Upscale and local
Husband and I are headed to Quebec City...we want to eat in local places and upscale places....a combination of both would be great, too! We are willing to spend money on fine dining, but also want to know what the best "local" cuisines and restaurants we shouldn't miss....we are very adventurous eaters...foie gras is not something we consider strange and we would prefer to avoid chains....
Advice is appreciated!
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.
Le Clocher Penché
Toast (have not tried this one myself)
All local places, high quality, often local ingredients, and some of these being more upscale than others (Laurie Raphael probably the most of the list, it's a hotel restaurant).
There are others, but this should be a good start.