We casually strolled into the place on our first night in Quebec and managed to get a table only because we were there super early in the evening (6:30 pm) and that table had been reserved for 8pm!! Later, we realized that every table in the place (there were just 15 two seaters including 3 on the patio outside) had the little "reserved" tag and by the time our entree came, the place was bustling full. So, I must warn you, if you want to go there, make a reservation ahead of time!
Although, the place had a casual feel, there was nothing casual about the dinner we enjoyed that night. The food was inspired and the flavors nicely matched and, best of all, the dishes so beautifully presented!!
I had fish - poached mackerel with granny smith apples and chive mousse along a side of fennel and dill salad; simply one of the best fish dishes I have had. Husband had black pudding (blood sausage... yes, yes, blood but surprise! it tastes good, once you get used to the idea of eating it!) served on puff pastry with aged balsamic, cumin crème fraîche mousse and a side of fresh potato chips and lettuce presented beautifully. Although, the idea of blood sausage did not appeal to me first, I did try it and really liked it!!!
Dessert, or I should say desserts (because we just could not resist having two!! :-)), were the house Nougat and layered cake with dark chocolate mousse, nuts and couscous. Nougat was fabulously rich filled with almonds and pistachios. But, the real star was the cake! It was delicate, light and served with a reduced port wine sauce, date paste and a sweet cracker! I would have been happy eating with just my eyes. (Please excuse the photographs. My camera does not take good low light pictures and does little justice to the beauty of the food.)
What amazed me was that although the quality of food, here, was on par with some of THE most expensive joints in New York and definitely way above most of the fare that we saw in Quebec itself, it was very reasonable priced. Our meal of two entrees and two desserts was under $50!!!
I really wish we had stayed another night in Quebec, just to go to this place again. We did not, this time. Next time, I will definitely plan for a long sojourn with the place! Now, that is something to look forward to.... :))
Le Moine Échanson
585, rue Saint-Jean, Québec