My husband and I are just back from a five day trip to Québec, Canada. Our daughter traveled to Boston and Cape Cod with her high school choir to perform at several venues and have recreation activities. We’ve seen her choir perform many times and been to Boston and Cape Cod a few times. She didn’t need us tagging along and it was also a perfect opportunity for our seventeen year old to learn to manage money on her own. That experiment was a bit of a bust. Let’s just say the modern ability to refill a bankcard from anywhere in the world came in handy.
When we knew she was going away, my husband and I decided we would go away too. Where to go. We had tossed around a few idea and I had almost had him convinced that we could go to California and visit my father’s aircraft carrier. That didn’t happen because I also agree that I don’t like long flights for trips that only last a few days. We settled on Québec. It is somewhere we talked about going before and it is only a 1.5 hour flight. We would leave the morning after our daughter goes and return the night before she comes home.
One of the other perks of being on a trip without our daughter was that the variety of dining experiences we could have expanded. We didn’t need to make sure that what she would eat was on the menu. We made one reservation before we traveled and a few others throughout the week.
On our first night in Québec, we dined at a lovely French restaurant that had been recommended by Fodors. I have to say that in all my 50+ years, this was the most wonderful dining experience I’ve ever had.
Located on Rue Sainte-Ursule, Le Saint-Amour was a short walk from the Hotel Clarendon where we were staying. When we arrived in Québec, the weather was bad but by the time of our reservation, it had mostly stopped raining. Arriving we were greeted warmly by the staff and shown to our table in a beautiful dining room.
We found that restaurants in Québec often have meals that include multiple courses for a set price. Le Saint-Amour’s menu has two. The Discovery menu was about 10 courses and too much food for us. We had the Inspiration menu which was less courses. I neglected to take a photograph of our first course and it is not listed on their online menu so I can only provide my layman’s description. It was a green creamy refreshing aperitif in a liquor glass garnished with a small slither of crispy toast.
Our next course was a soup. Vegetable cream soup chiseled Parma ham truffle espuma Modena vinegar glaze.
Next for the main course, we both had the Milk fed Québec veal sirloin, Rossi potatoes, seasonal vegetables, carrot purée with beurre noisette fresh herbs syrupy natural jus.
For the final course, the choice was fine Québec cheeses or Pastry Chef Eric Lessard’s Gourmandise.
Our hotel was in a great location so on another night, we had a short walk to another special restaurant. Aux Anciens Candiens located on the Rue Saint-Louis, was also recommended and we decided to dine there because it was noted to serve Québécois cuisine (native to Québec).
When we arrived we were shown to a small dining room on the second floor. Here first is one of their other dining rooms.
At this restaurant, we also chose the multiple course meal which was called the Discovery. To start, we chose a glass of wine or of beer. Next for our appetizer, my husband chose a soup which was a vegetable blend and I had wild caribou and bison rillettes with a carrot glaze. It was a pate and delicious.
For our main course, my husband had salmon and wild rice and I had sauté of veal gently simmered with mushrooms and Quebec root vegetables flambé with cognac on a flaky pastry. We both enjoyed our choices but in hindsight, I wish I had chosen one of the more Québécois selections which included a meat pie. Just for the shear experience.
Next came dessert. Here I did choose the local favorite, maple syrup pie. It was very good and my highlighted single food item from the entire trip. My husband decided on maple syrup creme brûlée.
When we thought we were finished, our server came back with a small surprise. A frozen shot glass with cramberry juice and vodka. It was delicious.
Pub Saint-Patrick was a lively Irish pub located on the Rue Sainte-Jean which was a major shopping and dining district. The seating was both indoor or on the sidewalk. We sat outside as the weather in Québec was very comfortable. This dining experience makes me laugh because we were in Québec, a French speaking city, were dining at an Irish pub and we had Fish and Chips, a British staple. Humor aside, it was a fun dining experience and the fish and chips along with a pint of beer was delicious.
Portofino Bistro Italiano is located on Rue Couillard which is actually just a step across a narrow street from Pub Saint-Patrick. When we were on one of those on and off tour buses, this restaurant advertised with them and gave a discount. The tour’s recommendation was good as we had a wonderful meal.
My husband decided to not have a starter but I had the soup du jour which was clam chowder. For his main course, my husband had linguini with shrimp, clams and mussels and I had lobster ravioli. We asked about the black striping on my ravioli and were told that it is the ink of the cuttlefish.
We had breakfast and lunch at a few different places but it is a breakfast establishment that I want to mention here and we dined with them twice. We found L’omelette through a list of the top 10 places for breakfast in Québec. Just up the road from aux Anciens Canadiens on Rue Saint-Louis, L’omelette is a quaint little restaurant that seems to be connected to a hotel or a bed and breakfast as there was a video playing on a screen showing rooms. In nice weather, the window seat if you can get one is wonderful. Cool breezes and watching the happenings outside. We had it both times.
The first time we dined, we both had omelettes but I didn’t take any pictures. The second time, my husband had an omelette and I had french toast. Can I say I love the real maple syrup from Québec. You get several pieces of fruit with each meal too. Strawberries in Québec are much better than those we get at home.
Well that was my dining tour of Old Québec City. I know it doesn’t seem like it but we did more than just dine on our visit. I’ll have other posts soon. Bon appetit!