Bon Appetit

Travel

As promised, here’s a recap of our food tour and dinner.  We basically spent our whole day on Saturday eating!  I love learning things about cities I’m visiting and I also love food, so I signed up for a 2.5 hour walking food tour.

The tour began with a sample of a simple (but slightly sweet) bread that comes from Quebec city.  Our tour guide was very informative and spent a good ten minutes at the beginning of the tour telling us how Quebec city came to be.

Our first stop was an SAQ, or the Quebec city version of an ABC/package/liquor + wine store.

We tasted a traditional ice wine made from frozen grapes. This was sooo awesome and very sweet (similar to a dessert white wine). I’m now obsessed!

We also tasted a whiskey made with maple syrup.  The syrup made the whiskey just sweet enough for me to be able to sip it without making a gross face. Matt loved it!

Stop number two was at a nice restaurant that’s been around for years.

We tried a crispy, croissant-like cheese bite that was packed with flavor.

We moved on to a shop specializing in maple syrup.  We learned a bit about the process of making different maple products and then tasted a few different things.

We had light, medium, and dark maple syrup.  I liked the medium the best.

We also tasted maple cream (aka maple heaven)…

along with a maple waffle cookie that tasted strangely like the pop tarts I loved as a kid.

Then we stopped at a cute European grocery store and sampled cheese with a wine jelly.

Cheese never disappoints.

My favorite stop was a little crepe shop that makes Breton style crepes.

We tasted a traditional hard apple cider…

and a Breton style wheat crepe with ham and cheese.  It was totally different from any other crepe I’ve had and I loved that the exterior was crispy rather than chewy.

Our last stop was a chocolate factory!!

How cute are these little chocolate ice cream cones? I tried one with black currant ice cream.

Overall, our tour guide and the food stops were awesome.  We learned a lot about the Canadian culture and I’m so happy we found such a fun tour.

After the food tour we went back to our hotel to rest before changing and heading out for a pre-dinner cocktail.  Matt and I kind of have a tradition of going to have a drink at the top of tall buildings, so we headed to the revolving restaurant on the 27th floor of the Loews Concorde.

While taking in the view, I sipped on white wine with local black currant liqueur.

Day turned to night…

After drinks, we headed to our dinner spot, a restaurant called L’ Echaude.  Restaurants in Quebec City are very expensive, and most of them serve and a 3 or 4 course meal for $80 to $100, so I did some research to find a place that had quality food, but offered affordable a la carte entrees.  I ultimately picked L’ Echaude because they offer a bistro menu with traditional French food (for Matt) and a market menu that offers more modern and eclectic dishes.

I enjoyed a full-bodied spicy syrah.

The menu was awesome and I had a really hard time deciding, but I ended up ordering the fish of the day — pan seared Atlantic char with couscous and a red pepper sauce.

Overall, this meal was delicious and well-rounded, but the fish was just a little plain for such a unique dish.

Matt had the seafood bouillabaisse which was awesome.

I’ve always seen dessert tasting platters on menus, but this is the first time I’ve ever ordered one.  It was so exciting when all these treats arrived. The platter included house-made strawberry ice cream, traditional sugar pie, chocolate ganache, and creme brulee. The sugar pie was my favorite as it tasted like pecan pie without the pecans.  Coming in second, the creme brulee was perfect and one of the best I’ve ever had.  The ganache was decadent and rich and the strawberry ice cream just tasted like ice cream (which is a good thing).  And, all the fruit sauces on the plate were fun too!

After an amazing dinner, we strolled back to our hotel and went to bed.  What  a delicious day!

  • Kat
    September 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    What a perfect way to enjoy the city, lady! It looks like you got some much needed R & R and got to have a perfect adventure. And to be totally honest, I don’t really feel like I’ve properly been on vacation until I’ve gotten to go on an eating tour (either planned or self-fueled) of the city – there are just too many specialties to try!

  • Kristina
    September 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    White wine + black current syrup = Kir! One of my favorite aperitifs!
    With champagne, it’s a Kir Royale.

    • Laura
      September 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      I loved it!

  • Mom
    September 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Fabulous! Love the tradition of going to tall buildings for a drink…

  • Sara
    September 6, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Fabulous! So much fun to see all the wonderful food and drinks that you tried, and to see photos of your trip. Great posts.

  • Judy
    September 6, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Looks wonderful, I enjoyed going along with you… Hope you are well rested and ready to begin the next phase.

    Judy

  • kath
    September 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I hope I get some of the that maple bourbon for Christmas!!

    Looks delish!

  • G-LO
    September 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Sortilege! I haven’t seen that since my last trip to Montreal in 1995! Great stuff. Is it available in the US?

    Love the photos. Quebec is always good fun!

    Cheers!
    G-LO

    • Laura
      September 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      I’m not sure if its available in the US, but I’ll def be looking for it.

  • Kelly
    September 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Is it sad that I am terribly excited to see a food blogger visiting Canada?! It doesn’t happen too often! Looks like you had a fabulous time enjoying the food!

    • G-LO
      September 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      Why wouldn’t someone visit Canada for the food??? I’ve only been to Montreal, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island, but all of my food experiences there were excellent! Vancouver alone is a food lover’s paradise, especially if you like Asian cuisine. We were lucky enough to eat at Vij’s, which is profiled on so many travel shows. They definitely live up to the hype!

      • Kelly
        September 7, 2010 at 8:33 pm

        I’m not sure why they wouldn’t but you just don’t see it too often! 🙂

    • Laura
      September 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      I think less people visit Montreal and Quebec City than other places because it’s very expensive to fly there from the US and it’s only convenient to drive if you live in the North. But, the food was awesome and I’ll def. be recommending both cities to foodies in the future!!!!

  • Ashley
    September 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Great post! The food tour sounded fab. Have you tried any food tours in Boston?

    • Laura
      September 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm

      No, I haven’t, but I heard there is a really good chocolate tour…