54 Rue Saint-Pierre
Quebec City, QC G1K 3Z9
Didn't know anything about this place, until I read about it on Canada's 100 Best Restaurants 2017. Restaurant L'Initiale came in at No. 42 on the list and it was the only one from Quebec City that showed up on this year's list. With all that on hand, I made reservations for lunch to give them a try for myself.
When you walk in, you'll notice the decor is very chic elegant but modern and dim at the same time. Honestly, it almost looks like a nice hotel or airport lounge. When you're seated, you're greeted by the chef's wife (and part owner), Rolande Leclerc, who will run by the menu with you and help to decide what is good (though I knew I was going for the Chef's tasting).
The lunch started with a small amuse bouche and bread to get our appetites wet. The first course that we were greeted with was a pressed foie gras with shortbread. There also appeared to be a smooth spread of foie gras. The foie was so smooth and tasted rather gamey, but I loved it. I even saved some of the bread to use for it.
The second course was Roasted Scallops with Carrots Three ways. The Roasted scallops were perfectly seared on the outside and tender on the inside. Not too much seasoning but it did allow for the scallop flavor to come out. The carrots were amazing. There were roasted carrot slices, carrot foam, and carrot puree. Loved the subtle sweet to balance out the saltiness of the seafood to accompany the dish.
Our main was a beef filet with a red wine reduction, and served with chanterelle mushrooms. The beef was perfect. Every slice under my knife felt like butter. Easier than most butter sticks actually. The taste was wonderfully beefy and that red wine only helped to enhance that.
Dessert was a scoop of melilot flower ice cream and a strawberry cream cake? I don't recall what out server said. I asked her to repeat twice and awkwardly gave up because the poor French girl tried her best to tell us in broken English. Regardless, dessert was good, but was enjoyed more by the lady friend.
The 4 course meal was one of the best we had in Quebec. The restaurant should actually rank higher in all of Canada, as much of the food we had was better than quite a bit of the Toronto restaurants ahead of it. Service was absolutely fantastic. Not a single visit to our table was wasted and presentation was key to the experience. Price isn't mentioned because it's not necessary. The experience was good enough for the price tag (but in case you need to know, it was $75 per person for the lunch tasting). Definitely worth coming to any time of the day. Bon Appétit!
Ambience: A- | Service: A | Price: B | Food: A-