Don't eschew driving to nearby Sillery while you're visiting Québec City. Aside from being a worthwhile little ville in its own right (with tree-lined streets and several neat boutiques), this riverside city also boasts one of the area's best Italian eateries – just don't tell anybody! Boasting an upbeat, contemporary décor and intimate, conversation-friendly tables, this cozy restaurant is a relaxing alternative to busier joints in the big city. The friendly waitstaff adds to the experience by doing all the little things that help make dining out a true pleasure. Rumor has it that, if you try the house specialty (antipasto with crystallized clove of garlic), you'll be addicted for life. Manicotti stuffed with salmon isn't a bad choice either. Afterwards, sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious traditional Italian dessert and coffee.
Adjacent to and sharing a kitchen with the renowned Le Continental, the Conti Caffè has a sleek, contemporary décor that complements the flavorful Italian cooking. You'll find pizzas on the menu, but the best dishes involve seafood and grilled meats. The seafood antipasto platter, a selection of superbly fresh oceanic tidbits, will leave you enamored, and veal dishes are especially well prepared. A variety of pastas are suitable for a second or main course depending on your appetite, but desserts are excellent so try to leave room for some cassata or sorbet.
In the mood for tasty, authentic Italian pizza with a crust so thin you could read a newspaper through it (well, almost!)? Then head over to Momento, one of the best Italian eateries outside the city walls. Located just off the Grand-allée, this restaurant is renowned citywide for its pizza pies. Pick your poison in terms of toppings: mandarin oranges, sun-dried tomatoes, sautéed veggies – whatever you want. If a full meal is more your speed, Momento also serves excellent osso buco of lamb, seafood linguini and, yes, even scallops. Don't come here and think you can eat light – that would just be an exercise in futility!
A favorite of local business-types, this elegant Italian restaurant specializes in haute Italian cuisine. Located in what is the city's premier performing arts and concert venue, Il Teatro, understandably, gets quite packed on performance nights. House specialties include savory carpaccio, capesante alla fiorentina, veal chops and, of course, scaloppina di vitello alla "Pavarotti." If you can't decide on dessert, opt for the three-dessert sampler! In warmer months, a sidewalk dining area is opened so that patrons can watch the activity on the busy Rue Saint-Jean.
Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary place to dine? Look no more. This homey, traditional Italian eatery provides a unique blend of home cooked foods such as salmon, pasta and veal. For a worthwhile gastronomic change of pace, why not try calves' kidneys in mustard sauce, the chef's special pepper steak flambé or even Luigi's legendary manicotti stuffed with spinach and cheese? You won't leave disappointed – or hungry. Enjoy live accordion music as musicians perform mellow French ballads. Truly a unique Québec experience!
This quaint restaurant serves exciting French and Italian selections, including seasonal game and veal. Pastas are prepared right at your table! Start your meal with a smoked salmon or Cannelloni d'Europe and sauteed mushrooms appetizer and then head on to delicately cooked, tender pepper steak for your main course. The décor is a perfect blend of light and dark colors, and tables are nicely appointed with lovely linens and tableware. All in all, you'll find this to be a very pleasing experience.
Wine connoisseurs apply within! Le Graffiti has one of the largest and best stocked wine cellars in Canada – approximately 5000 bottles. The menu doesn't play second fiddle either, with brilliant Italian and Provençal cuisine, expertly prepared and lovingly served. Specialties include sautéed rabbit with pureed carrot and attractive fresh lobster entrées. The restaurant's suave interior, noteworthy for its large windows overlooking busy Avenue Cartier, intimate tables, exposed red brick and soft lighting, provides the perfect setting for a romantic respite or dinner with an important client.
The first things to catch your eye at this classy little restaurant, tucked away on Rue Couillard, are its sidewalk tables and attractive produce display in full view of passersby. Indeed, this Italian establishment is a real find in a city known for French restaurants. House-made pastas, pizzas and a slew of tasty seafood dishes are served in the 18th-century building. Adding to the place's coziness, the kitchen opens to the seating area, allowing diners to see (and smell) pizzas as they're wood-baked. After your meal, enjoy a smoke in the cigar lounge or even one of their delectable desserts.
Close enough to kiss the Château Frontenac, this popular restaurant is consistently recommended by locals for simple, authentic Italian dishes with a touch of French influence. Main courses include steak, local game, fresh seafood and veal.
Oh, the people come and go, speaking of Michelangelo. Indeed, this Sainte-Foy restaurant has garnered quite a bit of positive publicity over the years, thanks in part to its elegant lay-out and a local propensity to hold various types of important events here, from wedding receptions to corporate dinners. Specializing in homemade pasta and seafood dishes, Michelangelo also boasts one of the area's friendliest waitstaffs, making any meal here worth its weight in, well, pesce.