Posted by: njbrown | May 26, 2013

Eating in Quebec City


A forty-one year absence from Quebec City had made me forget how unique and wonderful the Old City (upper and lower) is. The tall, narrow stone buildings – often with walls two or three feet thick – are charming, and buildings dating from the 1600s are common. The Chateau Frontenac where we spent half of our honeymoon in 1972 is still a grande dame of hotels, but is in the process of renovation and, I fear, “updating.” I was glad to have been able to stay in the original version again.

It was beautiful when we reached the Chateau Frontenac, and we decided to walk longer and eat later than usual. Going out for dinner about 8 o’clock, we saw a restaurant advertising fondue a few doors away. Since we’d had fondue on our honeymoon, we decided to repeat the experience. Actually, I repeated the experience, and George had a more varied menu. The dinner was excellent, and the star of the meal was their crepe with “maple butter.” I’d never had maple butter before, and find maple sugar too sweet to enjoy, but this was wonderful. The server explained that maple butter has no butter in it, but is a reduction of maple syrup/sugar (I got into deep water when I asked about culinary terms). However it is done, it is smooth, creamy and just pleasantly sweet.

Street in Old Quebec City

Street in Old Quebec City

The next day, we decided we’d have to walk a lot after so much good food, so spent several hours looking in the shops, admiring the scenery of the St. Lawrence, and soaking up atmosphere. Lunch was in a building that dated from 1675.

Apple Maple Cake

Apple Maple Cake

Again, everything was delicious, and my meal ended with an individual “apple maple cake” that seemed like a wonderful apple Charlotte. By 6:00, we weren’t terribly hungry, but knew we faced a long walk back to the hotel from the lower Old City.

We passed several restaurants that didn’t seem quite right, and then turned down another small street and found the Bistro Sous le Fort. What a gem! It turned out to be our best meal so far on the trip.

Bistro Salmon 2013-05-21 18.26.12

Bistro Salmon Salad

We wanted simple dishes, but the menu also offered cutting-edge cuisine.  The salmon salad I ordered was a beautiful plate of two salads (with a subtle maple dressing), topped with a large portion of salmon dressed sauced with sour cream and chives. George had a hamburger that was perfect in every way.

Maple Pudding

Maple Pudding

We hadn’t thought we’d have dessert, but once we looked at the possibilities, our resolve went out the door.  For dessert, George had the crème brûlée – perfectly torched, and I had an absolutely delicious and unique “maple pudding.” My expectation had been something that resembled butterscotch pudding in appearance and texture, but this was totally different. It was light, fluffy and almost cake-like in a wonderful, subtle maple sauce. The closest thing I could think of in my eating experience was Indian pudding, but the texture was much lovelier. A serving of heavy cream came to pour over the pudding. I tried to extract the secret of the recipe from our delightful server, Max, but he indicated that the chef (who wasn’t there at the time) wouldn’t give it away. He described making the pudding by pouring a maple mixture over some kind of dough. I left with many questions unanswered, but very impressed. If you are in Quebec City, run, do not walk to the Bistro Sous le Fort.

If you haven’t visited Quebec City, I’m sure you would enjoy it.  I don’t think it’s possible to have a bad meal there.

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Responses

  1. Great post! I had a good read =)

    • Thank you so much!

      Nancy

  2. What a delicious culinary journey!

    • Thank you. I dread looking at the scale now that we’re back.

      Best wishes,

      Nancy


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