DO PORK CRETONS, venison tourtière and sugar pie sound utterly boring, perhaps even a little archaic? Then you obviously don’t live in Vancouver —the land of lean sashimi and cold-pressed-juice cleanses—and might not understand why St.Lawrence’s elevated renditions of la cuisine de grand-mère, lavished with buttery pastry and magnificently glossy, spoon-coating sauces, have been embraced with such gusto. Chef-owner Jean-Christophe Poirier is best known for his Italian cooking at Ask For Luigi and Pizzeria Farina, but his heart belongs to Quebec, where he grew up (in Saint-Jérôme) and did his formative training, rising to chef de partie at Toqué! before moving to Vancouver to join Rob Feenie’s Lumière in 2004. Here, in a dark, homey dining room filled with antiques, fleurs-de-lys and an open kitchen counter, he recreates the magic of his childhood and layers it with old-school French techniques.Alongside the Québécois classics, the kitchen digs deep into the canon, dusting off gloriously rich dishes that rarely see the light of day: lobster Newburg, cailles en sarcophage, foie gras Paris-Brest. The majestically tall pâté en croûte with decorative chimney caps and intricately garnished inlays is particularly impressive. Don’t hesitate to order the ling cod fillet should you see it on the daily special sheet; the elaborate feast for two comes enclosed in a molded-pastry second skin with bulging eyes, scales and fin. Cocktails are heavy on the cognac, the list of digestifs is extensive, and the wine list is entirely French.