Our friends at Expedia.ca recently sent followsummer on a three-day, long weekend to Eastern Canada's premier ski resort, Mont Tremblant as part of their #BigWorldExplorer campaign. My initial response was, 'but I haven't been on skis in 25 years!!' but upon arrival, I was soon caught up in Tremblant's charm, excitement, joie de vivre and intoxicating energy. And yes, I did get up on skis again!
After a long day on the slopes of Tremblant,
you have to take some time to eat, unwind and in my case, lubricate my out of shape, weary legs. Will it be in and out fast food, fine dining, or perhaps a local gastropub? In-hotel room service, close to the slopes or outside of the village? So many choices to satisfy a hungry skier! Here are some recommendations both close to the hill and further afield.
My first-night welcome to Tremblant dinner is spent upstairs at the clubby, wood and leather La Forge in their popular Grill. Françis welcomes me with a relaxed, Quebecois sense of 'I've met you before' and makes me feel entirely at home. I perch myself at the bar with views of their maple-fed open fire grills and Alex from New Brunswick, walks me through the menu, intermittently telling me what brought him to Tremblant some fifteen years earlier. I decide on an entirely beef night and start with a traditional tartare: quai- egg topped and toasts on the side, pickled, acidity caper berries countering the rich, raw meat. Splashes of sriracha and spicy olive oil topped with a tasty garnish of cilantro make this dish sing! I pause and sip my Henry of Pelham 2014 Baco Noir before enjoying a refreshing kale, red cabbage, and green apple salad. Everything is relaxed and well timed. Finally le piece de resistance: Japanese Wagyu 'aux fillet' cooked medium rare over the wood fire, a separate sea salt bowl for seasoning. The meat is buttery-rich and tender with full on flavour in my mouth; a tablespoon of pickled, salty, gingery slaw cleanses the palate between each wonderful, beefy bite. Sides of hand cut fries, garlic or smoked cheddar (how Quebecois!) mash or simple green beans round out my meal. The dress is casual, aprés ski wear: boys in hoodies and girls in cashmere. Dress comfortably and enjoy the candle-lit ambiance watching the groomers zoom back and forth across the mountain in preparation for tomorrow's crowds.
After a morning on the slopes, stow your skis at the Ski Valet and head downstairs to La Forge's Bistro-Bar, conveniently located between the ski slopes and 2 ski-boot steps to Place St-Bernard. Right in the heart of Tremblant's pedestrian village, La Forge's Bistro-Bar-Pub provides a convenient and yummy break from the hill. Some fairly standard bistro pub food offerings are offered including sandwiches, bread bowls, pizza and burgers with kids and gluten-free options as well. Beer is the beverage of choice here, but wine and popular mixed drinks are available for the non-hop lover. Saturday nights the bar turns the volume up with live music from local musicians. If the weather is glorious, as it was for my visit, sit outside on their sunny patio and people-watch Place St-Bernard and sip and nibble your way through a burger and a beer or some savoury BBQ duck confit poutine.
Microbrasserie La Diable
This popular micro-brewery hangout has a big lunchtime buzz with skiers in their boots and locals alike dropping by for a beer and some traditional and not so traditional pub food. La Diable offers 100% natural, brewed on site blondes, reds, whites, darks and stouts with monthly beers on offer, (March was their IPA month). I start with une 'Diable' (of course), this micro brasserie's most popular ale. Very smooth with a nice balancing of hops and malt. Some very UN-pubish food offerings here at La Diable: 'Toulouse and Octoberfest sausage with house made sauerkraut": some Québecoise Charcuterie which I wash down with my second glass of suds, the monthly IPA choice. In the mood for more traditional pub fare? Croque-monsieur, burgers and traditional Montréal smoked meat will sate your skiing hunger. I could have wiled away a few hours sipping the entire beer menu at La Diable, but alas I was on a schedule!
I recently returned from a trip to EvianlesBains and the French Alps and was totally taken by a fantastic post-Alpine hike lunch of Raclette Royale at the family-run Le Relais de la Chevrette . I have been on the look out for this cheesy wonderfulness since my return. Tremblant friends and regulars mentioned that I had to visit La Savoie during my stay and am happy I did. This little bit of French/Switzerland heaven, on Chemin de Kandahar in the pedestrian village, offers an authentic Savoyard experience. Both cheese and broth fondues, grill stones offering duck, chicken, shrimps, scallops and fillet mignon are popular, but really, one has to have the Raclette Savayarde with either Raclette Cheese or Raw Milk Cheese (lait cru) imported from Savoie. Of course, add some boiled potatoes, Parma Ham, Rosette de Lyon (cured pork sausage) and a green salad to make you feel just a little saintly and your evening is complete. An excellent French Alpine experience close to the slopes.
Restaurant Patrick Berman
Make sure you include some time away from the busy Tremblant Village and take a short drive to Old Tremblant and spend some adult time at the Restaurant Patrick Bermand . My last night in Tremblant was spent at this lovely, warm candle-lit room set in an original Quebec farmhouse, aptly named,"House of Happiness' in Old Tremblant. General Manager Marc Bujold 'amuses' me with a typical Quebec tasting: Duck Foie gras, local goat cheese, tartare and a lovely gravlax that took me back to my Montreal of the late 1970's. Ginger ice follows to cleanse the palate. Patrick Berman is personally in the house this Friday evening, and in typical French style, working the room, welcoming guests and thanking them, and me, for coming. A truly gracious and generous host. I continue with a beautiful free range chicken, perfectly roasted, thyme 'au juice' with roasted carrots and simple green beans, a touch of roasted fennel to make it sing, all sitting on a pillow of caramelized onion cauliflower purée. Such welcoming staff, wonderful food, intimate atmosphere. Get out of the hectic pace of Tremblant's ski village and enjoy a true a taste of simple, joyous hospitality.
Many thanks to Expedia.ca‘s #BigWorldExplorer program. followsummer would love to know where your favorite Tremblant experiences are, both on and off the slopes and in any season via the comments below! Need to do more research? You can always find a great flight, rental car and hotel deals to Montreal and Tremblant here . Certain meals and activities were generously sponsored by the Tremblant Resort Association who did not approve this review. Many thanks for their generosity and support.