Last Updated on February 11, 2023 by MacNaughtan
Eating out is always an adventure. Sometimes it’s an adventure close to home, and other times you drive an hour (or more) to a restaurant because it’s a Wednesday, it’s spring, and you have a craving for mouthwatering food. On this food-fueled adventure, our destination was Le Mouton Noir in Baie-Saint-Paul.
“We should go to Le Mouton Noir in Baie Saint-Paul! I have wanted to go there for 10 years” was all my friend needed to say to convince me that we should drive to Baie Saint-Paul (BSP) the following evening for dinner.
It’s spring, which means there are only a handful of tourists in BSP, making it the ideal time for exploring the town’s food scene.
Le Mouton Noir first opened in 1976 in a former early 1900s general store. In the early days, it was a hang-out for food and music, with well-known Québec musicians like Richard Séguin and Diane Tell passing through its doors. In 2008, the restaurant was bought by award-winning Brittany chef, Thierry Ferré. Today, the restaurant maintains some of its original charms, including an outdoor terrace overlooking Rivière du Gouffre, with updates, of course.
The dining room is open and bright, with white wood plank walls and a black ceiling with vintage lighting. On the walls are photos of local producers alongside their specialized terroir, as well as art by local artists.
We sat at a corner table with a view of rue Sainte-Anne and we began pouring over the menu. The food at Le Mouton Noir is a marriage of French cuisine and Charlevoix terroir, and as we contemplate each dish on the menu, my mouth begins to water.
I begin with the mushroom créme brûlée with candied garlic bread and Tomme d’Elles cheese from Fromagerie Migneron in Charlevoix. I’m a lover of crème brûlée, and there was no way I was going to pass up eating a savoury one. Thank Jesus I ordered it because damn, it was GOOD!
My friend, Cath, ordered the brook trout from Les Éboulements with fried and candied leeks, herring mayonnaise, and marinated mustard pearls. Both starters were packed with flavour and quite light, which was good as our main course dishes were quite filling.
For my main, I chose lamb from Baie Saint-Paul with roasted cauliflower purée, clementines lamb juice and gomasio. Cath went with the deer shepherd’s pie with leeks, sweet potato purée, and blueberry sauce.
The lamb was perfection, tender and not gamey in flavour. A substantial portion of meat, which I had difficulty finishing (the very fresh local bread, wine, and my cocktail played a hand, as well as my amazing starter. Ha!). While I did not try the deer shepherd’s pie, I’m told it is quite good as well.
Unfortunately, we were both too full to order dessert, but the next time we go to Le Mouton Noir we plan to start with a piece of carrot cake, and then move on to our starters and mains. It’s what my mom used to do when I was a kid.
Other dishes worth noting on the current menu are the veal tartar with mulet caviar, organic pork stew, sweetbreads and scallops, and the beef and mushroom ravioli.
Le Mouton Noir is a destination restaurant, one I will happily drive 94 km (one-way) to dine at whenever the mood strikes. That being said, if you’re looking for a mini getaway, Baie-Saint-Paul is a charming town to spend a day or two.
eat at le mouton noir
where: 43 rue Sainte-Anne, Baie-Saint-Paul • 418-240-3030 • moutonnoirresto.com • price: $$$ • reservations recommended