The art of fine dining
according to Toqué!
Toque Restaurant Salle A Manger
An avant-garde vision
The products above all
Through Toqué!, Normand Laprise and Christine Lamarche, the co-owners, aimed to create a restaurant based on market-fresh cuisine where the emphasis is placed on local products. To make this happen, they decided to build strong relationships with small producers and focus on traceability of ingredients at a time when those concepts were not in the forefront.
Pioneer of a cuisine made with local and seasonal produce, Toqué! is now synonymous with a gastronomy rooted in Quebec and its surrounding regions which draws from the fields, the rivers, the ocean and the forest.
Toqué! has been a pillar of Quebec's gastronomic identity for over 25 years
A Toqué! story
From gastronomic restaurant to creative laboratory
The first Toqué!, which opened in 1993, was on St. Denis street and had 10 employees for a dining room that could accommodate 55 guests. After many renovations and refurbishments, Normand and Christine agreed that the restaurant building no longer met their needs. In 2004, Toqué! moved to the heart of the Quartier international, close to both Old Montreal and downtown. The new space, located on the Place Jean-Paul Riopelle, allowed the creation of a custom kitchen for the creative and visionary project of the co-owners.
A leader in Quebec's gastronomy, the restaurant quickly became a learning center for young cooks. Similar to a laboratory, it encourages research as well as the development of new approaches through a menu that changes daily according to produce arrivals.
Respect for the product, from the plate to the glass
At the Toqué! bar, the cocktails follow the same philosophy as that of the restaurant's cuisine. Emphasis is placed on fresh and local produce in addition to supporting various microdistilleries in Quebec and Canada. Gilbert Lemieux, head barman, creates original cocktails made from homemade fruit juices, infusions and syrups. The menu, which consists of five cocktails, changes according to the seasons and produce arrivals.
A well-thought-out wine list
A list as diverse as it is dynamic
Toqué's wine list focuses on diversity, with a view of the world, in order to meet the interests of the restaurant's customers. Therefore, it includes both classic and niche wines, in addition to making room for natural wines, private import wines and biodynamic wines. There are approximately 400 labels on the wine list and more than 6,000 bottles in the cellar. Thus, several wines are off the list and are meant to be served by the glass, on the tasting menu or are simply kept for aging. In keeping with the restaurant's philosophy, Quebec wines also find their place on the list.
Similar to our menu, our wine list is constantly evolving. This is in large part because many of the wines on the list are from small producers, which entails smaller wine production. For the tasting menu, the chefs taste the wines selected by our Head Sommelier, Carl Villeneuve-Lepage, each week, and then conceive the dishes based on what they tasted. This approach, which is the opposite of what would normally come to mind, is evidence of the importance given to food-wine pairings.
Our first book
Our love of cuisine on paper
In the fall of 2012, Toqué! launched its first cookbook entitled Toqué!: Creators of a new Quebec gastronomy. A true reference tool, this 400-page tome is, of course, about cuisine and the philosophy behind the restaurant, but also about the cooks, farmers, herders, gardeners and producers who have made our land what it is today. Since its release, the book was given a very warm welcome and has received, amongst others, an award, in 2013, from the James Beard Foundation Award for excellence in the category Cooking from a professional Point of view. It is also the first cookbook the be awarded the Marcel-Couture Prize.