Cocagne goes Sugaring Off

One of these days I’m going to have to try Cocagne for dinner – I was pretty impressed with what the chef put together at a recent brunch during the Festival of Lights – and isn’t that the point of the Festival – to get people out of their comfy hang-outs – and into new and perhaps exciting places like Cocagne?

The advertised meal was the chef’s rap on Sugaring Off – so he started with the traditional meal (check out my blog on the Festin de Compagne) and went from there. There were pickled beets – sliced so thin it was a challenge to get them off the plate – and instead of deep fried Oreilles de Crisse – the chef offered Prosciutto style ham slices sitting on a maple glaze. The omelette – while not the glorious fluffy concoction I had up north – was interestingly seasoned.

Portions were ample – so that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that he didn’t go far enough – neither the feast of a Cabin a Sucre – nor the extremely elegance of a complete departure from the offerings of a Cabin. Instead it was pleasant, the company was nice  – overall – I didn’t get blown away.

This was clearly not the winner in the battle for my heart – the lack of the inspired group of musicians was enough to put me off. And there was no jug of maple to pour as required – instead there was a tiny metal bowl partly filled for the table to share. Just doesn’t say – Sugar – to me. And there was no Tire of course. But even though I can’t say that Chef Alexandre Loiseau won my heart with his maple based creations – he did intrigue me. I’ll definitely go back some day soon for dinner – just to put his pedal to the metal so to speak.

Bistro Cocagne on Urbanspoon

Searching for dinner near Tohu? Zone D’Asie might work out

As I’ve mentioned before – Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants tend to the basic no-frills, and thus inexpensive side – and when you get out of downtown and are looking for places to eat on the cheap – finding a place like Zone D’Asie is always a good plan.

Dinner for 4 – with left-overs – was just $54 – A bargain $13.50 per person. Since that came with a pleasant smile and a very interesting video of a song and dance show – well, it made for a pleasant, if not extremely elaborate experience.

We wanted something near Tohu – and since Zone D’Asie is about 1 minute away by car, it clearly fit the bill. The menu was the standard offerings – nothing that fancy. Fresh Spring rolls or Deep Fat Fried Imperial Rolls, the standard soups in large bowls with lots of noodles, and deep bowls of rice with bits of pork, chicken or fish on top. Flavors were nice – the cold coffee looked lovely, and the service was pleasant. Comparing Zone D’Asie with Chez NGA – the location is more remote, the portion size a tad larger, but the ability to add extra veggies out weighs any cost savings. So Chez NGA wins.

I would go again if I was looking for speedy near the Tohu – but I wouldn’t rate the Zone as top-notch Vietnamese. Good – but not Extraordinary.