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Quebec City Anniversary Dinner, Game On

Tasting menus are really good though!

Regardless, a few more high-end places in the Upper Town.

Le Panache (Hotel St-Antoine, Old Port). Great room, may be tasting-menu only though but I believe they do a-la-carte.

L'Initiale. Tasting-only, but a great table. Heading there in late March myself.

Le Saint-Amour. A standby in Quebec, but I was disappointed last time I was there. I know their tasting menus are always a bit inventive, but I felt the a-la-carte was just a bit winded... hasn't changed much over the years.

Le Toast. One of my best meals ever was there, but they since moved to an a-la-carte only mode that I'm not too fond of. Then again, as stated I'm a tasting menu fiend and you want a-la-carte, so it may work out still!

Laurie-Raphael in the Old Port. The flagship restaurant from one of Quebec's celeb chefs - actually very good. I also believe it may be a tasting menu only.

Outside of Upper Town, especially in St. Roch and Limoilou, you have the newer, hipper places like L'Affaire Est Ketchup, Pantente et Machin, Le Pied Bleu, La Planque, some of them garnering national and international acclaim. A ton of good bistros too like Bistro B, Bistro Boreal, etc. Quebec is slowly moving away from its stodgy old school Continental roots and has a nicely brewing younger restaurant scene. Still, the old school maintays listed above still serve exceptional faire.

Cabane a sucre Au Pied de Cochon

Thanks for the report!

Quebec City Please!

I'd disagree - sushi at the Metropolitain is pretty damn good and compares favorably to larger destinations. Enzo is OK if you like the more modern versions of sushi. For Vietnamese, La Petite Boite Vietnamienne is pretty good and won't serve the typical 'Cambodian/Thai/Vietnamese' slop you find elsewhere. However, the point remains - outside of 'meh' Vietnamese and some of the bad indian restaurants we have (I'd kill for a single decent indian restaurant in QC, although I haven't tried Shahi Tandori and apparently it's good), BYOW options are pretty limited.

Quebecois Tourtiere or First Nations meat pie??

Again, fully agree that the 'tourtiere' term is attached to what is more commonly called a meat pie. As an example, Martin Picard in his original Au Pied de Cochon book has a 'tourtiere' recipe and does explicitly mention that it is not akin to a Lac-St-Jean Tourtiere and thus may offend some. The cookbook series from the 'Cercle des Fermieres' in Quebec also has two recipes, one for a typical tourtiere and one for a 'Tourtiere du Lac', which is the one I described.

Ultimately, it's a lighthearted point of pride but simply that. Let's call it whatever, as long as its good!

Dec 28, 2013
Voidsinger in Home Cooking

Quebecois Tourtiere or First Nations meat pie??

Alright, so for this Lac-St-Jean guy (who happens to have a girlfriend from Charlevoix), here's what I know about the nomenclature.

Tourtiere is cubed potatoes and meat (pork, beef and chicken or preferably game like wild hen, rabbit or hare). It rests in a thick crust and in a fairly large pan (a large Creuset or cast-iron dutch oven). It has dough on all sides. Only has salt and pepper. Yes, us 'bleuets' are fairly defensive on what it's supposed to be! :D

Cipaille is a Charlevoix and Bas-du-Fleuve (Gaspesie) specialty. It is also cubed meat and potatoes, but has either only a crust (the sides/bottom don't have dough) or has a few layers of dough (a mid layer and a top one). It is also spiced with traditional meat pie spices such as clove, Allspice, cinnamon and savory (that obviously varies, but plays to those flavors). Cooks in the same type of dish as a tourtiere, so they're supposed to be large.

Meat pies are ground beef or pork and may have spice or just salt+pepper. They are either pie shaped or small individual mini pies. No potatoes. For us, calling meat pies tourtieres is akin to blasphemy, but a lot of city folks (especially Montreal) call them tourtieres.

Hope it helps!

Dec 28, 2013
Voidsinger in Home Cooking

Cabane a sucre Au Pied de Cochon

Nope, I went through the email listed on the web page at the time of reservations. I believe it was

Cabane a sucre Au Pied de Cochon

I actually went through restaurant administration to get the kitchen table booked for us in April as it wasn't mentioned in the website app. That being said, I also put in a regular reservation at 12:45am, and the person told me that by 12:04am they were already in the couple of thousands of requests and that he doesn't think I would have made it with the regular booking.

FYI, by contacting the restaurant directly you may still find availability for the kitchen table - it's a 1400$ prix fixe and can seat 14 (we'll be 10). It does come with a magnum of champagne!

Still, hope you get a table!

Phil Smoked Meat Quebec

It's an OK place. Unsure if they changed much since it was called Joe's Smoked Meat. But in a city where you have La Fabrique du Smoked Meat and Brynd's, unsure why you would choose to go there.

The meat is fine, spices are right. But last I checked, they didn't steam their bread (blasphemy in my mind) and only served boring chips (like, bad Ruffles plain chips) and not good fries or sides.

OK I guess, but better choices exist in Quebec.

Upscale and local

Le Panache has a terrific room and feel, and the times I've been there have been a tremendous experience. However, recently I've not heard good things, mostly related to service (little or no explanations on dishes, sloppy sommeliers). No idea if the front of the house has changed but service is always a big part of the experience. Food remains terrific.

L'Initiale is probably the most expensive restaurant in Quebec and seen as the most formal gastronomic experience. I, however, haven't personally been there.

Laurie Raphael in Quebec City is NOT the hotel location in Montreal, but the original restaurant. It's a solid experience, but I always had more fun at Toast! or Le Panache.

St-Amour wasn't mentioned - used to be one of the go-to places, but I felt it's been left behind in past years. The room is a bit dated (although it is still superb) and the a-la-carte hasn't changed in 10 years it seems.

La Taniere may also be cool, it's a nice place out in a more farm-centric area on the outskirts - it's a more modern take on cuisine with 20-30 smaller dishes in the course of a dinner. I clearly remember a christmas-time dinner there with deer running around on fluffy snow - very postcard-ish.

Our bistros are pretty strong though - along with the Clocher Penche, look for Bistro Boreal, Bistro B par Francois Blais or the oft-mentionned L'Affaire est Ketchup. More casual, but great good nonetheless.

First time going to Quebec City

There's plenty of cool microbreweries that you could try out, I'd personally recommend either Korrigane (on Dorchester, they have a small terasse in the back near rue St.Joseph) or La Barberie (near the Old Port). There are the two Archibald micro-brewery/restaurants too, but I've never been so I can't recommend anything.

For good reasonably-priced food, there's a variety of options. A few are getting a bit more buzz (L'Affaire est Ketchup, La Planque) so you might want to try and book ahead. I've had pleasant experiences at both the SSS and the Bistro Boreal for solid bistro fare.

To be honest, in Quebec City I'd recommend you simply walk down many of the cool streets we have and pick and choose. Many have great eateries. I'd recommend St. Jean (more touristy, but right in the heart of old Quebec and if you head out you'll find awesome restaurants like the Moine Echanson), Rue Cartier (Bistro B is a favorite, I adore the sushis at Metropolitain), and St. Joseph (in St. Roch, used to be a rundown neighborhood that's been extremely gentrified, you'll find L'Affaire est Ketchup, Cafe du Cloche Penche). If the weather's nice you'll find the streets packed until the wee hours of the morning - find a nice terrace and people-watch. :D

Recap: Quebec City and Charlevoix

Heard the same thing recently about the Panache - still good food but nowhere near what it was under the old HC Francois Blais and service has become anemic, with very basic or no explanation of menu. This came from friends who went there recently. The room is awesome, maybe a bit of 'humble pie' reviews will help them straighten this out.

Chef's Table in Montreal?

I don't believe so. We were there recently for a birthday and explicitly asked if they had one, but no avail. They do have private rooms though.

APdC's Cabane has one apparently, but good luck getting it. :D

"Trip de Bouffe" Lebanese bakery and trattoria if I may say so

Just a quick correction, although it's really inconsequential. While the name may literraly mean Food Trip, "Trip de bouffe" is the french canadian translation of that food binging phenomena we all know and love, the dreaded 'munchies'. Knowing that there's a vast marijuana subculture in Quebec, I'm pretty sure the owners were a bit tongue-in-cheek in naming it.

Chez ma tante

Yes! I interned in Montreal in college and rented an appartment right in front of Chez Ma Tante. Those hot dogs were incredible and I probably gained 10 pounds that summer. Loved the casing on the Shopsy's, had a tad more bite than your traditional 'steame'. Fries were excellent, not sloppy at all.

One of these days the old casse-croutes will be gone and we'll truly miss them. Thanks for making me remember my younger years. :D

Bon Appetit Magazine Going Totally Downhill

Sadly I must agree - got my October BA this week and I thought I was reading my girlfriend's Real Simple mag instead. The "Tapas 2.0" article was OK (although the "great tapas/pintxos discoveries in Spain" theme has been exploited and beaten to death for years now), the rest was very "meh".

Real glad I subscribed to Lucky Peach though - got the initial issue a few weeks back (I think it initially came out in May or June) and I'm still reading through it.

Au Pied de Cochon: for occasional meat eaters

They actually have quite a few nice vegeterian dishes, and their seafood and daily fish special is always a winner (last time I was there, we had a cod's head braised in a squid ink court bouillon and the tail served fish n' chips-style, with their duck-fat fries - yum is an understatement!). In season, the seafood platters are also very fun.

Solid cooking shows/series - need suggestions!

Thanks for the great suggestions all! I'll check them out.

Sep 20, 2011
Voidsinger in Food Media & News

Solid cooking shows/series - need suggestions!

I've been a big fan of Heston Blumenthal's "In Search of Perfection" series, especially the kitchen segments. I think it holds more value than the traditional cooking shows because I'm rarely watching them to get new food ideas, but usually to catch an interesting technique, or something that I could add to my own skillset (better way to poach an egg, how to properly cook pasta, etc). As a show to watch, the production values are also superior as with anything BBC/british.

Are there other series out there that cater to the more "hardcore" home cooks who really want to see how the best do things? I'm sure I could check out the older series with Julia Child/Jacques Pepin but I'm looking for something a bit more modern. I won't join the whole "Food Network's horrible!" debate, but suffise to say that the Rachel/Giadas of the world are not what I'm looking for.

Your help is appreciated. Thanks!

Sep 19, 2011
Voidsinger in Food Media & News

Food and Drink near PUR Hotel in Quebec City

Well, you're right next to St-Joseph street, there's a lot of good places there for fun food, like the Cloche Penche (east) and l'Affaire Est Ketchup (east also). On the western end, you'll cross Rue du Parvis and you'll get the Versa (meh, more style than substance) and the Yuzu (can be somewhat expensive - they make good sushi but their a-la-carte can be really fun). You're also somewhat close to the Vieux-Port/:Lower Town section, which a bunch of cool selections, from casual "smoked meat' at Brynn, decent moules-frites at Moss, to the high-end places of the posh hotels in that area.

For microbreweries, you've got Korrigane on Dorchester (PUR is on La Couronne, Dorchester is the parralel street on the eastern side) - a bit further west near the old Gare Du Palais (train station) is the Barberie, a great micro and local institution.

Quebec City: Seeking Restaurants Other Than the Obvious!

Don't think the OP mentionned "touristic" more than "Not the usual Quebec names when people ask for recs on Chowhound". I don't think Toast comes up nearly often enough compared to the old mainstays (St-Amour, Laurie Raphael, Initiale, Panache). La Taniere is also often forgotten (apparently has a very modernist slant now) but I haven't been in ages so I really can't recommend it.

