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Bistro a Champlain Restaurant Review: About an hour from Montreal, Bistro à Champlain is located on the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains. Housed in a heritage property, it has a curious creative connection to one of Quebec’s noted artists. In 1974, owner and wine connoisseur Champlain Charest teamed with abstract painter Jean-Paul Riopelle to found the restaurant in this bucolic area. The collaboration is a pleasing celebration of art, food and wine. Today the wine cellar boasts some 35,000 bottles and is, in itself, an attraction. The sommelier’s palate is decidedly light, and the chef’s passion for detail evident. There are minor missteps. Duck foie gras with fruit chutney is mellow but a tad ordinary while the marinated salmon or a roasted guinea hen served with mushroom crème sauce raises the bar. Duck breast with sweet-and-sour sauce inspires, as does risotto with green curry, crab and shrimp with its memorable sauce. Between courses, visit the wine cellar --- perhaps Charest will take you on a tour himself. The restaurant was once adorned with Riopelle works, but is less so today due to security issues, although artwork still decorates the walls.