Open since 1996, the Society for Arts and Technology is a space that focuses on artistic and technological advancement by giving creators and researchers access to all kinds of resources. Hidden on the third floor of this splendid establishment, the Food Lab offers a seasonal and tasty market cuisine.
As you climb the stairs to the third floor of the SAT, you will notice the dining room of the Food Lab as it is lit up by the large windows that lead to their wonderful terrace and the surrounding buildings.
The open kitchen of Food Lab allows you to enjoy the aromas that come from the delicious meals that are being prepared by their talented cooks. This unique restaurant has a modern look with some industrial accents. They chose some materials such as concrete, large metal structures used as lighting fixtures and shelves for plates, which creates a symbiosis with the outside atmosphere of the city.
Photo credit: Sébastien Roy
The employees welcomed us with a friendly and relaxed vibe, which made us comfortable. Throughout the evening, the service was courteous, polite and unpretentious. The sommelier of the Food Lab, Maude Rochette, has put together a wine list focusing on natural wines, to our greatest enjoyment. Although she was not there during our visit, our waiter was highly qualified and was able to give us some advice for our food and wine pairing.
The restaurant offers a market cuisine where seasonal products are the star. Chef Adrien Renaud works assiduously to create colourful, tasty and original menus highlighting our local products so they can shine on our plates. We started the meal with three appetizers; a radish toast, a tataki style duck and borscht. The radish toast seems very simple when you take a look at it on the menu until you receive this colourful plate. There is a generous slice of homemade focaccia topped with mozzarella di bufala and mascarpone. The variety of tastes brought by pickled radishes, black radishes and watermelon radishes is very interesting. Also, to add an extra touch of color, chioggia beets are added to the plate.
The second appetizer is a classic meal of the Slavic countries; the borscht. This soup, usually composed of beets, have a beautiful pink color and was topped with sour cream, pickled oyster mushrooms and smoked trout. The texture of the soup was really velvety, it is clear that this soup would be just as good cold as hot. The sweetness of the beets, the creaminess of the sour cream, the vinegary side of the mushrooms and the smokiness of the trout worked really well together.
The duck finished our first course just right. Served cold, the four slices of duck are served with various kinds of beans in a pesto style dressing. The plate was garnished with a delicious aioli, we would have appreciated that there were more of it because it was successfully executed. A final touch of Lindsay cheese was grated on top of the plate.
Let's move on to the main dishes!
First, we received freshly prepared buckwheat tagliatelle served with leeks, celeriac and tomme cheese. A dish all in simplicity, but very well executed!
The following dish was only available for a limited time when we went; a freshly prepared porchetta. This typical Italian dish made from pork is served with a gribiche sauce (a creamy sauce made from hard-boiled eggs), carrots from Nantes, roasted Jerusalem artichoke and pickled turnip. We would love so much to go back and have this amazing dish again, let’s cross fingers that it will be added on the permanent menu!
Although at this time of the evening our stomachs were full, gluttony took over to enjoy a macerated cherry and chocolate tartelette. Small and simple, this tartelette is topped with a whipped sour cream that balances the taste of sugar and chocolate chips that bring an interesting bitter side.
We particularly liked the fact that our waiter really respected the rhythm of our evening; it's nice when you want to take your time and enjoy the evening in a restaurant without feeling the pressure to hurry or to leave. The FoodLab is a perfect place to enjoy an evening with friends, a good meal or for a happy hour. What are you waiting to reserve your place?