Need assistance for some dining spots in Quebec City for an upscale (seriously!) bachelorette weekend in August
I will be traveling with a total of 7 ladies - all 40 years old - for a bachelorette weekend in August. We will be staying at Le Port Royal hotel. Arriving on a Friday and departing on a Sunday. Everyone attending is from New York City, so they are used to great food whether it be a hole in the wall or at a top notch spot. It is my first trip to QC, so i have no foundation to work with at all. I would greatly appreciate your help in making this special for my sister (the bride-to-be).
Here is what I am seeking:
1. Friday night spot for drinks/appetizers - festive atmosphere. Maybe something with a terrace or rooftop or other outdoor feature.
2. Saturday - a marketplace where we could get wines/cheeses and maybe picnic somewhere along the St. Lawrence (if people do that!)
3. Saturday bistro - alternatively, a suggestion for a good quality neighborhood bistro for lunch.
4. Saturday dinner - Seeking a nice celebration spot - nothing stuffy. Would like a place with some energy but not too crazy. We are used to paying $50-75 each for dinners including drinks, so that would be the price neighborhood I am seeking to top out at.
5. Sunday brunch - any great spots near our hotel where we can send the bride off with a nice champagne toast? This can be a very casual spot - nothing fancy required!
Thanks so much!
Here are my suggestions:
1-You'll find everything you're looking for on Grande Allée, that's where the nightlife is and terraces are (and it's within walking distance of your hotel). For the food, you'll find really nice traditional Italian appetizers and drinks at the Savini. The Voodoo Grill also has great food and drinks, and so does the Cosmos. Depends on what you like. If you're into microbrews, you can try Inox (though not the best choice of appetizers, mostly European hotdogs and chips). You can also just walk along the Grande Allée and decide on the spot, all terraces open on the street.
2- Hands down, the best marketplace is the Marché du Vieux-Port (about a 6 min walk from your hotel). Bonus point: it's located along the water, so there's quite a view. There, you will find fresh produce, cheeses, Québec specialties, and such. Some alcohol is also available there, but if you want more choice, I suggest you go before to the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) on Charest Street (within walking distance of the Marché). This SAQ has a very good selection of wines from all around the world.
3- Bistro : either the Toast! or the SSS (Simple Snack Sympathique) are close to your hotel. Or you can also go uptown (see other Quebec posts for amazing suggestions). The Hobbit, on Saint-Jean Street, is very nice and matches your "neighborhood bistro/hole-in-wall" description.
4- A very nice celebration spot would be the Laurie Raphaël, one of my all-time favourite in the city. The Chef Chef Menu is only $50, a steal for such a cuisine. I'm not sure though you'll find it has enough atmosphere for what you wish, altough it's not a "stuffy white tablecloth-type" of restaurant. You can also try the Il Matto, a classic Italian restaurant with great food, great vibe and prices really reasonable. Pratically at your hotel's doorsteps. The owner is the son of a famous Italian restauranteur in Québec and took his mamma's recipes and serves them in a lounge-style atmosphere.
5- The Panache, in the Auberge Saint-Antoine, serves standard brunches with Quebec twists. Bonus: the setting is just amazing. No surprise it's one of the best tables in the city. About 3min from your hotel. If you wanna walk a little (say, 15-20 minutes?), I'd suggest the Clocher Penché, on Saint-Joseph Street. Trust me, it's worth the walk. Kind of "reinvented brunches", but nothing too fancy, has a bistro feeling to it. But be sure to make a reservation; it fills up very very quickly.
I hope you'll enjoy you stay, and congrats to your sister!