St. Lawrence brings "sugar shack" flavours to Vancouver with Cabane à Sucre dinners

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      Vancouver will get a taste of a beloved French Canadian tradition when St. Lawrence hosts its new Cabane à Sucre dinners.

      Born in St. Jerome and raised in Montreal and Quebec City, St. Lawrence chef/owner J-C Poirier is paying tribute to his Québécois roots.

      Every winter in Quebec, people gather at “sugar shacks”, where freshly drawn sap from maple trees is boiled and turned into syrup. That sweet liquid gets poured over fresh snow then pulled off and eaten like taffy. The ritual plays out in French-Canadian communities right across the country. (In places where maple trees don’t grow, participants use pure, premade maple syrup.)

      Hearty, home-made meals are also an integral part of the celebrations.

      At St. Lawrence for three nights only—this Sunday to Tuesday (January 19, 20 and 21) with two seatings per night—Poirier is re-creating many of the traditional dishes he grew up with.

      “Visiting the cabane à sucre with my family was something that I used to look forward to every year,” Poirier said in a release. “We want to give our guests an authentic taste of the sugar shack experience from start to finish and show why this is such a time-honoured part of our Québécois heritage.”

      The multicourse meal is the kind of stuff that warms you up and puts meat on your bones.

      It kicks off with a sugar-shack inspired cocktail created by bar manager Yacine Sylla.

      From there, you’ll find dishes like split pea soup with ham hock, bacon, and puff pastry; sausages cooked in maple syrup; pickled pork tongue; smoked cod and lobster quenelle; baked omelette in maple syrup; and salmon gravlax in gin.

      Then there’s tourtière de canard—duck-meat pie—with onions and maple sauce as well as ham pork loin with meatball ragout, and more.

      To finish: a classic pudding chômeur, aka “poor man’s pudding” with vanilla ice cream served alongside maple marshmallows with Rémy Martin 1738 or De Luze cognac.

      St. Lawrence was named the No. 5 restaurant in Canada in the 2019 compilation of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.

      Tickets to the Cabane à Sucre dinner ($125 per person plus tax and gratuity) and more details are at stlawrencerestaurant.com.

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