The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 08.28.02


Enjoy a regatta for two

If you thought that the Lord Reading Yacht Club in Beaconsfield (near Montreal) was just for private members, think again. Things are evolving and on the move here.

Some seven weeks ago, access to previously private views of Lake St. Louis along with the perks of a beautiful club atmosphere became enjoyable for the likes of you and me.

Visitors can now enjoy all the benefits of a club dining experience at prices that rival the best lakeshore eateries.

"Le Dining room" offers patrons a Dining Room Membership at no charge and, as a card carrier, you will wish you had known about this earlier.

Fully decked out in blue and white, the ambience is at once inviting and comfortable. Hardwood floors, tall ceilings, and picture windows -- along with a huge deck -- make for a cool retreat. Fireplaces are at the ready for winter pleasure and a lounge allows casual interlude. There is a lot going on here.

A good lunch menu, an excellent dinner menu on weekdays, and brunches and BBQ buffet for dinner on Sundays. Saturday nights are lively with dancing to live music from the fifties and sixties and the dance floor is huge.

Boomers will love this option.

What you need to know is that the food is really good. Everything here is fresh and homemade. Oh yes, substantial too.

The lunch menu has the usual offerings of soups, salads, pastas, and sandwiches -- all are served with good sides.

There are some sandwiches offered that promise good things such as the Croque Madame: a chicken breast, with tomato and Swiss cheese served open- face on a grilled bun.

Nothing on the lunch menu exceeds$10.95 and the average is more like $7.95. There is a child's menu, too. The managers promise that if you are under the constraints of a work lunch schedule, you will be in and out fast. I admit though that you will be tempted to linger as you take in the view.

The dinner menu is non-pretentious and easily navigable. From pasta with your choice of seven sauces to Veal Parmagiana or Red Snapper Amandine, all come with soup or salad.

A table d'hôte menu is also available and ranges from Rack of Lamb to a Seafood Plate of scallops, shrimp, scampi and salmon in an exotic sauce. At the high end, filet mignon tempts.

A list of appetizers includes a cheese plate for two or calamari along with bruschetta or a shrimp cocktail.

On a recent visit, my partner and I indulged in a menu that allowed us to really get a feel for the place. A starter of garden salad for her and a soup for me got us going. Of note, the dressing on her greens was simple and oh, so delicious. No commercial bottled stuff here.

My soup of rice, veggies, and tiny lentils with a hint of thyme and pepper was satisfying and wholesome. A house white wine was dry and crisp and allowed a palate cleansing between courses.

My partner opted for the Snapper Amandine and it arrived adorned with so many almonds that it was hard to see the snapper underneath. A turn of the fork revealed a large filet that was fresh and flaky. In one word -- scrumptious.

My choice of veal parmesan proved worthy. Very tender and satisfying. Good cheese and tomato with garlicky overtones went well with a side of requested pasta a la agli olio. Good olive oil and garlic made for a simple, toothsome experience.

Dessert offered was an apple crisp or a crepe stuffed with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate. A huge serving of the apple crisp sailed by and we were thankful that we chose the crepes. They were just as filling to be sure, but ice cream seemed so a propos on this humid evening.

Managers Ruth and Dan have gone out on a limb here in an effort to offer a unique dining experience. A gutsy move that deserves kudos. Talent in the kitchen, coupled with a very friendly atmosphere should see their success as this eatery evolves.

The club is available for group bookings and has ample room for all group sizes. Catering for functions and parties is offered and Ruth brings a lot of experience to the table. I suggest that you eat in and take in the view as you meet these two and their staff in a truly special environment.

Le Dining Room is located at the Lord Reading Yacht Club at 260 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield.