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    Post #1 - June 5th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    Post #1 - June 5th, 2006, 12:44 pm Post #1 - June 5th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    The husband and I are traveling to Quebec City in mid-July with our two sons, 14 and 18 (both omnivores). We will be staying at the Auberge Saint-Antoine in the old city. I did a search, but it really didn't turn up much. Any new ideas?

    Thanks much!
  • Post #2 - June 5th, 2006, 1:26 pm
    Post #2 - June 5th, 2006, 1:26 pm Post #2 - June 5th, 2006, 1:26 pm
    What I'm about to say is based on a trip about 6 years ago with boys just a few years younger (the twins graduated high school yesterday!). Here's what I can recall:
    1. In the upper part of the old town, we ate at Aux Anciens Canadiens. It was fun as they try to serve traditional food, etc., but it was just O.K.
    2. We at a couple of meals in the lower part of the old town along the river that were much better. I can't remember the names, unfortunately. One was just a block or two from the Musuem of French American (or something like that), which is actually a great little museum.
    3. While you'll want to spend most of your time in the walls of the old city, a nice walk through the Plains of Abraham park will get you to Rule Cartier. It's a delighful couple of blocks with food stores and restaurants and much less touristy. We ate at a place called Le Graffiti, and it was us and local businessmen and us enjoying some lunch and vino. The food was excellent, the neighborhood fun, and the walk there and back healthy.
    4. One evening, after a big lunch, and with the weather great, we decided to do the following for dinner: At some shop we got picnic stuff and parked ourselves on a bench on the boardwalk right in front of the Chateau Frontenac. The people watching is great, and as evening comes around, some excellent streat performers turn out. Add the extraordinary view, and it was one of our best evenings.

    Enjoy,
    Jonah
  • Post #3 - June 5th, 2006, 2:37 pm
    Post #3 - June 5th, 2006, 2:37 pm Post #3 - June 5th, 2006, 2:37 pm
    I was there about six weeks ago for a day and a night. We stayed at Le St-Paul Hotel on r. St-Paul, right down on the bottom of the Old Town. Nice enough hotel, *very* nice people running it. They have a restaurant--Peche Veniel ("Venial Sin" !)--that has a very nice setting and a fine breakfast. We didn't eat there for dinner, but the food looked and smelled great. We ate down the street at a provencal place, whose name I cannot remember for the life of me. It was very good: a most congenial patron, extremely comfortable settings, and good, well-prepared, and understated south-of-France food. I recommend it. [Walk past the St-Paul hotel, toward the river, with the hotel on your right , for about one block. Look on the opposite side of the street. The provencal resto is the one.]

    Be sure to go to the Old Market--about 100 yds in front of the hotel. Immediately on your right as you enter is a fabuluous cheese shop. They'll let you try anything, and you should try everything! Quebec makes some fine cheeses these days, especially aged, washed-rind styles, and creamy chevres.

    There'll be several people selling local cidre. Try it! If you find an apple brandy flavored with maple syrup, try it! You'll probably buy a bottle.

    There's a neat resto in the market. Lots of good hearty food, esp. the soups. Order double on the frites. Oh boy.

    You'll have a great time in Quebec City--be sure to report back on your experiences!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #4 - June 5th, 2006, 4:39 pm
    Post #4 - June 5th, 2006, 4:39 pm Post #4 - June 5th, 2006, 4:39 pm
    I agree with spending most of your time inside the walls of the old city (and be sure to walk around on the walls), plus spend some time on Rue Cartier (just outside the wall - it has a vague Rush Street feel to it). There's also a hotel on Rue Cartier (name escapes me, but it's easy to spot - tallest thing around) that has great glass elevators going up to the bar/restaurant on the top floor - great views.

    I agree that Aux Anciens Canadiens isn't worth it. It's pricey, the food isn't that good, but the historic building is worth a look. But it's basically geared toward tourists. Rather than going there, I wish I'd been able to go to Laurie Raphaël instead - contemporary Quebecios cuisine.

    If you love, or even like, mussels, you can't miss Moss Bistro Belge - more versions of mussels than you could ever imagine. There are a number of non-mussel options for the queasy among you, but mussels are the reason to go.

    Aux Anciens Canadiens
    34 rue St-Louis at rue Haldimand
    Haute-Ville (Upper Town)

    Laurie Raphaël
    117 rue Dalhousie at rue St-André
    Basse-Ville (Lower Town)

    Restaurant Moss Bistro Belge
    255, rue Saint-Paul
    (near the Old Port)
  • Post #5 - June 5th, 2006, 7:37 pm
    Post #5 - June 5th, 2006, 7:37 pm Post #5 - June 5th, 2006, 7:37 pm
    nr706...Our hotel must be very close to Laurie Raphael as we are staying at the corner of rue Antoine and rue Dalhousie, Basse-Ville. We are across from the Musee de la Civilization and next to the St. Lawrence River. Should be a lovely area of town. Other people have recommended this restaurant to me so I will definitely seek it out.

