Thursday, July 15, 2010

La Belle Verte - Raw & Vegan in Gatineau, Quebec

Every once in a while, I like to walk off the beaten path. I was tired of going to Perfection - Satisfaction - Promise; The Green Door and my other usual vegetarian haunts, and turned to Urbanspoon to give me a new vegetarian option. After a few shakes of my iPhone, a suggestion came up - La Belle Verte, in Gatineau, just a few kilometers away from where I normally stay. My darling friend, Maureen, was game to try it too, and off we went to dine.

It's a little restaurant, located on Eddy, just a few blocks down from Gatineau's main drag. As you can see in the picture, it's got the "vegetarian" vibe to it, with the eclectic decor, open kitchen and refrigerated counter. It was funny to see the wait staff to be the typical, super healthy and fit looking vegans. Not sure if they were vegan themselves but they had the air of it, which is always inspiring for us "softies" (pudge pudge around my belly). The menu is short but varied. They do offer cooked plates but the majority of the menu is raw, and everything vegan.

We started by sharing an Artistic Platter - great to share, with an assortment of cashew cheeses (dairy free), sprouts, savory salads and their own signature raw sesame, dulce and nut crackers. Let me start with the cashew cheese. Oh. my.goodness. Fricken delicious! We had a plain and a roasted pepper variation. Both were creamy, rich and so good. Their crackers are out of this world - I'm not usually a fan of raw crackers, I find them hard, and unpalatable - but these, I had to buy some to take home.

I then had the spinach, avocado cold soup. Creamy, strong undertones of onion, garlic and basil. It was a nice twist on a gaspatcho. In my infinite gourmandise, I then had the raw pizza and salad. It was too much food and has some as left overs for lunch. The pizza was perfect. The crust was made of their own flax seed, hemp, etc, crackers, which held up very well to the spinach, cashew cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms and fresh pesto. The Zorba salad, was a raw vegan spin on a greek salad with cashew feta, sprouts and mushrooms.

Overall, the food was fantastic, the ambiance good, the service decent and the prices ranging in the $10 to $15 range per entree. If you are in the Gatineau or Ottawa region, it's worth a visit.

166, rue Eddy,
Gatineau/Hull, Quebec, J8X 2W9

Monday and Tuesday: 11am to 6pm
Wednesday to Saturday: 11am to 9pm
Sunday: Closed


cc said...

Thanks for the tip! I have bookmarked this place. You really should call your blog the montreal & ottawa vegetarian adventure!

Cassie said...

True! I will :)

Babette said...

I now have to find myself a reason to go to Gatineau. That food looks so good! And although I've never tried cashew cheese, I'm sure it's amazing!

Cassie said...

Babette, here's a recipe if you want to try to make some yourself.

No promises though... I just did a google search....

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say something nice about this place. A fellow at a tea room up the street recommended this place to me, so I stopped in for dinner.

I had a raw pizza - don't remember the name, but it wasn't the Greek one, with a salad. I was very hungry when I got there, and I'll tell you this - I almost couldn't finish the meal.

The portions were substantial, the veggies deadly fresh, the presentation was unlike anything I've seen anywhere (mind - I don't frequent nouveau cuisine restaurants) and the taste! Well, I can tell you as a died-in-the-wool omnivore with definite tendencies to the carnivore side, it was simply amazing.

The young lady who served me was the owner of the restaurant. She was pleasant and prompt, even though the food had been artfully arranged.

I was - to put it simply - blown away by this restaurant. I can't recommend it highly enough; you just have to experience it for yourself.