Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Skiing (and Eating) in Quebec

Last week we drove north to Quebec City. We didn’t plan on paying our respects to this bust of Gandhi but he did look cold.

The skiing at Mont-Sainte-Anne—downhill, telemark, and cross-country—is all good, and the views of the St. Lawrence in winter will help redefine your notions of the eighteenth-century frontier.

We stumbled into two memorable restaurants. One, we discovered later, also is mentioned in Bill Pennington’s story in the New York Times.

Les Frères de la Côte (1190, rue Saint-Jean; 418 692 5445) effortlessly accommodated our unruly party of two tweens, two teens, and four adults. We’d been wandering aimlessly for hours, set adrift by an unseasonable spate of rain. Two of the adults ordered the all-you-can-eat mussels, and each ate through three bowls with three different sauces. The good-natured waiter justly recommended the beer-and-mustard sauce, but the pesto was our favorite, followed closely by the poulette.

Closer to the mountain, Restaurant Colette (2190, avenue Royale, Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges; 418 826 0722) offers astonishingly fine food that seems even more impressive when you’ve driven to the parking lot from rural Vermont.

Proprietor Cyrille Beaudoin has cooked for both Queen Elizabeth and Charles de Gaulle, among other dignitaries, and you would be wise to add yourself to that list. We enthusiastically recommend the vol-au-vent and the filet mignon à la forestière.