The little chalet near the entrance to Hendrick Farm has seen a number of restaurants come and go over the years. Hopefully, Le Petit Bar à Vin is here to stay.
The restaurant opened in May 2022 and has about 20 seats indoors and more on a large outdoor deck with views south to Ottawa. As its name suggests, it is primarily a wine bar, but serves simple, good food too; it makes a fun place to stop on your way in or out of Gatineau Park.
Our evening begins with a glass of prosecco, always a good way to start. It ends with our table having tried wines from Quebec, Portugal, Spain, Lebanon, and Chile. While each was a small tasting quantity, a fair amount of food was needed to complement the wine. We chose a delicious duck confit sandwich, oozing with melted cheese and fatty duck tucked between toasted sourdough with a side of salad and tangy plum chutney, as well as a tasting board. The board is a still life of cold cuts, cheeses, smoked fish, bread, chutneys, mustards, dried fruit and pickles, artistically displayed and sourced locally as far as possible. Charcuterie comes from Les Vilains Garçons in Hull, cheese from La Trappe à Fromage in Gatineau, smoked fish from La Boucanerie Chelsea, bread from Roberto Pizza Romana in Chelsea, and desserts from Maison Oddo in Gatineau.
Through the winter, owner Jean-François Bilodeau plans to introduce a more extensive hot menu, including French onion soup and locally made pâté en croûte à l’ancienne. The menu will expand with the seasons. Also in the works are guest chef events, garden parties, and wine tastings.
Bilodeau works with about 20 different wine agencies to build the extensive list. Thanks to the passion and knowledge he shared with us during our Tuesday night visit, it’s my bet that these events will be both fun and educational. (Watch for Bilodeau’s wine truck during the summer, and follow on Facebook for event announcements.)
168 chem. Old Chelsea, QC. @petitbaravin