March 20th must have been written in restaurateur Karen Therrien’s calendar for quite a while. On this day, the third edition of her mythic restaurant La Tanière will reopen in a new spot near Place Royale in Quebec.
Restaurant La Tanière, founded in 1977 by Karen’s uncle, Laurier Therrien, used to be located on rang Saint-Ange, in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. Before closing its doors in 2014, the restaurant was cited many times as one of the best in Canada. «We had promised our clients that we would reopen», says Karen Therrien, who had resumed her uncle’s work in 2002.
The five-year break between the closing of La Tanière and its reopening as Tanière3 will have proven fruitful for Mrs Therrien and chef Frédéric Laplante, co-owners of the Groupe la Tanière. «Expectations are high», and that is why they took their time to find the perfect location for the new restaurant: a patrimonial house on Saint-Pierre street, in the heart of Old Quebec.
Karen Therrien explains that Tanière3 will offer a gastronomic, top of the line experience to its guests.
In lieu on a reservation, guests must buy a ticket, as they would do for a show, which is sold on their website for 50$. Then, they must choose what kind of experience they want to live: the chef’s counter cellar, a very intimate incursion into chef François-Emmanuel Nicol’s world, or the dining room cellar.
The two experiences, while different in their setting, will offer the same menu inspired by Quebec’s boreal terroir. Moreover, the menu will not be disclosed to guests beforehand. «It’s a choice. We want it to be a blind menu», confirms Mrs Therrien.
When booking, guests will have to disclose any allergies or food restrictions, so the menu can be adapted for them. «Depending on the season, it will a be 15 to 20-course menu.»
Like in all of their restaurants, the menu will not feature any exotic food not cultivated in Quebec. «The backbone of our company is Quebec’s terroir. What unites our restaurants is the freshness and rarity of the products», declares Karen Therrien. The only exception being coffee. «People are too attached to their end-of-meal coffee, we had to offer it.»
To book a table at Tanière3, you will need plan weeks, even months ahead. March is already fully booked and there are only a couples of days left in April.
*Tanière3 (36 rue Saint-Pierre) is a two-minute walk from Le Germain Hotel Québec (126 rue Saint-Pierre).