Not sure about you, but my last two trips to the St-Amour and Laurie Raphael respectively were a bit underwhelming, with St-Amour being pretty disapointing. I never get tired of the Toast and never got a "meh" meal there.

As for "L'Affaire est Ketchup", you are spot-on! It's a very fun place. There's something to be said for a single chef and his two friends in an informal setting just making delicious food.

Quebec City: Seeking Restaurants Other Than the Obvious!

"L'Affaire est Ketchup" on St-Joseph East - small and noisy but lots of fun.
"Restaurant Toast" on Rue des Matelots, in the Old Port - in my eye (and after multiple meals at all of them) the best of the high-ends.
"SSS" - Bistro food on St-Paul from the guys at the Toast. Good high-end bistro food, great room.
"Le Moine Echanson" on St-Jean (West of the St-Jean Gate) - great place for their wine list and vast "per glass" selection, kinda tiny and crowded, very solid food (again, think upper-scale bistro).

Quebec City - Bistro B par Francois Blais, any early feedback

Wondering if any fellow Chowhounders (chowhoundees? chowhoundii?) based out of Quebec have been to Francois Blais' (ex-Panache) new bistro, Bistro B. Apparently it's been open a few weeks and really in the early stages (signage is not done, some items aren't on the menu yet apparently) but word out is very good. I'm wondering if it's a Quebec City attempt at bistronomy or something else entirely.

Montreal With 20-Something Old Son-Early June

Don't base yourself entirely on the online menu at APDC. They have insanely good seafood (in season) and many new menu items show up depending on arrivals/markets/etc. I've been there 4 or 5 times now and am always impressed.

Toque' or Better

APDC, Joe Beef, Garde-Manger and the rest of the Mtl bistro crew is definitely where you need to concentrate your efforts. For the french high-end, many on this board have said you'd be better off driving 3 hours up to Quebec City instead - there's at least 3 or 4 places that are on par with Toque and in my opinion much better (Toast, Panache, Laurie Raphael, etc.).

Joe Beef
2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

Top Chef Masters Season 3, Episode 8 (SPOILERS)

The cooking has been subfar thus far, really never had a "Wow that looks awesome!" moment yet. The only reason I watch is for Hugh's wisecracks.

May 26, 2011
Voidsinger in Food Media & News

Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #14 (Finale Pt. 2) - 03/16/11 (Spoilers)

Yup, I also thought it might be the final spot on Top Chef Masters 3... or even more interestingly - maybe TC9 is a limited series with all the TC winners (A allstar All-Stars) and as the winner of TC8, they get the final spot in the winner's series.

I dunno, I think TCM3 is the most obvious answer.

Mar 18, 2011
Voidsinger in Food Media & News

long weekend in quebec city

If you're near Chateau Frontenac, your best bet is to take the funicular down to the Petit Champlain - there's several breakfast options there, including the Cochon Dingue (a local chain that serves damn good breakfast) and the Lapin Saute (eggs in maple syrup served in a cast-iron pan = yum). I'd get reservations for the Lapin Saute as it's pretty small.

Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #12 - 03/02/11 (Spoilers)

I'm guessing they were very happy with their assembled cast. I'm assuming if they needed more "star power" they would've found a way to get a Kevin, Stefan or Brian V. back into Season 8. Did any try to get a bigger paycheck and the producers said "Thanks, but no thanks"? Good question. From what I read, most of the chefs that turned down All Stars did so because of the increased time/commitments/exposure that Top Chef gave them.

Mar 07, 2011
Voidsinger in Food Media & News

James Beard 2011 Semifinalists announced

Pretty sure that he and Bryan V. were approached but both turned down due to their hectic schedules nowadays...

Feb 17, 2011
Voidsinger in Food Media & News

Chuck takes the day off to challenge Bobby? [SPOILERS]

He's the head chef at the Garde Manger in Montreal, Canada. A great, great place to eat, probably one of the best places in a city full of great restaurants.

Jan 14, 2011
Voidsinger in Food Media & News