Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Panache at the Auberge Saint Antoine

Panache would be our final dinner in Québec City (I can't believe that was a month ago...), and as we walked away, we were both happy with the choice. On the Thursday evening of our reservation, the three course menu would be the Chef's, so we had no idea what would be coming out of the kitchen.

We were greeted warmly upon arrival by the maître d', our coats and umbrellas were taken away, and we were led through the amazing space to our table. The wine paired with the first course was poured, and we were left to relax with some lovely crusty bread and butter.

First up were some tender barbecued ribs with a vegetable slaw that I didn't get any pictures of. The ribs were pretty memorable - tender, smoky and the perfect portion - and Charles didn't stop talking about them for days.

Next was Arctic Char, served with vegetables from the restaurant's garden and a light, delicate vegetable broth.

Then cheese from around Québec... a sharp chevre and a creamy Grand Manitou that was made from cow, goat and sheep milk.

And finally dessert. I can't completely remember everything in totality, but those strawberries were lovely and fresh from Île d'Orléans, and were set off with citrusy shavings of orange zest. And the fennel ice cream - smooth and creamy with the intense flavour of liquorice, I could have easily had a bowl of it.

I loved the idea of the Chef's menu, and this one definitely did not disappoint. If anything, a little more adventure would have been nice, but the simple, clean, fresh dishes that appeared at the table were all excellent. Next time though, the regular menu is definitely in order - they are famous for their foie gras and I was a little sad to have missed it.

A peek into the kitchen through a frosted window at the entrance

With every detail thought of service wise, the beautiful decor and great food, Panache is certainly on the list for our next visit to Québec.

8, Saint-Antoine Street
Québec, QC

Also in the Auberge Saint Antoine is Café Artefact which does drinks, light lunches, and tapas style items. Unfortunately we didn't have time to stop by, but I was intrigued by the space which displays artefacts found in the archaeological dig performed before the addition was added on to the original building. Here's a similar display we encountered upon entering Panache:

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