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Jul 5, 2009 07:21 PM

Hello Chow's of Quebec City, I've done my research and am requesting your opinions of my dining selections.

Thank you in advance for your Help, I will be in your beautiful city the last weekend in July staying four nights. I would like your honest opinion on my selections as to have the best
opportunity of dining within your city. I am looking for good food with good value and some extra dollars spent on some exceptional dining without it being insanley expensive.

Dinner Choices

Thursday - L'Chaude
Friday - Pain Beni
Saturday - Toast
Sunday - La Giroue - Dont know to much about this selection although I read other reviewers as recommended for non touristy good food and service.

Lunch Choices

Friday - Le Cafe Du Clocher Peneche
Saturday - De Blanchet
Sunday - Le Belling
Monday - Brynd Smoke Meat

Alternates - Paillard / La Biote A Pain

We are staying at Le 71 Hotel which offers coffee and a small breakfast included.

I am so looking forward to your feedback whether positive or negative and if you have any alternative selections which may be better than mine.

Thank you so much................... Porto

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  1. I think, instead of L'Chaude, you mean L'Echaude. It's very good, as is Toast! Can't vouch for Pain Beni myself, as I've never eaten there, although I've heard good things about it. Cafe du Clocher Penche is an excellent choice, for lunch or dinner (although it may be a tad heavy for lunch, considering the dinners you have planned). Paillard is always good for a sandwich or soup, and they have nice breakfast pastries and coffee.
    I haven't heard of (or tried) any of your other options, so I'll leave those for someone who has to comment.
    You've chosen a very nice hotel, which is (if I'm not mistaken) right across from L'Echaude and just down the street from Toast.

    1. Despite the fact that light breakfast is included with your hotel stay, I'd definitely do Café du Clocher Penché sat. or sun. for brunch as it's truly good. Not that heavy and amazingly tasty. The hot chocolate is to die for.

      Also, note that, AFAIK, La GIROLE is a BYOW. But I might be wrong. Just double check it.

      As for Toast, excellent choice, by far my best meal in Quebec City.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Campofiorin

        Yes, La Girolle (2 Ls) is a byow, I checked. Good to know, as there are very few French/modern Québécois byow bistros in Québec City: most are "ethnic" places, and the majority of those small Vietnamese places that are a healthy and pleasant alternative to fastfood at about the same price, but not at all "foodie" or fine dining.

        Note that La Girolle is outside the old city walls: chemin Ste-Foy is the extension of rue St-Jean. Please report back on it, as that would be good to know!

        La Girolle
        Apportez votre vin !
        (Cuisine française)
        1384, chemin Sainte-Foy, Québec, (Québec) G1S 2N6
        Téléphone : (418) 527-4141

        1. re: lagatta

          Thanks so much for this feedback, I want to be sure I've made some sound choices
          here. I'm really looking forward to these great places to eat and your confirmation really helps out.........

        2. re: Campofiorin

          Definitely agree about Toast. We ate there and at L'Echaud the end of May. While L'Echaud was good, Toast was so much better, we wished we had gone there both nights.

          1. re: FoodDee

            I'm not certain if Le Continental will be my fourth and Final dinner selection.
            I think I would like something a bit less formal, not by much though. Possibly a real quiet and romantic smallish place with great local quebec food. Possibly a Patio, but not an absolute. Something special to end our trip.
            Thanks for any help...........

            1. re: Porto

              How about Il Theatro, this restaurant have a very nice terrace at d'Youville square, pasta but with a nice selection of meat or fish. The terrace is great! Good service and really good food!

              1. re: phyero

                Thank you Phyero... II Theatro it will be.
                I'm making my reservations today and appreciate all your help on this.
                With my four dinner selections can anyone give me specifics of the best items to order in each restaurant.
                Pain Beni
                II Theatro

                Thanks everyone. Really looking forward to this..... Porto

                1. re: Porto

                  2 things from Toast still stand out in my mind - a cheese course of goat cheese and pears (warm) and a parmesan cheesecake dessert.

                  1. re: phyero

                    It occurs to me that even an off night at any of the restaurant choices discussed above is better than a good night at most restaurants. Bon Appetit and we look forward to your post.

                    1. re: felix the hound

                      Thanks Felix I will provide feedback when I return. My Trip is coming up in about a week and a half.

                      Phyero, I had a question as I had my hotel place all my dinner bookings for me but we could not get into Il Teatro the evening we selected. They have recommended anothe Italian restaurant ( Gambrinus ). Are you or anyone familliar with it and your thoughts on it's food, atmosphere, pricing.
                      Thanks again for your help.

          2. If you're looking to swap out a dinner choice, I loved L'Utopie.

            1. I'm leaving tomorrow and wish you had posted your reviews about eating at these places. I will try some of the recommendations and post back our experiences. Bon appetit mes chowhounds!

              4 Replies
              1. re: divainjeans

                Hi Divaijeans,
                I have not posted yet as I am only going this Thursday through to Monday. I will post upon my return.