    Thanks for everyone's thoughts!
  • Post #6 - June 5th, 2006, 9:28 pm
    Post #6 - June 5th, 2006, 9:28 pm Post #6 - June 5th, 2006, 9:28 pm
    Let us know what your dining experiences were ... Quebec City is certainly one of the best, and least heralded, dining cities on the continent.
  • Post #7 - June 6th, 2006, 2:02 pm
    Post #7 - June 6th, 2006, 2:02 pm Post #7 - June 6th, 2006, 2:02 pm
    For simple fare, try:

    Chez Temporel
    25 rue Cuoillard

    or

    Cafe Buard
    31 rue De Buade

    Both are in the old city.

    We had asked a tour guide at Gros Ile for a non-tourist oriented spot serving simple French country cooking. He recommended Chez Temporel. The food is mostly sandwiches served on good, crusty bread, and fresh soups. This place seems to be skewed toward a youth/counter culture crowd. Nothing wrong with that; I'm just giving you a heads up. It's the kind of place you'd expect to see guys wearing berets, reading the paper as they take their time eating a sandwich or a bowl of soup. Very quaint, very laid back, definitely not on the tourist map!

    As for Cafe Buard, we were wandering the old city one evening looking for food, finding either highly overpriced tourist spots or McDonald's with little in between. It was getting late.

    Finally, we stopped at a little deli to split a sandwich while we walked around looking for a real meal. As we sat outside deciding which way to go next, we started chatting with a local who spoke reasonable English. We asked him for his favorite neighborhood restaurant and he sent us to Cafe Buard.

    This is two steps above a typical Chicago Greek coffee shop type restaurant. Lots of faux leather booths, and waitresses who, if they spoke English, would call you, "Hon", as in, "What'll ya have Hon?"

    The food was better than the typical CGCS (although the asparagus clearly came out of a can!) We split a dinner consisting of a boneless, skinless chicken breast smothered in a flavorful white gravy, with some kind of a potato and the horrible canned asparagus.

    Once again, definitely not populated with tourists.

    For dessert, we stopped at Casse-Crepe Breton, 1136 Saint-Jean, a charming (and I don't use that word very often) little spot serving a wide range of dessert and snack crepes.

    We went out for drinks and live folk music at Chez Son Pere("House of My Father", sp?). Don't know the address, but this is a well known joint in the old city; just ask and you'll get directions. This is a place to go without the kids.

    Hope that helps.

    Buddy
  • Post #8 - January 11th, 2012, 10:43 am
    Post #8 - January 11th, 2012, 10:43 am Post #8 - January 11th, 2012, 10:43 am
    nr706 wrote:Quebec City is certainly one of the best, and least heralded, dining cities on the continent.


    I'll be there week after next for Winter Carnival. Any recent intel much appreciated. Looking forward to some fancy French dining as well as more humble items (key among the latter: poutine, which I have never, blush, enjoyed).
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #9 - January 11th, 2012, 11:54 am
    Post #9 - January 11th, 2012, 11:54 am Post #9 - January 11th, 2012, 11:54 am
    It's been a warm Winter Up Here, Hammond, so you're not going to be fully tested! Oh well, you'll still have a ball!

    For simple elegant Provençal food, I've always very much enjoyed Mistral Gagnant, on r. St-Paul in the Old Town. The chef has a light, elegant touch, and the tastes are perfectly correct. M. le Propriétaire is generous and welcoming.

    The food critic for Le Devoir--the leading newspaper in the province--whose taste I've learned to very much trust over the last seven years, recommends L'Initiale as 2011's best resto in Québec (City). Don't know it personally, but I trust this guy's judgment.

    Now, for the poutine. (Can't believe you've never had it! But I suppose there must always be a First Time for any Classic. The vast majority opine that the best is from a local chain called Chez Ashton. There are a couple dozen stores, each (apparently) as good as the other. The cheese curds are *guaranteed* to squeak! :) Poutine is a bit of an acquired taste, even the best-made original style—simply fries, cheese curds, and brown sauce—can be a bit daunting at first encounter. It helps for it to be midnight (or later), and the eater to be a few sheets to the wind. There be the makings of a lifetime devotée!

    Let me end on a little known eaterly factoid. *Almost* as highly regarded in the province as poutine is Québec's version of pizza. It's very particular: thick, doughy crust, fried, leopard-spotted bottom, long-simmered *thick* sauce, and all-dressed, the local descriptor for "lots and lots of cheese and everything else." Most kitchens use greased-up pie tins; but the best use heavily-larded black iron skillets. Quite unlike any pie you will have ever tasted before, but a very worthwhile experience.

