| Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau

Gastronomy

Change of course at the restaurant

Thomas Engasser takes the helm of La Traversée

A wind of change is blowing over our restaurant as it takes on a new name, a new operator and a new menu. Thomas Engasser, our restaurant’s maître d’ for the past five years, is leading the change as the founder and operator of La Traversée.

Trained at the hotel institute in Avignon, France and boasting a varied track record in high-end establishments, Thomas is the perfect choice to steer the restaurant. Though only 28, he has over 12 years’ experience in the foodservice industry, driven by a passion for cuisine handed down by his father. “I was born in Provence, and my dad was a head chef. So my involvement with restaurants began at an early age, when I was 16,” he says. For Thomas, becoming a restaurant operator is a dream come true, and it is a role very much like that of the owner. “I like to joke that I have a joint tenancy with the spa’s owners! Basically, I am running my own foodservice operation in a location that does not belong to me, but that I know like the back of my hand,” he explains.

His goal is to offer a simple menu that is fresh and refined, with a casual urban ambiance. “I want to provide passengers with a sense of calm and comfort and make them feel as though they are on vacation halfway around the globe, even as they enjoy our great panoramic view of Montreal,” Thomas reveals.

As for La Traversée’s cuisine, it is being revamped to feature dishes that are both healthful and just a bit more hedonistic. Elegant salads and burgers thus share the spotlight on this season’s menu, in order to offer something for every taste. When we asked Thomas what his current menu favourites are, he was quite hesitant, before finally suggesting his salmon tartare. “You simply have to try it! It comes with mint and mango, among other ingredients, so it’s ultra-refreshing and pleasurable on those hot summer days,” he proudly claims. And passengers with a sweet tooth will take a shine to his hazelnut and fleur de sel brownie. “It’s a classic, to be sure, but one that is truly mastered. You’ll feel like a kid again with every bite!”

To discover the rest of this mouthwatering menu, come on board and meet the captain.