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The Gazette: "Go north for Belgian cuisine"

The charm of the Laurentians isn't just attracting vacationers;it's also making the area a destination for Europeans settling here in Quebec.

This summer when scouting out the 200-km linear park known as Le P'tit Train du Nord,which runs from Saint-Jérome to Mont-Laurier, I discovered a mini-invasion of four Belgian chefs and innkeepers who have recently arrived with their families.

They have opened inns along or near the park and are enriching the region with their European-style hospitality and cuisine.

When Ignace and Yolande Denutte stepped inside the old general store in Lac Nominingue in the Upper Laurentians last year,they instinctively knew this was where they wanted to establish their restaurant and home.

After extensive renovations that included installing a modern kitchen,the couple,from the Ardennes region in Belgium,opened the cozy,casual Restaurant Chez Ignace and two-room auberge last December.

Ignace,a trained chef, mans the kitchen while Yolande looks after the restaurant. Well-prepared game,lamb,beef,mussels and fish dishes are featured.Four-course table d'hôte dinner menus range from $19 to $23.

The restaurant is open year-round for lunch and diner but is closed Wednesday nights and Sundays at lunchtime.The restaurant is small;it's best to call ahead to reserve.

Chez Ignace is located at
1455 Bellerive sur le lac-Nominingue,
Québec, Canada  J0W-1R0

Phone: (819) 278-0689