Le Canard Goulu is a Muscovy duck farm located on the South side of the St. Lawrence River, in the small village of St-Apollinaire, about a half-hour outside of Quebec City. It is located in a very charming setting so visiting the Canard Goulu farm on a sunny summer weekend is a popular activity. Visitors can meet the breeders, see the ducks and how they live and buy fresh products directly from the farm, which can be enjoyed on a lovely adjoining terrace.
The star of Le Canard Goulu’s product line up is their foie gras, but they sell a wide range of duck products, which have grown more and more popular over the years: they are now sold in many grocery stores around the city and are also served by the chefs of Quebec’s most elegant restaurants. In 2007, the company opened a shop and restaurant on Maguire Avenue in Sillery, just east of Quebec’s city center. On the ground floor is the shop selling their products, from whole birds to prepared dishes and sweets, along with gourmet products and kitchen accessories.
On the second floor, the intimate restaurant serves chef Martin Guillemette’s gastronomic cuisine for lunch, 4 days a week, and dinner on Friday nights. Before working at Le Canard Goulu, Martin Guillemette made a name for himself in the kitchens of the top restaurants in Quebec City, such as the famous Laurie-Raphaël, where he worked for six years, including three as a pastry chef. His bio explains his modern and colorful versatility and presentation. While duck is always the common theme of the restaurant’s menu, it’s impossible to get bored – the chef adapts it to every season. In the winter, the dishes are long-stewed and comforting; in the summer, they are inspired by food trucks. The year culminates in June with the irresistible mix of lobster and duck, a moment in the year when it can get harder to book a table.
The small staff is always friendly and courteous, and many have been working at Le Canard Goulu for years. On Friday nights, servers are especially knowledgeable about the food that is served and wines that are offered. The open kitchen allows guests to peek into it when they get in the restaurant and visits are accommodated on request.
On Friday nights, a single, 6-course tasting menu is served for about $70 CAD, and clients can choose the wine pairing option for about $50 CAD more. The menu changes according to seasons, and every month follows a specific theme. The chef often forages some of the produce he uses in his dishes himself, which only adds to the creativity and uniqueness of the food served.
Lunches are a great way to sample Martin Guillemette’s inventive cuisine, and they offer unbeatable value for money in the west end of the city. Served from Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 to 4 PM, the lunch menu features 6 different dishes for a fixed price of $15 CAD. Adding $5 more will get you a choice of appetizer, coffee or tea and a canelé bordelais, a delicious French pastry the restaurant has become famous for. A full, more elaborate 4-course meal is also available for $25 CAD, and pairing wines are offered. Dishes change according to seasons and choices are often inspired by the Friday night tasting menu. Reservations are recommended.