Le Passe-Montagne: A unique address in Frelighsburg

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Passe-Montagne has been added to our long list of reasons to plan a roadtrip through the Eastern Townships. Located in Frelighsburg, on the Vermont border, in the backroom of a custom hat shop, this cave à manger has everything to charm you: brunch on weekends, lunch and dinner during the week, affordable wine cellar, super local menu and a variety of events. The young duo behind Passe-Montagne is talented, dynamic, creative and above all, very engaging.

The whimsical pair

Maxance Ferland and Julien Archambault-Leclerc met while working at Buvette chez Simone.

Maxance is in charge of the kitchen. After studying restaurant management and Italian cuisine at the ITHQ, she started as a busgirl at Buvette and worked her way up. She takes pleasure in creating a menu inspired by the good recipes of her grandparents. Surrounded by farmland, the chef-owner takes on the challenge of working with fresh produce grown within 30 km of Passe-Montagne. To name a few of her collaborators, she works closely with Ferme Selby for the pork (they even co-create sausage recipes!), the COOP Pied de céleri in Dunham and the ecological market garden farm Au coeur du Pinnacle.

In addition to Buvette, Julien has worked in service with the dynamic teams at Lundis au Soleil and Vin Papillon. He is in charge of the wine cellar. He strikes a nice balance between local products—which are well represented on the menu—and his enthusiasm for private imports. His offering is affordable, and all wines can be consumed on site for a very fair corkage fee.

A charming and eclectic dining room

Those who were born before the turn of the millennium probably have fond memories of the youth show Passe-Partout. The name of the restaurant is obviously a little tribute to the great Passe-Montagne. Moreover, the restaurant’s decor is full of nods to the youth of the two partners: Big Bird overlooks the wine shelves, while Kermit the frog and a Smurf watch over the dining room.

Julien’s girlfriend, Michelle Wiseman, adds her touch with a series of graphic and colourful paintings inspired by the Pike River, which runs through the village. The eclectic decor includes a collection of games, funny books, figurines, flowers, plants, wine bottles, and photos taken by Julien—a man of many talents, indeed! The dishes and furniture come mainly from flea markets and the basements of the owners and their grandparents. It feels like a playground for adults, but know that children are also warmly welcomed!

Lively programming

Passe-Montagne also offers a variety of events that bring people together. Every month, they repeat the Bingo and Tacos concept. In the summer, to take advantage of their vast grounds, they organize outdoor parties: oyster parties for Labor Day, music shows, BBQs, mini putt tournaments, méchouis, and more. Their imagination knows no limits.

For those interested, you can rent the dining room of the address for special events, and they also offer a catering service. The restaurant has a nice terrace, and it is even possible to go there just to have a drink or a coffee.

We love the retro atmosphere, the nostalgic decor, the food, the nice selection of wines, the dynamic programming, and the owners. We are big fans of the Eastern Townships and this address gives us one more reason to go!

Photography by Le Passe-Montagne

From the magazine

Restaurants open on Tuesdays

Finding a restaurant open on Tuesdays is becoming challenging. Some restaurants choose to take a break at the beginning of the week.