August 26, 2011

A Taste of Paris

The Loden Hotel’s new Tableau Bar Bistro marries classic bistro style with New York bar.


The new Tableau Bar Bistro conjures up visions of being in a chic Paris café sipping on a good French wine and nibbling on a plate of charcuterie, while watching people walk by. The idea behind the Loden Hotel’s Tableau Bar Bistro is to offer a true taste of Parisian atmosphere: brass railings, solid dark wood panelling, dark chocolate brown and warm cream marble checkered floor, floor-to-ceiling windows and the warm, rich earth tones of leather and marble banquettes.

Executive chef Marc-André Choquette, leads the culinary vision of Tableau Bar Bistro, offering an updated French-inspired menu.

That was what we wanted to achieve, says executive chef Marc-André Choquette. “Our vision for Tableau Bar Bistro is more than just a French-inspired restaurant – we wanted to create a place that was sophisticated yet relaxed, a casual, welcoming ambience which friends and family can enjoy,” says Choquette, the executive chef who was at the helm of Lumiere Restaurant for eight years.

Voya was closed for five months while the team, led by Vancouver interior designer Franco Avignoni, took on the task of recreating the new restaurant. Besides the 70-seat restaurant/bar, there is a small outdoor patio and two private rooms, one of which is a stunning 30-seat, white wood-panelled grand salon. Tableau’s concept was to marry that old-world classic bistro style with touches of a modern New York bar.

Choquette sources local and organic products to serve up seasonal fare inspired by the great French traditional dishes, such as its signature French onion soup, steak frites and terrine. “Our traditional menu offers an updated twist on the French classics,” says Choquette. “We don’t want to work them too much … we still want the products to be the stars.”

Pan-seared Trout with Quinoa Salad

The trout offers a light, healthy dish for a summer day. The sweetness of the currants blends well with the hearty taste of the quinoa and almonds and the sherry dressing brings it all together with the green asparagus. Serves 4 4 (5-6 oz) trout fillets, skin on (or halibut or salmon fillets) 16 pieces of asparagus.

Quinoa salad:
½ cup white quinoa
½ cup red quinoa
½ bunch parsley (finely chopped)
4 pieces of green onion (minced)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) toasted almonds
2 tablespoons (30 ml) currants
5 teaspoons (25 ml) lemon juice
5 teaspoons (25 ml) olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sherry dressing:
6 teaspoons (30ml) sherry vinegar
3 teaspoons (15ml) Dijon mustard
10 tablespoons (50 ml) olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Quinoa salad: Rinse, then soak quinoa (15 to 60 minutes depending on your schedule). After soaking, rinse for two or three minutes in a fine strainer. Once rinsed, add one part quinoa to 1¼ parts water. Bring to a simmer and reduce to low. Cover and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Let sit covered for an additional five minutes. Fluff and serve.

2. Asparagus: Count 4 asparagus spears per person, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill until tender.

3. Sherry dressing: Mix together Dijon mustard and sherry vinegar, while whisking slowly add olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

4. Fish fillets: Pan-sear the trout skin-side-down over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes and flip to skinless side for one minute.

5. Final assembly: Once trout is cooked, serve on top of three tablespoons of the quinoa salad, slightly warm and grilled asparagus spears on the side. Drizzle some sherry and olive oil dressing on the fish and garnish with fresh parsley leaves.

Recipe courtesy of chef Marc-André Choquette, Tableau Bar Bistro

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