frog eater | Frog jumps forward

(Rimouski) For thirty years, Le Mange-Grenouille has been one of the most unique accommodations in Quebec, with its very theatrical decor. The new owners acquired Auberge du Bic over a year ago. Without tainting the place, they are counting on a more classic hotel and restaurant experience. We visited them in June.

Posted yesterday at 11:00 AM.

Eve Dumas

Eve Dumas
Journalism

In all fairness, we admit that we have not experienced a “real” evening service in the dining room at Mange-Grenouille. We kind of regret it. Because the few dishes that Chef Antoine Landry prepared exclusively for us the day after our night in the hostel, while we were chatting, were superb.


Photo courtesy of ALEX C. OZ

What would a frog eater without its frogs?


Photo ÈVE Duma, the press

The woodwork and warm atmosphere of Mange-Grenouille are still there.

First, there was the dumplings, an appetizer that we had heard so much about during our very short stay because the day before, a customer had dared to order a second portion for dessert!

Fried, small stuffed ones were stuffed with spinach and white kale, then topped with rosehip and sesame sauce. Complete this very original dish with swiss chard ketchup, black garlic, and a few green sprouts. We were able to appreciate its little taste back at it, which credits the balance of salty, sweet, fat and acid.


Photo courtesy of ALEX C. OZ

These seasonal dumplings are all the rage at Mange-Frog.

Dessert was nothing less than the fruit of great culinary creativity. Titled “The Potato,” it had at its base a cream of rice-scented mousse, and studded with slightly sweet potato chips, all topped with haskap jelly.


Photo courtesy of ALEX C. OZ

With slightly sweet potato chips, Antoine Landry’s “Potato” dessert is a perfect example of the chef’s creativity.

It is an idea that the chef developed at a time when few fresh fruits were available from Quebec. As he insists on working with as many local ingredients as possible, he rarely allows himself to fall back on citrus fruits or chocolate. Another dessert of the three desserts on the list centered around kash, an herb flavored with celery. There was a rose-spiced option in this bold pairing.

“It would be a lie to say we never use lemonade. Transparency is important,” the chef from Rimouski told us later via email.

Antoine Landry has returned to his area during the COVID-19 crisis after working at Botanistes and Chez Boulay, in particular, in Quebec. Also learn alongside Major Johan Veneau at La Table des Roy (Îles-de-la-Madeleine). This explains his knowledge of the various provinces of Quebec and what is hunted, selected, raised and cultivated.


Photo courtesy of ALEX C. OZ

Antoine Landry

At Mange-Grenouille, he cooks with local meat, local fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood from Rimouski and Gaspésie, maple syrup, honey, camelina oil from Lower Saint-Laurent, and rhubarb juice for acidity.

“I even make my own lard to quietly ditch canola oil. I preserve, ferment, dry, preserve vegetables, etc. I’ll look outside for basic products like sugar, salt, a little bit of chocolate, and starch. The olive oil comes from Mr. Raphael.” [l’entreprise des Québécois Denis Ferrer et Jimmy Simard]. »

We also forgot to tell you about the third special tasting course on Friday afternoon, which is beautiful St. Lawrence halibut cooked La Blancha way, very crunchy, and set on a creamy plate flavored with rosemary. The accompaniment of fried garlic flowers, sauteed mushrooms, and croutons completed this fish dish like a little riverside wool.


Photo ÈVE Duma, the press

Le Mange-Grenouille has a very good wine list.

Another regret we had when we didn’t have time for dinner at Mange-Grenouille? Fabulous wine list. Sommelier Martin Saussure, who is preparing to open his establishment in Rimouski, bequeaths a cellar full of beautiful bottles, including a few rarities from estates held by natural wine lovers.

“I have sommelier training. When I saw the wine list, I told myself I couldn’t do better!”, new co-owner Matthew Deschain announced to the daily the sun, a year ago. Now he will have to do it!


Photo courtesy of ALEX C. OZ

Mathieu Deschamps is the new co-owner of Mange-Grenouille.

A former catering manager at Château Montebello, after several years at Château Frontenac, the new hotelier is slowly settling into his condo. Originally from Rivières du Loup, he also returned to his native region. He knew Frog Eater’s reputation long before he had it with his ex-wife, Melissa Ghane. He also knows that the legendary establishment has its regular customers connected to the universe created by the previous owners, Carol Faucher and Jean Rossignol, and they don’t want to rush them.

But the next generation is also beginning to emerge. Without assuming the tastes or desires of this new audience, Matthew decided to do what he and his new team like. The decor has been improved as well, allowing you to better appreciate the fine woodwork of the 1843 building. This was an abandoned general store when drama graduates decided to convert it into an inn in 1989.

Soon, the 22 rooms will be united thanks to designer bedding at L’Isle-Verte, 45 minutes from Bic. “I want to offer an experience a little closer to the hotel,” explains the man, who trained at the chic Fairmont “school.” Obviously, the frog is taking a big leap forward. We wish him to continue honoring his very colorful past.

crostini mushroom recipe


Photo Robert Skinner, the press

Our journalists tested the recipe at home. Here’s the result!

Antoine Landry’s recipe

Ingredients for one person

  • 1 thick slice of bread
  • 1 stalk garlic, mashed or minced
  • 1 c. tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 2 cups raw mushrooms previously cleaned with a brush (you can fill with other types of wild or even cultivated mushrooms)
  • 1 c. tablespoon chopped leeks
  • 1 c. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 black garlic clove, crushed with a fork
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium sized egg, chopped in a small bowl
  • 1 c. White vinegar
  • Sufficient amount of butter
  • Adequate amount of salt
  • enough water
  • Optional: edible seasonal flowers from the garden or market for finishing (nasturtium, malow, impatiens du cap, pansy, etc.)

Prepare

  • 1. Mix black garlic and red wine vinegar. For reservations.
  • 2. Mix the garlic flower with a little salt, olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. For reservations.
  • 3. Cook mushrooms in a pan with 1 tbsp. tablespoon of foamy butter. After 1.5 minutes, add the chopped shallots and the desired amount of salt. Continue cooking for another minute and a half. Remove from heat, add tarragon, mix and set aside.
  • 4. Toast the bread on the preheated grill. If you don’t have a grill, use a roaster. Spread the bread generously with butter after baking.
  • 5. Boil water and white vinegar to cook boiled eggs.
  • 6. When boiling, rotate the water clockwise with a whisk or other suitable utensil. Gently drop the egg into the boiling water after removing the pot. The movement of the water allows the egg to roll on itself. Time 2 minutes 45 seconds. Carefully remove the egg on a paper napkin. Season with a little salt.
  • 7. Prepare the dish: brush the bread with the garlic flower mixture, put the cooked mushroom mixture on top, and sprinkle with the black garlic mixture. Put a boiled egg on top and decorate with seasonal flowers.

*Black garlic is aged garlic that can be purchased at deli, cheese shops, and butchers. Few Quebec companies produce it.


Photo Robert Skinner, the press

Black garlic in particular can be purchased in delicacies. This one comes from Chez Nino, at the Jean-Talon Market.

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