                1. re: Porto

                  Oh and Porto.... let me know how Hotel 71 is (unrelated/related matter). I'll be doing the same trip next month. Look forward to your thoughts on both the food and the stay.

                  1. re: michaelball

                    Certainly I will do so. I leave tomorrow and am so looking forward to Quebec City with what looks to be a great time with great food.

                    1. re: Porto

                      Hello Porto- just got back from old quebec yesterday. Pretty much ate my way through the old part of the city. Le Pain Beni was very good. The following places were where we ate: Casse Crepe Breton, Chez Temporal, Caffe Conti, Cotes a Cotes, Le Clarendon for breakfast et L'Omelette. Moozoo for gelato was really good. Interested in finding out what you though of these places?

              2. Bonjour Fellow Chowhounds from beautiful old Quebec. We arrived yesterday and we are already on our way through the chowhound list that I have made. We ate at Le Pain Beni last night - WOW! Very good food and decent prices. I would highly recommend this place. The service was outstanding, the manager on duty, Katy, brought us a bottle of delicious french Chardonnay. We had the fetuccini with prawns and chiruzo. Substituted the asparagus instead of green peas. I had the Lemon splash creme brulee. Very good.
                Today we ate at Casse Crepe Breton. Outstanding. Nice and light perfect for light breakfast before walking around. Had coffee at Palliard - very good. Nice little cafe. Stoped at Cafe Temporal - you have to try their gazpacho - yummy on a hot summer day. Good coffee, too. Cute cafe very tiny but so homey. Will report back. We plan on trying Le Continental and Caffe Conti which are right next door to each other. Also - Moozoo for gelato in lower town- aka basse ville - is delicious!

                6 Replies
                1. re: divainjeans

                  Hi everyone,
                  I am Literally just getting in the door at home. Long day / extended weekend away and I must get to bed. I will post a thorough review tomorrow although for a couple of people awaiting some feedback here is some short highlights. I managed to hit most of my places listed above.

                  Outstanding and Must Do's.

                  Pain Beni
                  Caffe Conti
                  Le Billig -- Crepes, Go no where else (Especially for Savory Style)
                  De Blanchet -- Cappucino and Croissants

                  Ok although not somewhere to rush back to would be
                  Cotes a Cotes
                  Cafe Krieghoff
                  Both were visited for lunch -- Uninspiring food (Basic fare)
                  Suprisingly Cotes a Cotes was the lesser of the two.

                  I will provide a detailed description of all tomorrow.
                  Definetly visit my Outstanding selections -- Wonderful Places

                  On the side note for Michaelball requesting feedback on le Hotel 71.
                  I've travelled to quite a few hotels in major cities over the past few years. These people
                  have it all together with location, service, service and service. Exceptional, proffessional, Stylish, Modern, Clean and did I mention service........ Go there without hesitation & Enjoy.

                  To all of the Hounds that gave me guidance Thank you...

                  Especially Phyero..........Merci mon ami...


                  1. re: Porto

                    We look forward to your detailed description, in particular of the "outstanding and must do" . to enjoy it vicariously.

                    1. re: felix the hound

                      Quebec City Dining

                      L’Echaude – Great Patio, very picturesque street. We stayed at Le Hotel 71 which through the rear doors step’s out to this enchanting Rue of artist shops and fine restaurants. We arrived late as we had a flight delay. The restaurant had no issue in holding a reservation for us when our hotel staff called them up with this change even though they were fully booked and people wanting to walk in from the street.

                      My wife had the Tuna plate which had perfectly seared and seasoned cubes of tuna, accompanied by the guacamole and lemon/oil emulsion, Salad and Frittes.
                      I went for the full size Salmon Tartar which was extremely fresh tasting, nicely fragranced by the added herbs only slightly heavier than I would have preferred the mayonnaise. I would love to have had it with an olive oil base rather than the mayo although that’s just my preference, tasted great with salad and frittes as well.
                      We had glasses of wine not a bottle, coffee with an outstanding dessert which was a baked peach stuffed with a hazelnut paste. Simply amazing you must have the peach.
                      Cost of our meal with tip was just under $90. Really great food, patio and value.

                      Pain Beni – Busy place, we had to wait a few minutes even though we had a reservation.
                      The doorway is shared with the hotel entrance and the reception inside at the top of the stairs does not deal with the restaurant and unfortunately she really is your first point of contact and requested I wait down below at the street level until a staff of the Pain Beni see’s to me. Not a big deal although they should better manage the traffic coming into the door and have a person for the restaurant on point for their customers.
                      We sat indoors, very warm room, modern. Tables are a bit close together but tolerable.
                      We ended up chatting a bit with the neighbouring table as it’s almost rude not too given your proximity. Our wait staff was really good. At one point the gentleman accidently poured water into my wife’s wine glass and quickly took it away returning with a full glass where she had already drank half of the original serving. Food – I found surprisingly a restaurant that serves really nice food in an upscale fashion the dinner rolls they provided on the table to be tough and cold. Almost not sure if they were that days buns. 30 seconds popped into an oven before serving could have made the world of difference with them. My main the Beer Braised Wild Boar was wonderful in its flavour
                      And the meat was a perfectly braised almost pulled pork fall of the bone texture to it. The risotto below tasted great but the rice was a bit mushy and got lost in the creaminess of the Parmigianino. My wife had the Quebec Lamb Shank Comfit in duck fat and was a bit underwhelming in both flavour and texture. Came off a bit heavy with the added feta and sundried tomatoes. For dessert the lemon pie splash crème Brule, macaroon and homemade marshmallow was really well done. Total was about $130.

