A great gastronomic experience in Aux Anciens Canadiens
It has been a while since my previous talk about Quebec. This post is going to talk about the first dinner SG and me had in Quebec city. It was also the best we had during the whole trip.
We flipped through the guide book and made a consensus of opinion to try out Restaurant Aux Anciencs Canadiens. We were expecting something authentic, and hopefully it would not be a disappointment.
*Photo by Justyna
The restaurant is composed of two buildings. This is the one at the corner with door for us to enter.
*Photo by Justyna
This is another one that linked to the building with the entrance.
Before entering the building, I read for a short while its brief history on the wall.
Apparently, the building was already there since 300++ years ago.
I don't think this artificial well had been there since there though.
We had a fabulous waiter took care of us that evening. We were served some cheese bread sticks before our real entrees.
I was glad to have a visual aid to what was what.
It was quite excited to know a few moments later, I was going to have a few new meats to added onto my foreign cuisine experiences.
The dinnerware and cutleries were especially imported from England and France.
This showed how much details the owner paid to assure their customers going to have an awesome dining experience.
Since a complete meal actually sounded like a much better deal than ala carte, we decided to go for the former which allowed us to have an appertizer, a soup, a main dish and a dessert.
The complete menu was pretty versatile for us to mix and match.
After placing our order, our waiter came out a while later with a piece of soft bread and a piece of crouton-like bread. The butter was absolutely my favorite. It was as though there was no bad butter in Quebec.
The moment the butter aroma infused into the bread - irresistible.
Finally, after about 20 min, our food was served one by one. It was the starting of the pleasant evening. ^_^
My appertizer was Homemade game pâté with carrot preserve (Cretons de gibiers et confit de carottes). I have never had a game pate before, which was the reason I chose it. It was good.
The waiter later explained the source of this pate was from pork. The combination of the sweet preserved carrot with creamy yet chunky pate spreaded on the crunchy bread was pretty interesting.
This starter was included in my complete menu choices without extra charge.
SG decided to go for something more luxurious for the appertizer. The choice Duck confit salad with balsamic and maple vinaigrette (Canard confit en salade,vinaigrette balsamique et érable) with came with an extra charge Can$9.00.
The duck confit (canard) was served inside a glass container filled up with warm duck oil. We could still see smoke came out slowly from it. Woolala~~~
The warm oil helped to retain the heat in duck confit until its last piece.
It was yummy. Both texture and taste. Great just eating as it was or mixing with the salad which taste was accentuated with the duck oil, balsamic and maple.
We both agreed they were satisfying entrees.
Next, the waiter brought in our soup.
SG chose the soup of the day with no extra charge, it came with this BIG pot. The pot was five time my soup bowl size. LOL
Inside, it was a clear vegetable soup. I like it though SG thought it as alright.
I went for the seasonal Lobster Bisque (Bisque de Homard), although it was extra charged Can$6.00, I thought it worthed a try.
Glad I made the right choice. The soup itself was very smooth, however, every scoop was so full of the sweetness of lobster. It was thick and creamy yet not satiating. Absolutely enjoyed it.
I finished until the last drop. :P
By this point, I was already pretty full, but the greater things have yet to come. *gasp*
Tralala~~~ my main dish for the evening - Grilled stag, bison and wapiti tenderloin, cognac and pink pepper sauce (Les trois mignons: Caribou, bison et cerf, grillés,sauce cognac et poivre rose).
This was a plate full of fine ingredients. I have never had stag and bison nor have I heard of wapiti or pink pepper. I love Cognac though my alcohol tolerancy to it near to zero.
The whole plate would have been marked as 100% satisfaction if not because of my own stupidity to order the meats to cooked as medium rare. I should have gone for rare as I always did for a filet mignon.
I wapiti was sort of overcook, therefore the least favorable among the three. The stag and bison was pretty soft and succulent. However, the best have to be the stag. There was something about this piece of stag tenderloin, full of flavor that tickled my taste buds with every bite. The bison was ok, not as much of a pleasant surprise as the stag. The use of pink pepper sauce was definitely something new for me though I personally prefer to taste the au-natural goodness of the meats themselves.
Side with wild rice was a perfect match to the meat (I am a rice person :P). The vegetables were cute to look at and good to eat with.
The portion came so big that I hardly could even finish half of them (which was supposed to be the portion I finished before swapping with SG).
SG main dish was something less colorful than mine, but if not equal then more attraction than my selection in term of flavor and texture.
This was a huge plate of Grand father's treat: Boar and pig’s knuckles ragout with meatballs (Régal de Grand-père: Pattes de cochon et de sanglier en ragoût avec boulettes).
It came with two generous cut of knuckles and 3 big meatballs plus a simple boiled potato.
It was a great choice for people who was seeking for a low carb selection. ;)
Pig's knuckle was a common dish in my family. From my grandma until my mom, they all make awesome pig's knuckle dish, that melt in my mouth. It was not an easy task to make me say a knuckle was good.
The pig's knuckle was good. It was so soft that even a light cut from the fork could separate the meat easily. However, this knuckle turned out to be too satiated with the "goody fat". It would not be as bad if it was alone. Unfortunately, it has its more active counterpart to do the contrast very vividly.
One word for the boar's knuckle - Orgasmic!! Due to more exercise, the boar's knuckle has less fat and firmer meat. It was still melt in your mouth, but you could just feel the stress you put on biting it had a different sensation than its cohort. Even the fat was fabulous, I could finish the whole fat without getting tired of it.
I thought that ball of potato was a very suitable choice for cleansing the palate in betweem the meats.
The meatballs looked normal, but tasted absolutely nothing near to normal. One bite would be able to tell the effort was put to make this simple looking meatballs. It was a complicated combination of herbs to bring out the taste. Geeee... writing until this point, my saliva is dripping now.
We were definitely 120% full at this point. We almost finished the main dishes after we tried our best.
However, that was not the ending. Dessert next.
Maple syrup pie with fresh cream (Tarte au sirop d’érable et crème baratté) was my choice. It was a very sweet pie, yet I was enjoying it. There is something about maple that could win my heart easily. This was my first time tasting a maple pie and I know I will try it again next time.
SG dessert was a less sweet Tatin apple pie served with oka cheese (Tarte au pommes tatin accompagnée de fromage oka). I love this one too. Oka cheese is my favorite, and to eat with the cooked apple was very good. (I am a fresh-apple-phobia because of its crispy texture, ironically I love the taste but I can't take it due to the texture that sort of hurting my teeth everytime I bite on it).
We didn't finish the desserts, it was too much for us to handle.
That was our waiter attending another table's needs. It made the dinner so much better because of his great service. Friendly, helpful and knowlegeable.
At the end of the dinner, we were served shooters. It was actually a combination of vocka with cranberry juice. Refreshing and thirst quenching.
The whole dinner took us two hours and cost Can$200 (including tips), but it was definitely a very worthwhile experience.
We stepped out from the restaurant with a very satisfied soul and over-bloated stomach. The night was getting late. The crowd was so much lesser. It made the historic Quebec looked extra sexy that moment. :)