When the Archambault-Ethier family begins the search to find a little corner of paradise to retire from the big city, they stumble upon this magnificent white house, perfectly located in the middle of large rows of vines. Son Émile, a former bartender at Montreal restaurants Le Mousso and L'île Flottante, immediately saw the potential to make it more than a country house. The idea of the Fragments vineyard was therefore born.
The 2.4-hectare estate hosts a variety of hybrid grape varieties, adapted to our Quebec winter. In the cellar, the grapes are vinified as naturally as possible, without adding synthetic products which the wine industry is so fond of. This philosophy fundamentally resonated with Menu Extra's work ethic; this is how the desire to collaborate on the creation of a timeless gastronomic experience came about, in the heart of a place filled with human and plant energy.
The Menu Extra brigade therefore took Route 50 towards Ripon with several ideas in mind: tasting the wines of Fragments, finding a perfect location for a country meal and meeting the producers of Papineau County. As soon as they arrive, we taste three cuvées of the petite perle grape variety, supervised by Alexis and the winegrowers of Fragments: the piquette (I Know What You Picked Last Summer), PP and PP in barrels. This vine variety can easily bring to mind Pinot d'Aunis, Mondeuse or Gamay d'Auverge with its aromas of acidic red berries and black pepper.
Parents George and Élaine, both from the film industry and now passionate about winemaking, then find the perfect scene where the two country evenings can take place, while the brigade heads for La Défriche, a biodynamic farm. located next to the vineyard. True Eden, the decision is easy: this is where Menu Extra will get its vegetables, fruits and unpasteurized milk! Back at the estate, Francis has the brilliant idea of soaking up the resources of the vineyard, and using the large vine leaves to wrap and cook the halibut that will be found in the tasting. This technique follows the principle of cooking in foil; it allows you to keep a perfect texture and to flavor the dish thanks to the aromatic steam.
Following this first exploratory stay in Ripon, Menu Extra returns to Montreal with one idea in mind: to create an incredible gastronomic experience as a team with our friends from Fragments. 30 minutes after the announcement of the event on our social networks, all places are filled.
A few weeks later, after numerous tests and preparations, the Menu Extra team finalizes the design of their meal and comes to settle in Ripon, two days before the first reception. On the menu, tomatoes in charcuterie; lettuce and buttermilk; halibut with grape leaves; seasonal corn agnoletti; pigeon pithiviers; homemade ricotta and citrus pie from Laval. As reinforcements, Menu Extra welcomes Marilou Lemay (Les Chefs!), Sean Murray Smith (L'île volante) and Nicolas Borrel (vinvinvin) to its team.
For the first reception, about thirty guests gather from 5 p.m., welcomed by a glass of Piquette as they begin a tour of the vineyard. Walking between the rows of vines, glass in hand, guests discover the place designated for the taste experience. Then begins the service which will continue throughout the evening, to the rhythm of laughter and emptying bottles.
The day after this successful first evening, the brigade gets back to work for its second and final reception at the Fragments vineyard. In full preparation, coup de theater! The rain joins the party, but will only serve as background music for the gastronomic evening which will take place in complete harmony in the warm comfort of the tents set up.
This first gastronomic event in two stages, signed Menu Extra, certainly crystallizes the desire to create this kind of unique, magical and gourmet experience. Following the success of this first successful collaboration with the fabulous team of the Fragments vineyard, Menu Extra promises to repeat the experience in the near future.