                      I did notice a few diners opt for the fondue with bread and cold cut slices. Did not look appealing and I saw many diners not necessarily finishing the dishes. Looks very heavy. The menu has many other options I would like to try myself.

                      Conti Caffe – Phyero I’m glad I asked your opinion and did not go Gambrinos.
                      Actually I was going to stick with it at first. During the afternoon I went for a jog and stopped by to ask if our table could be one by the window that evening. The fellow was very rude in by looking at me strange and saying absolutely not it’s a first come first serve. We have had our reservation now booked two weeks in advance. He could have at least said I cannot promise but will do what I can when you arrive. This place I could quickly see is alive simply because of it’s location in front of Frontenac. Clearly no people of customer relation skills at all. Plus the room looks dated. Keeping the reservation I left and walked over to Conti where I had no reservation although suggested I just drop in and they will do their best to seat us later that evening. We were given the immediate seating option at the bar if we wanted. So we did. Great place, great service.
                      Warm interior setting, even though we were at the bar it was charismatic. We focussed on Pasta dishes the seafood linguini and the fettuccini with pollo. Really well executed dishes. I would really want to go back here and try some more of this great Italian place.
                      Total with Beer to start, wine and salads + Pasta’s was $110. Go Here…

                      Toast…. Service, Food and Ambiance….
                      We certainly did no holding back here and went in for the 4 course formula.
                      Nice outdoor garden patio, we had some rain so the awnings were fully opened and we did not have an open sky above. They do a really nice job of lighting the space and the Wrought Iron Furniture is a nice touch as well. Heaters above ensure the climate is comfortable, they were actually working when we first entered. August – Go figure.
                      We started with Foie Gras with beetroot and the Fresh Mushroom Crostini.
                      The Crostini with Buff/ Mozzarella, Roasted shitake and quail egg was wonderful.
                      The Foie nice in presentation was just a bit lack lustre in flavour. I would choose the traditional Torchon if I had this opportunity again. Mains – Rabbit Stuffed with blood sausage and Nage of butter poached Atlantic Halibut.
                      The Halibut is just amazing. Such a clean looking dish, whiter than white perfectly cooked, with a wonderfully complex clean flavour. Outstanding.
                      The rabbit saddle was wonderfully stuffed with the blood sausage with flavours beyond expectation. The secondary piece a leg wrapped in bacon was a bit dry yet the whole dish was propelled by the saddle section leaving only joy inside.
                      The cheese plates especially the Wrapped Bouquentin Goat Cheese served hot was tasty and a perfect selection. We also had the three Quebec cheese of the moment which were very tasty just the same. Finally dessert, the deconstructed Reggiano Parmesan Cheese Cake with macerated sour cherries and brandy biscuit crumbs was just rich enough and a very satisfying dish although the Tonka Bean Soufflé heavenly in texture and flavour left my wife wanting more due to it’s small serving size. An amazing meal overall with wine glasses and coffee $220.

                      Speaking of Coffee. Not so special at all almost anywhere in this town.
                      Certainly not a strong point.

                      Unless you go to De Blanchet… Amazing Cappuccino and amazing croissants.

                      Crepes – Only one place to go…. Le Billig………..

                      Thanks Chow’s for all your help and I hope this helps some others out as well.

                      1. re: Porto

                        Just wanted to send a quick thanks to Porto and everyone who helped out in this thread. Me and my partner had a quick two nights in Quebec City and based our food choices on some recs from friends and narrowed it down to what was posted in this thread. We had outstanding dinners at Toast! and Il Theatro.

                        Toast! has an amazing patio, only issue is the heaters being on during a cool but comfortable August night made is feel like we were being Toast!ed until they turned it off. There was a young girl that was complaining that she was cold. seems silly that everyone should have to sweat when she could put on a coat. They turned them off towards the end of her meal.

                        Had Crepes at Le Billig that were eye roll back divine. The service at all places was friendly and top notch. Thanks very much for the help and making this a really outstanding trip. Can't wait to get back here.

                        1. re: abigllama

                          You are quite welcome Abigllama, I'm really glad you went to Le Billig
                          for Crepes. They are fantastic..... I too want to try Il Teatro next time I'm in Quebec.......... I'm glad you had a great time.....

                          1. re: Porto

                            Thanks Porto Il Teatro was a nice contrast from the first night at Toast!. Toast! was amazing with super complex flavours happening, while Teatro was just really solid and fresh Italian. Check it out! And yes Le Billig are easily the best crepes I've ever had thanks again!