Cabane à sucre (sugar shack) season is upon us and we got off to a running start with a wonderful experience we won’t soon forget. Having survived a harrowing trek through the woods to get to Cabane chez Jean made the experience that much more memorable. Read on. Chez Jean 12Located at the beautiful beach chalet on the west end of Parc Jean-Drapeau, Cabane chez Jean brings those who are looking for a perfectly traditional sugar shack experience, exactly what they are asking for. Forget the bells and whistles and wheel reinventing that so many restaurants try to do with sugar shacks; Cabane chez Jean keeps it very simple and focuses on creating a delicious, maple infused meal. Chez Jean 4Running from March 20th to April 12th, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Cabane chez Jean will offer a well rounded cabane à sucre experience that won’t take you too far from Montreal. Being located in a serene winter landscape (for now at least) in one of our beautiful parks means la Cabane chez Jean is literally located in our backyard. The experience is an authentic alternative to driving deep into the countryside to then have to trek all the way back. Chez Jean 11I really enjoyed the warm atmosphere offered by the chalet and it is the perfect setting for such an occasion. During the packed media preview, the fire was blazing in the hearth while outside the moonlight danced across the freshly fallen snow that covered the beach, surrounding forest and frozen water. The traditional fiddle and accordion jigs of French-Canadian music completed the feeling of being somewhere completely different. Everything about Cabane chez Jean worked perfectly. Chez Jean 6Chez Jean 13Chez Jean 8The food was wonderful and the type of sugar shack experience that people generally roll away from because the food is so rich and delicious. It’s a once a year indulgence where you leave the diet frame of mind at home and deep dive into the flavours of tradition. We started off with a hearty pea soup while on the table sat mason jars of beets, onions, pickles and more. Completing the meal we were served fried rashers, fluffy eggs, beer cooked ham (with Dijon and chives cream), maple syrup IFB sausages and followed by desserts like pouding chômeur, sugar pie and of course, maple taffy on snow. You won’t be hungry when you leave, I assure you. Chez Jean 7Chez Jean 10If you’re looking for friendly (the service was outstanding) a cabane à sucre experience that leaves behind the urban landscape for a close-to-home wilderness escape, this is your best bet. You don’t even need a car to get there but should you chose to walk, a map would be wise. As a special treat, we documented our adventure filled trek from metro Jean-Drapeau to the chalet. Check out that experience here!

For more information and for reservations visit Cabane chez Jean here!

Photo credit: David Major-Lapierre