Laurie Raphael and Le Germain boutique hotel

Posted on December 17th, 2009 by .

Foodies on the lookout for a magnificent boutique hotel during the holiday season should head straight to the hotel Le Germain and their restaurant Laurie Raphael, conveniently located in right downtown in Montreal.
In addition to the hotel and incredible cuisine at the Laurie Raphael, stop by the gift shop where you can buy a special kit filled with gourmet essentials for your next hunting or fishing excursion.

Renowned for its design, attentive service and the Laurie Raphaël restaurant, the chic boutique hotel, Le Germain, is an excellent address for epicureans visiting Montreal.

In charge of the kitchen at the Laurie Raphael is Daniel Vézina, one of Quebec’s most acclaimed chefs and winner of numerous awards. Before coming to the Germain in Montreal, he started out in Quebec City with the previous incarnation of the Laurie Raphael, originally named after his two children. After his success in the capital, he joined forces with the Germain to offer diners in Montreal a culinary experience that is out of this world.

Never one to follow the crowd, Daniel Vézina was one of the first chefs in the 1990s, along with Normand Laprise from Toqué! restaurant, to spearhead the “produits du terroir” movement in the restaurant business by using and promoting locally grown Quebec produce and agricultural products.

When he began working at the Germain, he expanded the concept of a hotel restaurant. In addition to the Laurie Raphael, Vézina and Le Germain also offer exclusive meals prepared for groups of 8-10 people. They don’t just send a caterer — a chef will actually come and cook for you right on the premises where the meeting is being held. What’s more, there’s a gift shop in the hotel where you can buy gourmet treats made by the chef, as well as exclusive tableware made by his favourite artisans.

Vézina’s cuisine is a play of contrasts that will stimulate and surprise your taste buds. The food is prepared in appetizer size, so I suggest ordering between three to four different dishes to share so you can sample a wide variety of this diverse menu. I tried a marvellous snow crab from Gaspé with cauliflower purée, daikon salad and a bisque granité. The black cod casserole with clam and homemade chorizo was also delicious. To give you an idea of the attention to detail, the Laurie Raphael offers a selection of six Quebec cheeses served with different jellies, jams or purées that are paired to go perfectly with each different type of cheese. Mmmmm….

I mentioned earlier that Daniel Vézina follows the beat of a different drummer, which is quite evident in special kit full of gourmet essentials. It is stocked with very kind of condiment a chef needs for a hunting or fishing trip — everything from Ketchup to soy sauce, to caramelized balsamic vinegar. Makes an original gift idea for the more rugged outdoorsy types who like to eat well even if they’re ‘roughing it’.

If you’re in Montreal on December 31st, be sure to make a reservation for their New Year’s Eve special: Countdown to 2010 which includes one night at the hotel as well as a seven-course meal for two at the Laurie Raphael.

Insider tip: I normally don’t mention website reviews, but I must say, Le Germain is one of the only hotels to have received so many unanimously positive reviews on a sites such as TripAdvisor.

Laurie Raphael website

Le Germain Hotel
2050 Mansfield, Montreal, QC, H3A 1Y9, 514 849-2050 1 877 333-2050

Open for lunch from Monday to Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Open every evening: 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Dress code: chic
Reservations recommended
Average bill (before tax, tip and alcohol): $60 per person

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