Through the good photos and sometimes the less good ones, our restaurant critics will tell you about their experiences, introduce the team in the dining room and in the kitchen and explain what motivated the choice of the restaurant. This week: the picnic experience in the orchard by the cottage next door.
Posted yesterday at 11am
why talk about it
To make the most of the summer, what could be nicer than a picnic in an idyllic setting? The magnificent orchard of the cabane next door allowed us to have such an experience. And she was outstanding! While the place is usually full, seats have recently been added to counteract the phenomenon of customers not keeping their reservations – you know, the so-called “no-shows”. – which has doubled this year. Here is the opportunity to go to Saint-Benoît-de-Mirabel to have a great time.
Who are you ?
Opened in winter 2018, the Cabane d’à Côté is surrounded by an orchard where the ciders of the Cidrerie du Pied de Cochon come from. It is managed by Vincent Dion-Lavallée, chef and co-owner, along with Martin Picard and Marc Beaudin. At first we offered meals in the small dining room, but the health situation made the team think of a different formula. “We never dared to have a picnic in the orchard… The pandemic gave us the little kick in the butt we needed! says the head chef, who can count on a loyal and solid team all year round during the apple and sugar season.
It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The weekend was exceptional weather wise and for once customers who did not cancel their reservations were rare. It rolls at full blast under the marquee at the entrance, where customers have to wait a bit to collect their baskets, adding extras and refreshments along the way. Despite a very busy day and some pitfalls – including an internet network outage that shut everything down for many minutes – all customers were greeted with a smile.
The orchard is lovely and invites you to relax. The huge room can accommodate about 500 people. A hundred umbrellas are set up and tree trunks provide seating, but it’s best to bring your own blankets and chairs. Children can romp around carefree while adults drink, chat or stroll among the apple trees. No one will pressure you to leave here.
The picnic basket changes monthly and contains eight small bowls, plates, cutlery and even a rubbish bag (everything compostable). So much for the container.
The content is absolutely delicious! It offers seasonal vegetables and fruits, local produce from their land or from local producers, often neighbors. The short circuit is strongly favored here.
Everything is immaculately fresh. The flavors are punched remain balanced and the products finely worked. We loved everything: the thirst-quenching tomato water soup, the mackerel in escabeche in its slightly spicy romesco sauce, the irresistible porchetta with its horseradish sauce and crunchy lettuce leaves, or the grilled chicken, very juicy bathed in a tasty pepper sauce.
From one dish to another, we immerse ourselves in summer and its bountiful fruits.
Speaking of fruit, the strawberry completes this memorable picnic in style. This layered dessert—sponge cake, diplomate, whipped cream, strawberry puree, verbena jelly—offers an eloquent marriage of flavors and textures without weighing the stomach down.
In our glass
The creations of the Cidrerie du Pied de Cochon are in the spotlight – you can taste exclusive novelties such as the cider La Couleur de l’amour, to which the currants give a pretty pink hue. Children or drivers can sip homemade rhubarb lemonade. Otherwise, the wine list gives pride of place to Quebec juices: Pinard et Filles, Lieux Communs, Négondos, Joy Hill… as well as wineries and wineries well-known to lovers of natural or biodynamic wines, such as Milan Nestarec, Pearl Morissette, Poderi Cellario, Denavolo or La petite baigneuse. The team will be happy to advise you.
Good to know
To live the Cabane d’à Côté experience, all you have to do is reserve online the number of baskets you want for the weekend of your choice. We then go there and only pay once on the spot. In rainy weather it is possible to settle down under the central marquee, which has space for about fifteen picnic tables. And please respect your reservation!
It costs $87 for a basket that can feed two people very well. Those with a sweet tooth can add extras to share, such as the homemade burrata ($30) or berry tart ($12). It is also possible to reserve the central marquee for an exclusive land menu at a cost of USD 125 per person (groups of 8 to 14 people).
La Cabane d’à Côté is normally open until mid-September. Good news: The weekends from 17.-18. September and 23-24 September just added. The service begins at 11am and ends at 6pm, but it is entirely possible to enjoy the orchard until sunset.
3595, Montée Robillard, Saint-Benoît de Mirabel