Boston Restaurant Blog -- July, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Just got back from Quebec City, which has to be one of the most beautiful cities in North America. Narrow cobblestoned streets, old stone houses, cozy inns, and amazing views of the surrounding countryside make Quebec City a special place. And to top it off, Quebec City surely has one of the best restaurant scenes on the continent. I came back from the 3-day trip to Quebec a bit heavier and more sluggish, but it was worth it.
On our way up to Quebec City, we stopped in Newport, VT to a great little diner called The Family Recipe. It was quick, cheap, friendly, and a community center of sorts, as everyone seemed to be going into this little restaurant. After loading up on hot dogs and pastrami, we continued to Quebec City, where, after making the rounds, we ended up at Le Grille in the Upper Town section of the city. Many of the restaurants in Quebec City specialize in Italian, rather than French Cuisine, including Le Grille. And the chicken penne pesto dish made me forget for a bit that I was in a French city, as it at least as good as any similar dish I've had in the states.
Saturday was a day of good restaurants, too. Breakfast was a freebie at the hotel, and it was ok, and lunch was at the St. Patrick Pub in the Latin Quarter. The burgers were decent there, but not great, although the beers were terrific. So at this point, we had eaten at an Italian restaurant and an Irish pub, so it was time to find a place in Lower Town that had more of a French twist to it. We ended up at a place called La Finestra, which is actually built into one of the steep staircases between Upper Town an Lower Town. In this spectacular setting, we had a plate of mussels and a plate of veal canneloni, both of which were very good.
So far, we were happy with the food in Quebec City, but not overwhelmed. Sunday, however, was a different story. For breakfast, we went to an outstanding breakfast place in Upper Town called L'Omelette. Then we headed to l'Ile d'Orleans, a peaceful island just east of the city, and had our best meal of the trip at Auberge La Goeliche in the quaint town of Ste-Petronille. The restaurant and inn are located right on the St. Lawrence River, facing the skyline of Quebec City. Our meals were, finally, truly French cuisine. My meal was absolutely incredible; tender slices of chicken in a brown sauce with bok choy, roasted potatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes. Auberge La Goeliche is one restaurant I can't wait to get back to someday. Finally, for dinner, we went back to the Latin Quarter for an excellent Italian meal at Les Freres de la Cote. The pizza and pesto were both better than just about anything I've had in Boston, and it was a great way to cap off the trip to Quebec City.
On our way back to Boston, we made a little side trip to North Hatley, Quebec, which is a small lakeside village a short distance north of the U.S. border. North Hatley reminds me so much of towns in the Adirondacks of New York such as Inlet, Old Forge, and Long Lake. And the restaurant we went to, The Pilsen Pub, well, it is one of those classic waterfront restaurants that is just made for a beautiful summer day. The Pilsen Pub has outdoor seating along the river that opens up into the lake (which is across the street), and excellent pub grub and American fare. Going to the Pilsen was the perfect way to end a memorable trip. I hope I'll get back to the Pilsen--and Quebec City--very soon.
Whilst I appreciate your appreciation for good cuisine...judging by the names of the restaurants you visited in Quebec ...you were bang in the middle of the tourist trap...hence your impression that Quebec restaurants offer more Italian cuisine than French...you are correct .....since the 1940s the Italians have dominated the ....tourist restaurant industry....but there is now a growing base of FRENCH and modern fusion cuisine involving local products..even organic produce .....and you need to check out local references and guides to find them...Establishments like L OMELETTE are from another era ...yes they still cater to tourists like you...but not to Quebecers.....be wary of tourist traps ...you are often charged 50% over the local price just cos they know ye won't ever......check it out against the local prices.
Posted on 9/13/09
Note: Comments have now been closed for this blog entry.