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WEEKLY LUNCH PICK: BDT makes croque monsieur feel like a Quebec invention

Forget fried zucchini sticks, this brew pub understands that great beer (and outstanding ambiance) deserves great food

The Place: Les Brasseurs Du Temps is a convivial artisan brewpub housed in a beautiful stone heritage building in Gatineau. Filled with character, the former Hull waterworks is also the very site where a brewery stood back in 1821 to meet the needs of thirsty labourers as they built the Rideau Canal. Now with its industrial-chic makeover, BDT features a remarkable beer museum that spirals around the brewery itself at the centre of the building. (Read more about the building and Hull’s brewing history here). One of the most unique lunch spots on either side of the river, BDT has two separate dining rooms and a bar. (If you have a dining companion that is under the age of 18, the main floor seating area near the entrance is the only option.)

The Dish: The BDT croque monsieur features thick slices of terrific sourdough bread piled high with freshly carved maple smoked white ham that has been cooked in the brewery’s own Extra Special Bitter blond beer, ESB1821. Smothered over the top and between the toasted bread is an ooey-gooey smooth and mellow white cheddar (Mornay?) sauce with a detectable hint of nutmeg. A slice of pickle and a heap of hot Belgian-style fries with mayo make marvellous companions.

The Deal: Up to a dozen different beers are brewed in house — everything from a stout and Belgian blond to a nut brown ale and a raspberry beer. These delicious brews find their way into the kitchen and its heaping helpings of hearty gourmet pub fare fashioned with locally-sourced ingredients. Forget fried zucchini — think homemade terrine, endive salad with blue cheese and actual beer nuts, and a bison burger using beasts from a local farm that were fed on the “drêche” (the used grains after the beer-making process) of the brewery’s own beer.

Les Brasseurs Du Temps. 170 rue Montcalm, Gatineau, 819-205-4999, www.brasseursdutemps.com

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