Martin Picard’s sugar shack defines FOMO in Quebec—a decade in, it’s still a race to get reservations. At his rustic outpost 45 minutes from Montreal, sidle into a communal table or hop onto bar stools made from John Deere tractor seats for 11 courses of unrepentant cuisine that reminds you to seize the day… or at least die trying. While it was built around traditional Québécois rituals—maple syrup season and fall harvest—this is a cabane that channels the world. The starting soup, always a wow, might call to mind congee, with oats, tofu fritters, nubs of foie gras and maple-lacquered bacon, and fresh egg yolks to be stirred up with green onions for sharpness. Ducks gavaged on maple syrup are glazed Asian style, brown skin crackling, over gnocchi and morels. A build-your-own sandwich platter features earthy-airy buckwheat galettes, reams of smoked meat, ballpark mustard and hot slaw with Szechuan peppers. The experience will pop your top button (blame dessert number 4: maple crème caramel with flambéed cotton candy) but don’t let the sheer amount of food overshadow the skilled audacity behind the dishes. And do bring a piggy bag.
Photos: JASON MCKENZIE