Still have one more day here. Overall, the food is... fine, I guess? A lot less like Montreal than I expected. Also tons of mini greens and edible flowers at the higher-end places, which is bizarre. That or I'm eating at the wrong restaurants?
Ended up being the only place we could get into on a Sunday night. Some improv auditions were happening in the main room. Super-simple food – burgers, nachos, fish and chips, that sort of thing. Had some nice enough beers.
Le Moine Échanson
Lovely little natural wine bar. Had a great oxidized white wine, La Sorga Chat Zen, a blend with Chasan, a varietal I'd never heard of before... they had a couple of orange wines by the glass too. Food was just fine, the sort of thing you'd expect at this sort of thing... not as good as Wildair, say, but fine.
(Lunch) Modern haute French. Pretty good, not mind-blowing or anything, but quite solid. Had the lunch tasting – a pretty good terrine of foie to start, then nicely fried quail breast with delightfully crispy skin and a quail leg formed like a little tube with breading, then a fine piece of beef filet. I mean, I'm sure this is the kind of place that Orik would hate (not that Orik would be caught dead in Quebec City), but I generically like this kind of thing. I feel embarrassed to sound as positive about this place as I do, here.
(Lunch) Formerly Panache. Farm-to-table-ish. Had a nice salad of local cherry tomatoes (though the cherry tomatoes still had their stems on for some reason) and local buffalo mozzarella, then a nice crispy fried sweetbread main on a bed of garlic scapes and potatoes. It was good and I enjoyed it. It looks like the dinner tasting menu is more of a production, but I was happy to have a well-executed NBC-ish meal. I don't eat enough sweetbreads in New York, honestly.
This is like the sort of "best French place in town" in middling American cities that we keep making fun of, except I guess actually more... ish. The food and room both seemed just quite dated... weird greenhouse-y room with plants. For whatever stupid reason this was the first time in years I'd done a tasting menu with a wine pairing, so I ended up spending like twice as much as any other meal, for food that in some ways was the least satisfying meal I had here. Nothing was bad – in fact things were fine, they were just... I guess sort of dated-seeming? There were some nice things – a terrine of foie and mushrooms, and some nice venison. Maybe I just didn't think this was worth it. I dunno. I'm making it sound worse than it was. Like there was a surf-and-turf-ish thing with pork belly, arctic char, and an eggplant puree, and everything was fine individually, but the overall impact was like "why are you doing this?".
I didn't tip at Per Se either.