Quebec City is one of my favorite travel places. From Boston, I can drive to a very different world. Listed below are some of my regular places. I am sure there are many more but I keep going back to these, especially L’ Initiale and L' Echaude. Bopth are near the Hotel Dominion 1912 which is my favorite place to stay. It is in a converted warehouse with exposed brick walls and great views. Get the rooms looking back at the world city, even though the river view is also nice. There is a large fireplace in the lobby and in the summer outdoor seating for breakfast. They serve some of the best croissants, pate, and other stuff for breakfast. It is located at 126, rue Saint-Pierre in the lower city near St. Paul street with the galleries and antique stores. Tel. (418) 692-2224.
L’ Initiale – This is my favorite placed in Quebec for the big night out. The hostess is very welcoming and will remember you after a few times. It provides innovative French cuisine as Smoked salmon from Charevoix with oysters “alba” with cucumber, marinated baby leeks with krill oil or sea bass filet with thyme, fried asparagus and salicone. Finish the meal with impressive Québec cheeses, followed by a tart of white wine and maple syrup. High ceilings, large windows and subtle lighting provide a nice setting with tables a good bit apart. There is an eight-course grand menu. It is located at 54, rue Saint-Pierre, Vieux-Port de Québec Tél. (418) 694-1818
St-Amour – This well-established upscale French restaurant, best in the Upper Old City, has won several awards. The dining room features stone walls, flowers, and mirrors. Here are tow entres: Rack of lamb in parmesan and black olive crust, shin confit parmentier, rosemary and field garlic juices OR Western beef filet mignon with Maniguette peppercorns raw milk blue cheese and Port wine reduction Belles de Fontenay and caramelized cippolinis. That sounds good so here are two more: Pheasant breast with truffles pearled juices and moscato grapes with multicolored roots cake OR Wild Inuit caribou with poached pear, salmis juices, potato timbale and butternut purée. A picture of the entrance is on my blog today and rotates with the others of Quebec. It is located at 48, rue Sainte-Ursule, Vieux-Québec, (Québec) Tel. 418-694-0667
Laurie Raphael. Daniel Vézina (Chef) and Suzanne Gagnon, owners, named their restaurant in honor of their two children. Established in 1991, it provides lighter nouvelle French cuisine. In September 1997, Daniel Vézina won the Roger Champoux award given by the Fondation des Amis de l'art culinaire. This prize is awarded to a chef-owner who has been able to maintain high quality standards in his establishment for at least five consecutive years. Daniel was also named Chef Prestige for the Year 2000 by his peers at the 11th edition of the Gala de la Restauration de Québec held last May. It is located at 117, rue Dalhousie, Vieux-Port de Québec, Tel. (418) 692-4555 Fax: (418) 692-4175
L' Echaude is a good neigborhood bistro. As Chowhound Canada says, “The ambience is warm, with mirrors lining the restaurant walls and soft lighting…the food lived up to a bistro standard. (most of the plates returning to the kitchen were polished clean). The steak frites was cooked as ordered and the fries were not greasy. The special fish of the day, halibut arrived with a side order of fresh vegetables (very good). And the dessert, creme brulee topped with blueberries was also reliably good. LEchaude doesn't pretend to be what it isn’t - come for an enjoyable meal and you won't leave disappointed.” I happen to like it for these reasons. It is located in the lower city near the Hotel Dominion and St. Paul Street. Tel. 418-692-1299
Cafe De Mode is a French bistro and a great place for brunch. It was near the ferry terminal in a nice old building but has now moved next to the cruise terminal. Fodor’s says. “, this restaurant has a view to equal the food. The outdoor terrace in front overlooks the St. Lawrence River, while the side verrière, a glass atrium, looks onto the agora and the old stone Customs House. Etched-glass dividers, wicker chairs, and palm trees complement the Parisian-bistro-style menu. The menu includes such classic dishes as duck confit accompanied by garlic-fried potatoes, and appetizers like artichoke pudding with smoked salmon.” 418 - 692-4455