Friday, 29 April 2011

L’Orée du Bois

Over Easter I was in Ottawa, visiting extended family and seeing more of Canada. I was very impressed by Ottawa I found it to be very beautiful. Some of the buildings reminded me of parts of Europe, I think it must have been the gothic architecture. The mighty Ottawa River separates Ontario and Quebec, so I was very excited to go over the river and visit Quebec. Lucky for me one night we were taken over the river into Gatineau, Quebec to dine at L'Orée du Bois for dinner. L’Orée du Bois is one of the family favourites they often go there on special occasions. Adam and I were taken there as guests and we were very spoilt.

L'Orée du Bois loosely translates to emerging from the woods. True to the name the restaurant is emerging from the woods. It is a cosy little place that looks like a cottage and is made mostly of wood. I apologise now as I did not take enough photos of the restaurant exterior and interior. The website is fantastic and important if you ever want to go there are lots of photos on this website if you are interested. I found out that the restaurant used to be a farm house and was built at the start of the century. There is still a farm and a lot of the produce used in the cooking is grown there. The atmosphere inside is warm and romantic, candle lights on the tables, wooden interior, French music playing.  The menu is Quebecois cuisine, similar to French but with local produce. The food is very rustic and full of flavour. 
The menu is amazing the prices are really reasonable. Right now I am thinking of France Soir, a French restaurant in Melbourne, Australia (Probably not a good comparison as I was never impressed with France Soir) Any way, I found the food at L'Orée du Bois so much better than France Soir and so much cheaper. Oh and I almost forgot, the service, at L'Orée du Bois they were friendly, responsive and warm, unlike France Soir where the waiters were sour, unresponsive and arrogant.  
I had the menu which consisted of soup, entree, main, dessert, coffee/tea - $38. 
I decided not to have soup because I was worried about fitting everything in. For entree I had duck foie gras. YUM  
For main course I had the red deer medallion, with red wine sauce, pureed potatoes, beans, green pea and tarragon mousse. It was delicious, words cannot describe the taste sensation. I ordered the meat rare, which was a good choice, and the meat was cooked perfectly. It just melted in my mouth, that sauce was also really yummy. We were also drinking red wine (cannot remember what sort sorry) it went really well with this dish.

For dessert, I had the three chocolate iced terrine, it came with orange sauce and grenadine candied orange zest. As you can see there was dark, milk and white chocolate. The sauce went really well with the chocolate, and the candid grenadine orange zest was a tangy flavour with great texture. 

I managed to get a little taste of Adam’s food. He was going with the duck theme (yay)! For entree he had duck liver parfait with port wine. It differed quite a bit to my foie gras, I don't know much about foie gras (except that it is delicious) so I could not give you any accurate education about the difference. I did ask the waitress to explain the difference but the only thing I can remember her saying is that some of the ducks are force fed and then some are not. Adam and I decided that my foie gras was from a force fed duck because the colour was a yellow creamy colour more like the colour of fat, probably not something I should think about, even so it was a taste sensation. For main Adam had duck confit it came with a mushroom sauce. Unfortunately I only got a tiny piece and it had a bit of chewy fat on it, so I wasn’t that excited by the duck, but Adam assures me it was a great duck, and I trust his duck opinion! For dessert he had the chocolate mousse, which was amazingly rich.
Overall great food, great company, great experience. We definitely will be going back there, just have to find the time, I mean who could turn down the wild boar rillettes for $6.00, to be continued....  


  1. I'm with your menu Michelle. I would have chosen all the ones you did. That venison looks amazing! You are good at explaining the food and the warmth of the waiters. Do people leave tips in canada? If so i suppose you left a good tip. love mum

  2. I am glad you liked it Mum, people do leave tips in Canada, which is great because the waiters do not get paid much so they rely on tips. The venison was amazing.

  3. Yum..great blog as always.
    Thanks for the link to their website.. i checked it out and they have some great accordion music going on!!! PERFECT!!
    was there live accordion music on the night you ate there?

  4. Unfortunately no accordion music on the night. Shame it would have made it even better.