Courtesy of Panache
Marie Asselin
December 30, 2014

Many visitors come to Quebec City dreaming of eating traditional French dishes in our finest restaurants. In reality, the city counts few classic French restaurants—and thankfully so! Why eat like you would in France when visiting a province of the other side of the ocean? Our chefs have indeed mastered the classics created by our founding nation, but they have also grown to develop their own innovative cuisine. The food served in our best restaurants is of course inspired by our French heritage, but it’s also clearly rooted in our Québécois culture, which is heavily influenced by our geographic location, both as part of North America and as a Nordic province. The chefs of these restaurants work with our very best local producers and ingredients to create dishes that write a new page of our culinary history. A meal at any one of the following restaurants is a multisensory experience that could easily become your trip’s best souvenir.

Panache

Located in a former nineteenth-century warehouse inside the luxurious Auberge Saint-Antoine, Panache is one of the city’s most beautiful restaurants. Massive wood beams, stone walls, and a central fireplace all contribute to its elegant and oh-so-romantic atmosphere. The dinner menu reinvents classic Québécois dishes that are delightfully highlighted by luxurious ingredients such as foie gras. Lunch and weekend brunch are just as memorable.

 

Laurie-Raphaël

This restaurant is owned by one of the city’s star chefs, Daniel Vézina, and bears the names of his daughter and son, the latter of whom has now taken the helm of the kitchen. The décor, service, and people are as sophisticated as the flavors presented on the plate. For a truly memorable experience, treat yourself to the tasting menu, which completely changes every season.

 

Initiale

A low-key member of the local fine dining scene, Initiale is a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association. The chef, originally from Brittany, France, creates highly refined dishes and flawless presentations. Fish and seafood dishes are especially memorable. The perfectly synchronized service and the dining room, with its simple décor, neutral color palette, and low lighting, create an atmosphere of understated luxury.

Patriarche

Located in a historic house within the Old City walls, Patriarche makes an innovative menu in which each course (including desserts) features three variations on a single ingredient, hence its “trilogies from the terroir” tagline. Presentations are minimalist and modern, whereas flavors are generous and comforting, perfectly harmonizing with the warm and intimate interior of the restaurant.

 

Champlain

The main restaurant of iconic Château Frontenac has recently undergone a complete transformation, both in the dining room and in the kitchen. The wood, glass, and gold décor provides a fittingly chic setting for the brand new menu created by cutting-edge chef Stéphane Modat, who works hand in hand with a star sommelier to create menus that flawlessly pair with carefully selected wines. One of the city’s most generous and elegant brunches is also served here on weekends.

 

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