1052 Rue Lionel-Daunais,
Boucherville, QC J4B 0B2
Tel : (450) 906-3886
Cost : $ 101.18
Chef Hats : 4.5
Chef Ian Perreault’s Chez Lionel in Boucherville is a definite must for all those die-hard foodies. One cannot be serious about the Montreal food scene and omit this one because of its location. I may sound biased and that is because I am. For the last twenty years, Chef Perreault has wowed me with his cuisine. My first experience was at his restaurant Area on Amherst Street in the Village in 2002, then Prêt a Manger in Outremont. Both now defunct, I was happy to hear he had opened another restaurant in Boucherville in 2013. I was again very excited to be able to try another one of his establishments. I can remember that his presentations and combination of foods were out of this world. The decor of his restaurants was fresh, young and cool. Area was predominately decorated in white, with white leather banquettes, walls and rectangular white dishes. It was a happening place but contained an aura of serenity. Food presentations were avant-garde and he was venturing were no man had gone before… long before The Globe and Buonanotte burst on the scene, he was at the forefront of a different dining experience, he led the way in concept and innovation at the age of twenty four.
Feeling creative and adventurous we headed for a ride to the suburb of Boucherville . In a mall housing a few restaurants and businesses we found Chez Lionel nestled in a corner. I was happy to see they had a terrasse. We opted to sit outside since our summer is short and wanting to get in as much of the good weather as possible. There terrasse is great, it is shielded by glass panels and black awning for those extra windy days or scorching hot days. Optimal comfort for its patrons I thought. A walk inside the resto showed me that with the passing of time we all grow up and things really change, so has taste in decor. Mature and serious, the surroundings are beautiful, the restaurant is divided in two different sections, an area with burnt sienna oval banquettes and tables, and the wall is wall to ceiling glass panel that houses hundreds of bottles of wine. Two magnificent crystal chandeliers hang in the center with other subdued lighting illuminating the counters and silver steel plated bar. Behind that you will find a row tables and black chairs, less comfortable but nonetheless masculine and still very appealing especially at night with the effects of the lighting. It is very different from the antiseptic whiteness and look of restaurant Area of the 2000’s.
We started our diner with two glasses of Rioja, Tempranillo, Lopez de Haro, Spain, 2013 a private import for only $8.00. On the wine list you will find many great imports by the glass at reasonable prices. I wanted something bold and strong with my dish tonight. Temparanillo is one of my favorite Spanish wines and a good choice to go with any meat dish.
For appetizers we shared an entree of Arancini, three crispy rice balls made with smoked cheese in the center and dried tomatoes, served on a bed of parsley salad, with pieces of chorizo bacon bits, black olives and classic romesco sauce. Delicious and bursting with flavor of light lemon and thyme. Not the classic Italian arancini, but done differently à la Ian Perreault way.
Having heard so much about their Homemade Ricotta Stuffed Ravioli, I decided this was the way I was going tonight. It was a fantastic choice and one I did not regret, as I have had this dish in many restaurants, but the flavors at Chez Lionel are so enhanced and like no other place I have ever eaten them at by a long hot.
For $ 24.00, I received a generous portion of tender ricotta filled ravioli in a light organic mushroom sauce, topped with a generous portion of pulled confit de canard. It came garnished with parsley and truffle oil, which added a woodsier flavor to the already delicious mushrooms.
The mushroom sauce was heavenly, I scooped up the liquid with every morsel, and it was totally addictive and delicious at the same time. The duck was not fatty, nor tough or gamey and complimented the organic mushrooms sauce well. I used the delicious bread we were served from L’Amour du Pain in Boucherville to gather the last bit of sauce that remained.
My dining partner had the Atlantic Salmon Poêlée au beurre for $ 23.00. He received not one but two pieces of pave of salmon that sat atop a light smoked sour cream and asparagus puree, roasted potatoes, cherry tomato confit and sautéed whole asparagus. It came garnished with radishes and coriander salad. It was absolutely mouth watering and delicious. Also one of the best smoked salmon he had ever had and packed with flavor. Not overcooked, not dry, the pieces of fish flaked off the fork.
The mix of radish and coriander enhancing every bite.
For dessert a deconstructed tarte citron en verrine at $8.00, the dessert was served in a mason jar on a slate plate for different angle on presentation, on the side, a crumble of almond praline and Italian meringue swirl. The verrine contained a tier of meringue, and lemon custard with a layer of almonds in between, topped with zests of ginger slivers marinated in syrup. To cap off our meal two very good espressos’s at $3.00.
I believe the formula at Chez Lionel is a winner; not only for the young suburbanites of Boucherville and the environs but for fans of Ian Perreault. I believe the drive is worth it. Although I am not a fan of restaurants situated in malls, I would prefer they stand alone. Sometimes we don’t have that luxury.
This was definitely different and I left with a good positive feeling and totally content. Sometimes we have to venture out of our comfort zone to find great things.