During my visit to Didier on a cold and gloomy winter night, the warmth of a grand dining room with ornate wood paneling, soft lighting and crisp white table linens greets me.
The room is half-empty, with a sprinkle of couples lining the sides. It is pretty quite, a perfect place for intimate conversations or romantic table mingling.
Although the very reasonable menu degustation was my first choice (between $90-$100 per person), I opted for choices from the small but appealing menu.
I started off with Les huitres ($14), six New Brunswick Village Bay oysters with smooth champagne granite. This was definitely an upgrade from my typical horseradish and lemon condiments. The oysters, freshly shucked, were soft as silk as I digested one after the other.
For my main course, I ordered the Duo du Canard Bourguignonne ($34). Tender duck done two ways served with mushroom, bacon, pearl onions and pommes anglaise. The first portion of the duck was sliced and cooked to a perfect medium-rare. Surprisingly, the meat, which is often known for being quite fatty, had all the rich flavour but none of the thick fat. It was definitely a dish I had never had in the city and one that had me drooling days later.
For dessert, I ordered the Warm Chocolate Cake ($14). This was unfortunately the low point of the evening. I expected something with a little twist to the lava-like cake from what they serve at mediocre restaurants in the city...but heck, the Valrhona chocolate was smooth.
On the way out, I got a chance to meet Didier Leroy himself - a very tall handsome man that, without saying a word, expelled both authority and politeness. I complimented him on the duck, a dish worth recognition. And as expected, he thanked me for the compliment, almost shy in receiving it.