Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Ohh Lord. Where do I even begin.
Maybe, declare the BEST Restaurant ever. Or Maybe proclaim coolest place. Maybe even, dare I say it, Heaven on Earth.
And All of it would be true.
Chucks Hughes restaurant in Old Montreal. aka. 'Chuck's Day Off', from Food Network TV.
Garde Manger is OUR kind of place.
The music was off the charts good, and I swear they stole Peter's i-pod and just selected random. It was all those hard-to-find gems (think Music Mondays), mixed with a bunch of classics. It was loud, and Pete was bopping and grooving, and his smile NEVER faded. Actually, neither did mine.
Our waitress, Chris, both beautiful and perfectly fluent in English, was possibly the best we've ever had. I wanted to be best friends with her. She even taught me how to never miss a 'high five'. Seriously.
She also gave us some insider information when we asked why Chuck was not at the restaurant (we were very sad, yes) as we heard he was always there, and she said that Chuck 'may' be in the works for a new TV show positioned out of Mexico. Hmmm....More Chuck, Yes Please!
The restaurant was covered with mostly brick walls, with a touch of wood, and some old school gothic looking chandeliers. Utterly amazing. Only could you find this sort of atmosphere in Old Montreal.
Didn't even have a sign on the outside, just a colored light. 
We started out with some Big Crab Ceasar's. And they came with actual whole crab legs in our drinks.
Umm, Delicious.
Then we where served bread with a cream cheese spread. I casually ask, thinking we're total foodies and can taste flavors exactly as they are, "So is this bacon or salmon cream cheese?", Our waitress answers with a small smirk, "Actually, caramelized onions". I felt like a turd. Some foodies we are.
Then Chris spends the time to read the entire menu to us. It was in french, written out on chalk boards hung on the walls. Totally cool. Allows you to really get to know each other intimately. 
So we go for the Spicy Jerk Snow Crab legs for our appetizer, especially after seeing it on an episode of Chuck's show, (and FYI: I have the recipe at home & will post).
And spicy it was, but the most authentic Jamaican jerk spice I've ever come across since, well, Jamaica!!
Hubby declared it the Best spice he's ever tasted. Note: Also the messiest. 
See picture of Peter after...(this doesn't really do it justice, Chris actually had to change the tablecloth!)
The best way to talk of our main course meals where as Pete described "Chuck knows how to serve comfort food classy, and classy food comfortably", which I decided was perfectly put.
Peter ordered Giant Scallops, and got a ton of them, served with scalloped potatoes, pancetta bacon, and a tomato based sauce. Words can't even go into detail the deliciousness of this meal.
Then I ordered the Duck Breast, served with Fois Grois (yes, I am aware of what it is), which came with roasted potatoes, fried cheese, in a mushroom demi sauce. Ohh YUM.
My mouth is still salivating.
I think we are ruined with future food forever.
We basically licked our plates clean, even though we couldn't possibly stuff anymore food into our bellies. 
I had huge expectations for Garde Manger, and let me tell you the anticipation was immense before we left; this was one of our high-lights of the trip, and it did not disappoint.
The food, the music, the company, the atmosphere.
It was just a whole lot of goodness.
When can we seriously go back?
ps. Chuck, if you ever need 2 very willing participants to cook for on 'Your day off', you know where to find us. 
HAHA, check out just HOW Happy Hubby is! That smile says it all!!! This is just after getting back to our hotel.

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