A Chef on Display – L’ESPACE MC Chef

A Chef on Display – L’ESPACE MC Chef

Article by Sarah Williams

It may be a tad too late for this year’s holiday office party, but here is the name of a restaurant that you should definitely hang onto for next year: L’ESPACE MC Chef.

Photo Credit: Allison Van Rassel

The design concept of L’ESPACE, is exactly that: space.

Space to move, space to mingle, space to taste and create!

The restaurant, which officially opened its doors this week, is very conducive to socializing: there are the long banquet style tables and stools, which are perfect for group get-togethers, as well as the oversized velvet-covered booth, large enough to seat a “cozy” party of six. The prime location however, is perched on one of the stools around the bar, granting you an unrestricted view of the kitchen. There, you can observe Chef Marie-Chantal Lepage and her crew as they put on a culinary spectacle.   

It takes a certain amount of confidence for a chef to expose her craft to the scrutiny of her clientele.  Lesage’s aplomb comes from three decades of honing her skills in other kitchens (including her most recent post as executive chef at Château Bonne Entente), winning numerous awards and accolades. Based on the open-concept that Lepage has chosen for her first foray into restaurant ownership, one could surmise that she had been feeling a little cooped up.  Now, she seems to be reveling in her newfound freedom.

Photo Credit: Allison Van Rassel

Concerning her culinary exploits, Lepage shows an inclination toward the rich and the comforting.  One of the highlights on opening night, was the Braised Veal Cheek.  Served as an entrée, on an almond and cauliflower puree, and topped with a shrimp nem (a mini spring roll), the gently braised veal was so extremely tender it literally melted in your mouth; proof positive of Lesage’s deft hand with meat dishes.  This is an important revelation, as the regular menu features main course dishes such as: slowly cooked Nagano pork paired with a black beluga lentil stew; veal filet with a vanilla and star anise flavoured carrot puree; and grilled beef accompanied by spicy marinated gambas (shrimp) and parmesan shitake mushroom risotto.

On top of the braised veal, the inaugural dinner introduced another appetizer worthy of mention: The Porcini Shooter.  Served in an espresso-sized mug, the mousseline cream with truffle oil possesses an astonishingly velvety texture, and full-bodied caramelized mushroom flavour; the small shooter portion leaves you craving for more.  Luckily, this is a featured item on the usual menu (listed in a table d’hôte style with à la carte pricing) offered at L’ESPACE.

Photo Credit: Sarah Williams

It would be remiss not to mention the final course on grand opening night, a dessert aptly named: the chocolate sphere.  On the outside: a cool sphere-shaped chocolate shell, topped with a piece of lacy bubble sugar. With characteristic dramatic flair, the servers made the rounds, pouring warm chocolate bergamot flavoured coulis, over each guest’s dessert. The warm sauce helped to soften the chocolate shell, making it easier to dive your spoon into the centre, which contained a praline and chocolate mousse over a dark chocolate sponge cake.  It’s indicated on the menu that the dessert of the day is according to the chef’s inspiration – Lepage’s chocolate sphere was definitely inspired!  

To pay a visit to L’ESPACE, you don’t have to wait until dinner, as well as the restaurant, the MC Chef project includes: a coffee shop (L’ESPACE CAFÉ), a catering service (L’ESPACE TRAITEUR), a boutique for kitchen accessories, and cooking classes, all in one convenient location:

L’ESPACE MC CHEF

55, rue Dalhousie,

Québec, QC

G1K 4B6

Tel: 418.694.9792

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About the author:


Sarah Williams is a mother of three young children, and a freelance writer.

Sarah had her first experience living in Quebec while earning her bachelor’s degree in Communications at Concordia University (MTL) in the late nineties.

Hailing from Cobourg, Ontario, Sarah moved to Quebec City in January of the year 2000. For her, this city is the perfect balance of the small town feel of her hometown in Ontario and the vibrant francophone culture of Montreal.

Professionally, Sarah has worked a fair bit in the media as a copywriter and researcher; for Global Television, and for a T.V. cooking show (what’s cooking).

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