Manoir Hovey, North Hatley, Quebec
As Sooke Harbour House is to British Columbia, Manoir Hovey is to Quebec. On the banks of Lake Massawippi, near North Hatley in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, this inn and the chefs have been harvesting the region and serving it forth for as long as I’ve been writing about it and, like me, he’s still ‘cooking’. I published then-Chef Roland Ménard’s recipe in 1990 for lamb tenderloin baked in phyllo pastry and served with a local honey/fresh mint sauce would be at home on any 2015 menu. The salade ‘Estrienne’ that we published the same year is a plate full of local greens and sliced Eastern Township apples topped with cider-marinated, seared pork. His rack of pork stuffed with maple laced-apples and roasted hazelnuts and served with a Fine Sève cider sauce is one of the best recipes my 2000/2006 food book, Flavours of Canada. FABULOUS!
Manoir Hovey is a gracious place, a Rélais et Chateaux member and a five star dining experience absolutely rooted in the here and now of Quebec cuisine. Newly appointed (below right) Executive Chef Francis Wolf’s menus sing of the seasons and he still has the veteran Chef Ménard at his side for special dinners and catering. Chef Wolf has been an integral part of Le Hatley Restaurant’s kitchen team at Manoir Hovey since 2001. He began his culinary apprenticeship in his home province of Quebec, going on to hone his skills at celebrated New York restaurants under the auspices of chefs like Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud and Charlie Palmer, and then, later, in San Francisco with Gary Danko.
He is pushing the boundaries of traditional Canadian cuisine with his ambitious, terroir-driven Quebec cuisine, inspired by seven seasonal flavour profiles derived from the abundant ingredients in Quebec’s rivers, lakes, fields and forests. Birch, chevreau (goat calf), seafood and shellfish; wild mushrooms, plants & herbs, sea plants, poultry & fowl, and preserves are highlighted throughout the year. His is a brilliantly seasonal kitchen! He looks at each ingredient with an artists eye.
So prepare yourself for a dinner unlike any other, all circling back to the Manoir Hovey diary of edible possibilities.
Birch: The abundance of birch trees at Manoir Hovey makes it ideal for the “tree to table” production of birch syrup and birch vinegar. In early spring, the birch trees at Manoir Hovey are tapped, and the sap is made into birch syrup and vinegar. 100 – 150 liters of birch sap make just one liter of syrup, and Le Hatley is possibly the only Canadian restaurant to engage in this practice.
Seafood & Shellfish: The nutrient rich St. Lawrence River, and the waters of the Atlantic Coast provide an abundant array of seafood that is featured on the menu year round, but especially from April through June. Sea urchin, fresh Nordic shrimp, snow crab, lobster, sea snails, gooseneck barnacles, razor clams and sea scallops can be found on the menu.
Sea Plants: In the summer, sea asparagus, sea spinach, and seaweed are foraged along the St. Lawrence River and provided to Le Hatley by Les Jardins de La Mer, operated by Claudie Gagné, a local producer who lives in a church and dries part of her harvest in a school bus. Other interesting products are beach rose hips, fresh local elderberry and celtuce stems.
Preserves: One of Manoir Hovey’s most notable products of the winter season is the house made winter harvested apple vinegar. It’s made from apples that are left on trees through the first frost, which changes their sugar profile and allows for a unique flavor. Other staples come directly out of the birch and sumac vinegar cellar, as well as in-house dried products such as chanterelles, lobster mushrooms, dry seaweed, kelp, Irish moss, sea lettuce, root vegetables, winter squash and the chef’s own winter stored carrots
The Tap Room with it’s 10,000 brick fireplace is a great place to ponder the recreational possibilities – fly fishing with guide Flo Hebert (all gear provided for novices and experts alike); jumping into the lake for a great swim; kayaking or canoeing it’s expanse, possibly to Ripplecove Inn, another Stafford run property about 20 km away; mountain biking the lakeside trail; hiking throughout the property or just enjoying an utterly elegant holiday.
- Élu #1 Meilleur dans l’Est du Canada / #1 Top Rated Hotel in Eastern Canada
- Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards 2014Lauréat National Or
- Les Grands Prix du Tourisme Québécois 2014
- Best Luxury Country Inn in the Americas
- World Luxury Hotel Awards 2013 & 2014
- Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence since 2003
Manoir Hovey is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
Manoir Hovey est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez Manoir Hovey directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.
575 Rue Hovey,
North Hatley, QC J0B 2C0
T: 819 842 2421