Out of town (in the province of Quebec)
Quebec City: My recommendations for ma belle ville de Québec:
For Food: These are all on the high end, except for the last two, which are simpler bistros. Panache is my favorite, a beautiful, elegant yet warm and cozy restaurant with fancy comfort food. L'Utopie is the latest, new little hip place, with cutting edge food and wine pairing. Le Saint Amour, L'Initiale and Laurie Raphael are all examples ofmore classic (yet modern),formal fine dining. Toast is very new and chic, haven't been, but the buzz is there.
Panache (Auberge Ste-Antoine), in old Quebec City www.sainte-antoine.com
If you're ever in Québec City, this is a must. For François Blais' soigné cooking, or for the setting. The dining room faces the waterfront in Old Québec, and is luxurious and rustic at the same time with the fireplace and all the wood. The adjoining hotel is a successful mix of nouveau boutique style and old school, with historical artifacts everywhere. The food is top notch, very regional in terms of ingredients, his style is simply elegant, but tres gourmand, as in tasty (butter, bacon, meat glazes..), very masculine, but subtly so. Now a Relais Gourmand, and winner of numerous awards, including top hotel in Canada..
Le Saint Amour
Café du Clocher Penché
Metropolitain on Cartier for sushi
Play Food and Wine (sister restaurant of Beckta)
1 York St. 613-667-9207, www.playfood.ca
Perfect place to stop for a glass of wine and some nibbles.. Locally sourced, fresh ingredients, refined cooking that is straight-forward but spot on, knowledgeable friendly service staff, a room with a nice vibe, happening but not too noisy. Loved this place. I had mussels in cream, the proscuitto style ham, a mixed green salad,
Locande Verde - top end, refined food in a happening setting, Italian inspired, market fresh, perfect for lunch or dinner.
Esca - seafood, crudo, pasta, nice room, good wine, rustic on the fine dining spectrum
Blue Hill - fine dining totally, although not stuck up, lots of veg and greens and farm fresh ingredients, foodie haven.
Terroir wine bar - super casual, but fancy wine (or not necessarily), with lots of passion and info, even some scene, not just for wine geeks
Momofuku Saam Bar - Absolutely fun and delish, surprising, fine food in a rocking atmosphere, even the food has rocking attitude, yummy and loud.
Torresi - the best sandwich/lunch spot ever for fresh Italian American fare like fresh ricotta, lasagne, porchetta, rustic and super charming.