- Lise Jul 17, 2000 03:26 PM
Any advice on finding good food on the Gaspee Peninsula? We'll be traveling there in August and need help - either recommendations for restaurants or advice on good books/guides to help us. Seafood is a priority.
I thought Id posted about Gaspe - we were last there 2 years ago, but I guess not. My perennial guidebook recommendation, Where to Eat in canada (should be a new edit out soon) by Anne Hardy has a fair number of Gaspe recommendations, as well as recommendations for adjacent areas which you may be travelling through on your way there. Supplement the Hardy with the Gaspe tourist guide put out by the Quebec tourist office, too and you'll have the best info published about this area, at least in English.
Our favorite restaurant on the Gaspe is the restaurant of the Gite du Mont Albert, in the middle of the Gaspe provincial park (on the road that runs s. from Ste. Anne du Monts. We stayed there on two occasions and had lovely dinners and breakfasts each time. French style cooking, comfortable, moderately formal service (my young teenagers learned how to use a full set of silverware), special game and fish dishes. Excellent after a day climbing the mountain. At the tip of the Gaspe, just south of the town of Gaspe, is the Auberge du Fort Prevel, also a resort type setting with a golf course (great value if you are a golfer) in a dramatic coastal setting. This was also quite good, once again, French style, with local ingredients including cod tongues, game and goat cheese. Both of the above places offer a good deal that includes room and two meals. There is a well known farm maker of goat cheeses just north of Perce, worth visiting for their cheeses, honeys and other items. We do not recommend the simple restaurant in Petite Vallee (on the north shore) which used to have a bakery and a talented cook; the cod tongues were good on a recent visit but there was very little talent in the kitchen or the dining room.
Places we would have wanted to try but have not include Auberge du Gargantua in Perce, Cafe des Artistes in the town of Gaspe (reputed to be run by a chef formerly from Toque) and L'Etoile d'Or in Riviere a Claude on the north coast.
If you are camping or picnicking, the supermarkets (there is a big one in Gaspe town) carry delicious french cheeses, pates, pies and other good items (as well as the omnipresent cod tongues!) If you are coming from the US, try some poutines at one of the local diners. Try sugar pie wherever you can find it. Prices are extremely reasonable for what you get, everywhere, by American standards.
If you are driving, the advice I read somewhere to go around the coast clockwise is well taken. There are some amazing views enjoyed on the side of the road away from the cliff edge. A big hang-gliding destination in St. Pierre du Mont; fun to see even if you don't do it (we dont). The boat trip around Perce Rock to Bonaventure Island and hiking on the island is fascinating; the bird colonies and seals, the geography, the emptiness are all extraordinary, in a landscape reminiscent of scotland. By the way, the hype about the warm water on the south shore beaches (in the Baie des Chaleurs)is not true, unless you are used to truly icy conditions; fortunately, its not likely to be hot enough to matter.
Please post about what you find and enjoy - you are going to a wonderful area!