We here at Apt613 love hard hitting news. We also love ice cream. So when we heard that Le Glacier Bilboquet, a Montreal ice cream staple since 1983, was opening up its first non-Montreal location in Vieux-Hull, we knew we had to thoroughly research it. And research we did, cone after cone, for the good of Ottawa-Gatineau. It’s tough work, but someone has to do it.
The Outaouais Bilboquet location opened its doors the first week June at 66 rue Eddy in the Vieux-Hull sector of Gatineau. It takes the spot vacated by craft beer store Le Marché des Brasseurs d’ici. It’s about a 12 minute walk from the War Museum via the Chaudière Bridge. Keep that in mind while Bluesfesting over the next two weeks!
Bilboquet serves homemade ice cream, sorbet, and ice cream cakes made at their plant in Montreal, and gets as many ingredients as possible from local sources. Even the employee t-shirts are made from organic cotton and produced in Quebec.
The Outaouais location has a rotating selection of 24 flavours of ice cream (there are more than 30 flavours total). There’s a good amount of variety, with flavours ranging from “Cacaophonie” (dark chocolate ice cream with bits of white chocolate and walnut), to “Bric-à-Brac” (chocolate chip ice cream), to Sirop d’Érable (maple syrup!!). The prices for cones/cups are oddly specific, but very reasonable. Kids size is called “Mini” ($2.17), one scoop is “Raisonnable” ($3.70), two and three scoops are Généreux and Péché ($4.57 and $5.22 respectively). You can also get take-home pints for $6.09.
As far as recommendations go, I’ve never been to any of Bilboquet’s Montreal locations, but their flavours across the board are among the creamiest in the Ottawa area. But what separates Bilboquet from other ice cream establishments, in my opinion, is their selection of ice cream cakes. There are 11 kinds to choose from, made with a wide variety of their ice creams and sorbets. As a chocoholic, I had to try the “Bombe-O-Choco cake”. At $17.40 for the (very) small version, it’s on the expensive side, but well worth splurging for. This isn’t your grandma’s Dairy Queen cake. The “Bombe-O-Choco” is a three-layer dome ice cream cake, made with a caramel ice cream core, covered by a layer of chocolate ice cream, and frosted by a chocolate ganache. It’s amazing.
Inside, there is a small seating area, enough for 6 people, as well as a kids corner, surprisingly well stocked with toys and puzzles. Outside, there are picnic tables and plastic Adirondack chairs, enough to seat 16-20. But you have ice cream, so you might as well take a nice stroll, and Bilboquet is location within easy walking distance of the Ottawa River and the Ruisseau de la Brasserie.
Bilboquet is a welcome addition to Ottawa-Gatineau’s flourishing dessert scene, in an area that had been underserved in that respect. I have a feeling I’ll be back several times between shows at Bluesfest.