This restaurant has gained a reputation as one of the most polished in Lower Town. Butcher's paper serves as a covering on outside tables, and the food offerings range from grilled meat to fish to seafood stews. The chic décor consists of reds and yellows, with the odd piece of modern art sprinkled here and there. L'Échaudé attracts a mix of business people, tourists and local patrons. There's also a bright, mirrored dining area outfitted with a stainless-steel bar. For lunch, you'll want to sample their special: cuisse de canard confit with frites and salad.
Dubbed "the best restaurant on Grand-allée," Le Paris-Brest boasts a hip young waitstaff and rich mahogany-paneled rooms illuminated by soft candlelight and enriched by fresh flowers and a contemporary décor. The cuisine at this local favorite features a slew of fabulous French dishes, each with an international lilt. Try the chef's always-exciting soup of the day or the onion soup with brie gratin followed by scampi fricassee or ricotta and porketta agnolotti with Alfredo sauce. Make sure you save a little space for dessert – although the line-up changes daily, it never fails to delight. While you're there, take a trip to the temperature-controlled, walk-in wine repository.
Chef Hervé Toussaint creates magical meals using seasonal ingredients at this Grand-allée gem. Dine in elegance at Louis Hébert, where the cozy country décor, central fireplace and exquisite stained glass window exude a certain hominess, almost a familiarity. Mssr. Toussaint's innovative menu focuses on French cuisine and creative seafood dishes, each of them accompanied by fabulous vegetable sides. Try the cooked-to-perfection lobster for your main course and the raspberry cheesecake for dessert.
Located in the heart of the Quartier Petit Champlain, this lovely country-style restaurant specializes in tasty rabbit dishes (rabbit is "lapin" in French); though, gratin savoyard and rosemary chicken offer fine alternatives. If you've got something a little lighter in mind, try delicious sun-dried tomato pizza or even a warm baguette. Take note: the best time to dine here is on a warm summer afternoon, when their shaded patio provides a charming respite from the rigors of shopping.
This smart Old Québec eatery has successfully fashioned itself after a Parisian bistro-café. A lovely front facade is marked by a large window that's thrown open when it's nice out; waiters attired in stiff bow ties and knee-length aprons stand ready to serve. The well-lit dining area features checkered tiles and intimate, café-style tables – few places provide a better setting for a business lunch. Menu specialties include French onion soup and garlic snails, mussels and fries, duck confit, and the immensely popular "Couscous Royal," a dish that looks too good to eat – at least until you sample it. Take a few moments to peruse the wine and international beer lists, both impressive.
This Lower Town gem specializes in traditional French cuisine served in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Enjoy the expertly prepared house specialties, including blood pudding, duck confit, calamari and bouillabaisse. In the warmer months, the terrace area is a great place to enjoy a light lunch or romantic dinner. The cozy interior gets high marks, as well, with its soft lighting, intimate tables and antique décor.
Watch the ships come and go as you enjoy fine French cuisine at this elegant restaurant, located in Québec's Vieux Port area. L'Initiale, which has been honored by the Chaine de Rotisseurs gastronomy society, offers an interesting juxtaposition in terms of décor and architecture: although the restaurant is housed in one of the Old Port's beautifully preserved, century-old buildings, its interior is marked by soft lighting, light colors, large windows offering spectacular river views, and intimate tables that offer ample privacy. Head chef Yvan Lebrun has impressed the Québec dining scene with his innovative dishes, from calf sweetbreads and wild game to smoked salmon and roast guinea hen. A meal here is bound to impress that important client or special somebody!
One of Sainte-Foy's most talked-about restaurants, the avant-garde Fenouilliére offers an elegant atmosphere, a wine list that's second to none, and superb Nouveau French cuisine. The restaurant's captivating interior, at once sleek and contemporary, is ideal for everything from a romantic dinner to lunch with an important client. Featured entrées include the likes of veal medallions au parfum, foie gras of duck in a red wine sauce, and browned lamb with fresh thyme and rosemary. Of course, desserts at a place like La Fenouilliére are a must – just wait until you sample their Granny Smith apples, warmed and served with homemade ice cream and covered in maple syrup.
Located in the historic Château Fontenac, this fine dining restaurant offers French and local cuisine. Traditional Continental ingredients join with local produce and game to create dishes that represent the best of two worlds. To complete the atmosphere, staff members don traditional 17th century dress. One of the most popular times to visit Le Champlain is for afternoon tea, when finger sandwiches, delectable pastries and stunning desserts are almost too much to bear. In the evening, before you dine on traditional Québec favorites, you'll most assuredly want to examine the wine list, which is among the best in the city.
Chez Rabelais has an enviable location, right on the l'escalier Casse-Cou (Breakneck Stairs) – the terrace here is an ideal spot to people watch! The ambience is bustling but friendly and relaxed. Food is traditional French and Italian – top dishes include steak frites and mussels prepared several different ways. Fries are crispy and satisfying, served with a side of mayonnaise, and the salads are lovely. If you prefer, dine in the bistro, which has an abbreviated menu and a slightly more casual atmosphere.