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Dinner in Quebec City


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Not sure how accurately we match on defining midrange/fancy/cheap with you Dave, and it's pretty rare for us not to eat 'fancy' when in QC for dinner, but I've never been disappointed with the food at Pub St Alexandre and it's only ~400 yards away up Rue Sainte Jean from your hotel. Great beer list, lots of scotches, and a very broad menu running the gamut from Brit & American pub grub classics to sausage & sauerkraut to foie gras & tartare - we generally have the sausages and a charcuterie board at lunch with a few beers. Live music at night which might be a selling point for you too - it's actually the main reason we don't do dinner here, I hate live music while eating as it distracts me from giving the food my full attention!

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Not sure how accurately we match on defining midrange/fancy/cheap with you Dave, and it's pretty rare for us not to eat 'fancy' when in QC for dinner, but I've never been disappointed with the food at Pub St Alexandre and it's only ~400 yards away up Rue Sainte Jean from your hotel. Great beer list, lots of scotches, and a very broad menu running the gamut from Brit & American pub grub classics to sausage & sauerkraut to foie gras & tartare - we generally have the sausages and a charcuterie board at lunch with a few beers. Live music at night which might be a selling point for you too - it's actually the main reason we don't do dinner here, I hate live music while eating as it distracts me from giving the food my full attention!

 

Sounds like a good place, especially depending on how tired we are after exploring.

THANKS!

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Sounds like a good place, especially depending on how tired we are after exploring.

THANKS!

No worries Dave, glad I managed to pitch something appropriate - there's a pretty wide 'fudge factor' in where folks define their own boundaries of cheap/fancy/in-between dining!

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OK - another request - how about a place for dinner near the Marriott that is a bit more upscale? Not top end formal, but a very nice place for special meal?

 

Sorry to be so demanding on this issue, but we just do not know how much energy we will have after a day of touring.

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OK - another request - how about a place for dinner near the Marriott that is a bit more upscale? Not top end formal, but a very nice place for special meal?

 

Sorry to be so demanding on this issue, but we just do not know how much energy we will have after a day of touring.

That one's easier - Quebec's not quite as casual as over on the left coast here, but you don't need jacket & tie to dine many places (and since you're cruising I think it's safe to assume you will at least be traveling with at least a nice shirt & pants). With the CAD running <80cents vs. USD for a long time you're also getting a nice discount on dining - when you're saying what you do above, I'm getting the general sense of something equivalent to hitting a nice steak house, where you could easily be dropping ~$50 apiece for good steak, the same for a decent bottle of red between you, then appies & dessert - call it a hundred bucks apiece?

 

Saint-Amour, one of our go-to Fine Dining propositions is only a couple of hundred yards further than the pub I mentioned, and while ordering a la carte or getting the full tasting menu could easily break through the $100+ per person range just for food even with the handy-dandy CAD discount, they also offer some much better value meals - e.g. right now the 'Inspiration' table d'hote is a nice 4 courser with choices of main and dessert for $72. Tax runs a hair under 15% in Quebec on resto food and booze, so assuming you also tip 15% across the board that gives allows for ~$25pp in booze (couple of glasses of wine, or if you're more of a beer guy then at least three of those) before breaking out of the CAD$130/US$100 bracket.

 

In case it's a factor, they are very comfortable serving you entirely in English - my schoolboy French is fine for politely ordering stuff and I eat enough food to be able to read the French menu no problem, but I generally fall back into English as soon as it comes to asking questions about flavour profiles of wines to match food or details about how food is prepared; they've been easily able to accommodate my sometimes very picky questioning in English no problem.

 

If I'm pitching at too fancy a level, the same chef has a bistro across the street from Pub St Alexandre, Chez Boreal - it's a different approach to the food, more focused on Northern Quebec with lots of game and fish cooked more simply, less of the rich French saucing, but a few bistro classics sneak in there like black pudding and of course there's cheese & meat platters. Main courses almost all under CAD$30, a more casual vibe where jeans and a T will be just fine; if you've eaten anywhere that's been influenced by modern Scandinavian food you'll find it quite familiar in style (and even the decor is a bit Ikea-esque!)

