to common belief, can be very nourishing.
Then guests can enjoy walking the trails in this beautiful area, and for those still standing, axe-throwing is available, just for the fun of it. Open April 2 to May 2. Please be sure to make reservations at website lacabaneatuque.com and click on “Réservez maintenant !”.
LA TABLÉE DES PIONNIERS
Forced to close only two weeks after acquiring the maple operation in 2020, the new Tablée des Pionniers owners – which include renowned chefs François Louis Marcotte and Jean- François Robillard – had to “turn on a dime,” explains Stéphanie Dubé, the restaurant’s general manager. So a system of meals to go was developed. Since then this format, which is markedly successful, has allowed the establishment to sell 100 boxed meals per day, from Thursday to Sunday. Please note that Easter Monday has also been added to the schedule.
The dinner-show to share
Revisited by chefs Marcotte and Robillard, the menu of the boxed meal to share makes our mouth water, just reading it. There’s flaky pastry with pulled young pork and mushrooms, Spanish omelette with cheese curds, smoked duck and foie gras mousse, and maple jelly. A virtual show is also provided with the meal. Filmed within the sugar shack enclosure, Steve Provost and his violinist Vanessa Blay-Tremblay provide a lively, hour-and-forty-two-minute concert to Tablée des Pionniers guests. “Steve really connects with his virtual audience. He makes us get up, dance and drink with him. He honestly seems to reach right through the screen,” says Stéphanie.
What else is new?
A small new farm, new outdoor bar, trail, discovery rally and campfire allow visitors who come to pick up their meal to enjoy some time in nature, just like in the good old days. A shop also offers a wide variety of special gourmet treats. It should be noted that the building will be demolished after the spring to be replaced by a completely new sugar shack complete with the antiques and architectural elements of the original building. The new version will be designed by architect Sébastien Millette, a descendant of the couple who founded this secular, nine-hectare sugar bush. latableedespionniers.com
L’ÉRABLIÈRE DU BERGER
Operated with passion since 2004 by Claudia and Marcel, this superb sugar bush operation is located in Lac-Tremblant-Nord. Open yearround, their shop offers delicious maple products made on-site. Need some comfort food? Claudia confides to us that the maple pies are currently very popular. Syrup, sugar (block or granulated), taffy, caramel, butter, jelly and salad dressing are among the popular maple products that can be bought at this family business tucked away in the forest. erabliereduberger.com
Guillaume Vincent257 Posts
Rédacteur et journaliste de profession, Guillaume Vincent a fait ses armes au sein de l’agence QMI. Il s’est joint au Tremblant Express en 2014. Promu en 2017, il y assume depuis le rôle de rédacteur en chef et directeur de la publication. / A writer and photojournalist by profession, Guillaume Vincent won his stripes in the QMI agency. He joined Tremblant Express in 2014. Promoted in 2017, he has been editor-in-chief and co-publisher since then.