Great eats in Quebec City
- Alex Ray
I recently returned from a trip to Montreal and Quebec City and would like to recommend two little bistros in Quebec City enthusiastically. Both are located in the Lower City on Rue St. Paul. One is called St. Malo, the other is called Mistral Gagnant. Both serve excellent Provencal fare in quaint, charming settings. At St. Malo I had a life-altering cassoulet with sausage and an unidentified fowl leg, so rich and savory I whimpered. The boyfriend had duck ravioli in a light creamy sauce that were equally impressive. Very reasonably priced for lunch. At Mistral Gagnant I had an incredible bouillabaisse with at least 5 different types of fish/shellfish. I don't recall what the my other dining companions had (veal medallions and fish, perhaps?), but I do remember them being quite tasty as well. Appetizers were likewise delicious: mine was a seared sea scallop and pancetta Napoleon, another's was a shrimp cocktail with a creamy cucumber sauce served in a martini glass. Desserts were stellar. This place was likewise reasonably priced (what in Canada isn't?). So if you'll be in Quebec City any time soon, do yourself a favor and dine passionately at at least one of these wonderful establishments.
Incidentally, others on this board recommended Aux Anciens Canadiennes (sp?) - never got to eat there, but I did pop my head in briefly, and it looked interesting. Maybe next time. Also, I had heard that Serge Bruyere was a major hot spot. We sat in the cafe section and had the lunch menu. I must say that I was NOT impressed at all. I had the blandest cream of spinach soup of my life there that seemingly no amount of salt and pepper would enhance. And the quiche, although the perfect consistency, was also nothing special - the average San Francisco brunch haunt could easily outstrip it. I hope the dinner menu was better.