 

Lapin Sauté (it translates as roughly 'jumping bunny' as well as meaning the cooking method!) is also on my 'always go eat here' list - like St Alexandre, or le Hobbit, it's more of a lunch spot for me but they are open for dinner too. Tucked away beneath the Fairmont, so you do need to navigate down from the upper town (the funicular is worth it to save walking the long way around) - and while the menu is not exclusively Thumper-based, the whole cast of Watership Down do get massacred on a daily basis to fill the many rabbit dishes on offer;-)

 

I'm a sucker for rabbit but my wife thinks they're too cute to eat, which is why I do lunch here, usually by myself! It's the same as the dinner menu though, except weekends when brunch runs until 2pm, and really is superb value especially if you want to do one of their 'packages' with all the cassoulets, or the tasting platter of duck & rabbit, as well as old-school 'add dessert, appy, tea or coffee' to any main course for just $16. A very 'local' choice, though it's pretty well-known among tourists as well - easy walk to the most common piers so a great option for brunch/lunch on embarkation day if you go drop bags early but then come back into the city for more exploring, or if you are out & about and decide to get dinner before coming back to the hotel it could also work.

 

I think my biggest problem with Quebec is that we have several places we really enjoy and keep coming back to, we don't visit often enough to get bored with any of them even if the menu didn't change much, so it's hard to justify risking a new spot when we KNOW we will love it if we go back to the restos mentioned above (and a couple of other swanky spots). Work things where we're forced to go eat elsewhere with a group have been pretty much the only way we've added to our list for at least the last 5 years - which means that any local foodies will be a LOT more clued-in than I am on what's doing well right now, as opposed to the 'this has been consistently good for a decade or more' restos I'm suggesting. You might get lucky on here if you just wait a bit, but further research on food-specific sites would also be a good idea unless I managed to pitch you something that really entices!

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We are flying to Quebec City 10/26 to board a cruise on the Royal Princeess, a party of 4, can you recommend a restaurant close to the pier with good local specialties or a seafood restaurant?.

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If you want local Quebecois fare, I'll add Aux Anciens Canadiens to the above list (none of which are very far from the port - though if you mean to walk from the ship they're all in Upper Town except for Lapin, though a cab should be under $15 to any of them). Personally I find AAC a wee bit tacky from the whole 'we have converted Ye Olde Houses into Ye Olde Timey Restaurant and make all of our wait staff dress in Ye Olde Outfittes' perspective - but the food is unequivocally Quebecois and most folks find it charming rather than cheesey from the reviews. Unless you're a serious castle-spotting type with many European visits under your belt, you're more likely to agree with the majority rather than me on the aesthetic;-)

 

While there is plenty of good fish and seafood available, I would avoid any specialist seafood resto like the plague in Quebec City - you will have more than enough ports on any cruise out of QC where the ONLY really good food options are seafood-oriented, whereas the plethora of excellent 'country French' stuff available in Quebec may be your only opportunity to eat that sort of stuff unless you are also visiting other Quebec provincial ports. Plus, you're Floridian - you can find decent seafood at home no problem!

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If you want local Quebecois fare, I'll add Aux Anciens Canadiens to the above list (none of which are very far from the port - though if you mean to walk from the ship they're all in Upper Town except for Lapin, though a cab should be under $15 to any of them). Personally I find AAC a wee bit tacky from the whole 'we have converted Ye Olde Houses into Ye Olde Timey Restaurant and make all of our wait staff dress in Ye Olde Outfittes' perspective - but the food is unequivocally Quebecois and most folks find it charming rather than cheesey from the reviews. Unless you're a serious castle-spotting type with many European visits under your belt, you're more likely to agree with the majority rather than me on the aesthetic;-)

 

While there is plenty of good fish and seafood available, I would avoid any specialist seafood resto like the plague in Quebec City - you will have more than enough ports on any cruise out of QC where the ONLY really good food options are seafood-oriented, whereas the plethora of excellent 'country French' stuff available in Quebec may be your only opportunity to eat that sort of stuff unless you are also visiting other Quebec provincial ports. Plus, you're Floridian - you can find decent seafood at home no problem!

Thank you for the reply, your suggestions are a big help which we will follow.

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