    According to experts, the very best pie in the province is from Gerry Pizza. It would be worth your while to give it a try.

    Have a great time!!--but do NOT let anyone talk you into the iceboats!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #10 - January 11th, 2012, 12:12 pm
    Post #10 - January 11th, 2012, 12:12 pm Post #10 - January 11th, 2012, 12:12 pm
    Hey Geo, I was hoping you'd respond.

    I'm guessing poutine is not a "street food" (vended by carts or others), so I will take your rec of trying Chez Ashton. It is remarkable that I've never had this food item, and I am eager to correct this omission in my culinary education.

    Keen as I am to try Quebec-style pizza, I will be traveling solo so will probably not go to a sit-down place for a pie...but if this za is available by the slice, I'm definitely in for that.

    Part of the tour includes Wendake, a "Huron village," which sounds like it will probably be tourist-oriented, but they do have a restaurant, and I am always keen to try versions of Native American foods.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - January 11th, 2012, 12:41 pm
    Post #11 - January 11th, 2012, 12:41 pm Post #11 - January 11th, 2012, 12:41 pm
    Neither Québec City nor Montréal allow carts, or on-board-cooking trucks. It's a deficiency that all of us feel heavily, esp. when we see how trucks have Really Arrived elsewhere. We have a couple of trucks, but they only distribute food cooked at a central kitchen, which is a bummer. Even worse, Toronto foodies make fun of us, since they have a bustling cart culture... :oops:

    Enjoy the Huron Village! And tell us the tale later!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #12 - January 22nd, 2012, 11:53 am
    Post #12 - January 22nd, 2012, 11:53 am Post #12 - January 22nd, 2012, 11:53 am
    One other question re: poutine. Some Chicago chefs (e.g., Flanagan at The Gage) dress up their basic fries-curd-gravy combo with meat (pork confit in the case of Flanagan) and even stewed veg. Is this "normal" in Quebec? Do a lot of places that serve poutine adorn the rich pile of spud and dairy with meat and veg.

    I'm guessing that whenever you have a basic carb platform (pizza, two slices of bread, whatever) the temptation is great to dress it up.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #13 - January 22nd, 2012, 12:10 pm
    Post #13 - January 22nd, 2012, 12:10 pm Post #13 - January 22nd, 2012, 12:10 pm
    The sky's the limit Hammond! Take a look as some of the variants listed here.

    Patati Patata is the most legendary Montréal venue—and for good reason!—and even they make some wonderful excursions away from the core. But whatever you do, you must do the original first. Provides the proper baseline for further exploration! :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #14 - January 22nd, 2012, 2:11 pm
    Post #14 - January 22nd, 2012, 2:11 pm Post #14 - January 22nd, 2012, 2:11 pm
    Checked the site and this would be be a tough choice: the first five or so listings are each purportedly the do-not-miss best!

    I'll be in Quebec City and only for four days.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #15 - January 28th, 2012, 4:45 pm
    Post #15 - January 28th, 2012, 4:45 pm Post #15 - January 28th, 2012, 4:45 pm
    Image

    After asking around and hearing from everyone that Ashton is, indeed, the place for poutine, I ordered a "bebe" there this afternoon, and it did not fail to impress (I'd normally get a larger one but I'd just eaten about a half-pound of excellent Quebec cheese for lunch). The potatoes are sourced locally (from l'lle de Orleans), fries hand-cut and crispy, the gravy was hot and actually rather light, and the curds gave out the requisite squeak. I may stop back tonight for one of the variants (with wieners, etc.).

    Thanks, Geo, for the right-on guidance.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #16 - January 28th, 2012, 6:04 pm
    Post #16 - January 28th, 2012, 6:04 pm Post #16 - January 28th, 2012, 6:04 pm
    Damn, that looks tasty DH! Hope your other stops are as successful. But remember: stay OUT of that canoe!!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #17 - January 19th, 2016, 8:09 pm
    Post #17 - January 19th, 2016, 8:09 pm Post #17 - January 19th, 2016, 8:09 pm
    Anyone visit Quebec City more recently than 2012? I think we are headed there this spring for an anniversary trip.
  • Post #18 - January 24th, 2016, 2:48 pm
    Post #18 - January 24th, 2016, 2:48 pm Post #18 - January 24th, 2016, 2:48 pm
    I went to quebec for the first time last summer. 5 months later, my thoughts on the city still alternate between "Oh that's quaint" and "what a tourist trap." Actually, I feel that way for each of the following recommendations on some level... anyway:

    1. Ile d'Orleans: half an hour from the walled city is this picturesque island, with berry-picking farms, jam makers, boulangeries, and chocolatiers lining the loop around the island. A fun way to spend a day would be just to drive through the loop and stop when so moved.

    2. Le Renard et La Chouette: fancy, tasty small plates in a hip space. Also the most comprehensive host ever who verbally translated the 20+ item menu, and repeated them again. In Chicago they'd blow up (in a good way).

    3. Restaurant l'Initiale: a michelin-star type French restaurant with ridiculously affordable lunch menu. Service and menu, like most other things we saw, leaned more conservative than, say, an equivalent restaurant, in Montreal

    Ile d'Orleans
    http://tourisme.iledorleans.com/en/

    Le Renard et La Chouette
    125 Rue Saint-Vallier O
    Ville de Québec, QC G1K 1J9
    http://lerenardetlachouette.com

    Restaurant Initiale
    54 rue Saint-Pierre
    QC G1K 4A1
    http://restaurantinitiale.com/le-restaurant
  • Post #19 - January 30th, 2016, 10:24 am
    Post #19 - January 30th, 2016, 10:24 am Post #19 - January 30th, 2016, 10:24 am
    Thanks Bernard. Sounds kind of like Venice felt to me.

    bernard wrote:I went to quebec for the first time last summer. 5 months later, my thoughts on the city still alternate between "Oh that's quaint" and "what a tourist trap." Actually, I feel that way for each of the following recommendations on some level... anyway:

    1. Ile d'Orleans: half an hour from the walled city is this picturesque island, with berry-picking farms, jam makers, boulangeries, and chocolatiers lining the loop around the island. A fun way to spend a day would be just to drive through the loop and stop when so moved.

    2. Le Renard et La Chouette: fancy, tasty small plates in a hip space. Also the most comprehensive host ever who verbally translated the 20+ item menu, and repeated them again. In Chicago they'd blow up (in a good way).

    3. Restaurant l'Initiale: a michelin-star type French restaurant with ridiculously affordable lunch menu. Service and menu, like most other things we saw, leaned more conservative than, say, an equivalent restaurant, in Montreal

    Ile d'Orleans
    http://tourisme.iledorleans.com/en/

    Le Renard et La Chouette
    125 Rue Saint-Vallier O
    Ville de Québec, QC G1K 1J9
    http://lerenardetlachouette.com

    Restaurant Initiale
    54 rue Saint-Pierre
    QC G1K 4A1
    http://restaurantinitiale.com/le-restaurant
  • Post #20 - January 30th, 2016, 5:29 pm
    Post #20 - January 30th, 2016, 5:29 pm Post #20 - January 30th, 2016, 5:29 pm
    I have eaten at Le Mistral Gagnanthttp://mistralgagnant.ca/default.php a number of times and always been extremely pleased: the patron is genuinely friendly and open, the space is warm and welcoming, and the food is excellent. This is *not* a tourist place.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #21 - January 30th, 2016, 9:08 pm
    Post #21 - January 30th, 2016, 9:08 pm Post #21 - January 30th, 2016, 9:08 pm
    Geo wrote:I have eaten at Le Mistral Gagnanthttp://mistralgagnant.ca/default.php a number of times and always been extremely pleased: the patron is genuinely friendly and open, the space is warm and welcoming, and the food is excellent. This is *not* a tourist place.

    Geo


    Thank you!
  • Post #22 - January 30th, 2016, 10:54 pm
    Post #22 - January 30th, 2016, 10:54 pm Post #22 - January 30th, 2016, 10:54 pm
    Marmish wrote:Anyone visit Quebec City more recently than 2012? I think we are headed there this spring for an anniversary trip.

    I was there May 2014, also for an anniversary. We had to cancel our anniversary dinner at Le Patriarche due to a flight cancellation that delayed our trip until the next day. Do not remember everywhere we ate, but do have good memories of:

    Ile d'Orleans, mentioned by Bernard. Enjoyed the drive around the island, and a stop at Montmorency Falls on the way to the island, which I highly recommend. In May, aka off-season, some of the businesses were closed to the public. I remember a brew pub, Cassis Monna & Filles, and a ciderie. We must have been thirsty that day.

    Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec is a very nice public market. When in a new city or country, we often stay at a vacation rental with a kitchen, so we can cook at least one dinner at home from the local markets. It seems that no matter what we think we'll get, something else strikes us, much like at home I guess. (For example, a trip to London's Borough Market resulted in the best pasta carbonara we've ever made.) In Quebec, we entered thinking we'd get something like duck, goose, or foie, and wound up with a gorgeous rack of goat.

    The one restaurant I remember is L'Affaire Est Ketchup. It was original, fun, and quirky, and the food was very good. They do their cooking on two standard residential electric stove/oven combos. With a patient and relaxed attitude, and a dip into their wine list, it was an enjoyable evening.

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