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Review of Le Patriarche - CLOSED

Le Patriarche
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: French, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown Quebec City
Cross street: Saint Jean
Description: Nestled in the heart of Old Quebec near the Saint-Jean Gate, with its 4 diamonds,the Patriarche beckons with its intimate setting and the refined decor of a beautiful, circa 1827 stone house. Inside, you'll discover that good things come in threes, as executive chef Stephane Roth shares his creativity with his celebrated "trilogies from the terroir"
Reviewed August 1, 2010

We will long remember our dinner at Le Patriache as the best meal we have ever experienced. Our evening at Le Patriache made our trip to Quebec City worthwhile. My wife and teenage daughter and I all enjoyed our meals. The celery soup was to die for. The service was impeccable. Get the five course meal and enjoy the evening. We had four servers tending to us for almost 3 hours. We highly recommend.

1  Thank AdirondackBob1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (304)
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201 - 205 of 304 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2010

That said, it was a very good meal, but for me at the high price points it should have been fabulous. Hot Fois Gras was delicious. Everything presented in three different ways. We drink wine, champagne to start, so in Canada that adds up. Service was very very good. Art a little weird. In a gorgeously restored stone building, small and cosy inside.

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Thank LCB108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2010

Exteme Gourmet French Cuisine. Very pricey, especially the wine, but the servce was first rate and a place to go for very special occassion. Home made soups and although small portions typical of Gourmet dining the food was exellent.

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Thank Gumbylives10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2010

I insisted on going to this restaurant after reading reviews on tripadvisor where as my husband was a little hesitant since he was in the mood for a steak that night. We made reservations and head out that night, not really sure what to expect. We have been to many fine dining restaurants across the globe, but this experience was like none other.

The menu gives you a choice of having a 5 course meal by adding $25 to your main meal. I tried it, and my husband just ordered a main dish, which is probably a good thing, since there was soo much food that we couldn’t even finish everything!!

They had a choice of 3 types of home made bread to choose from to begin with. And then we were both given a complimentary mini deer meat burger which was divine. I had ordered carrot soup, which was an absolute flavourful bowl of creamy goodness. And then my starter dish… what can I say! I ordered the Salmon… and they made it in 3 different ways (Trilogy is the restaurant speciality). Words are not enough to explain how good my starter was (check my pictures). And then the palate cleanser… which was more like a lemon sorbet! I can’t think of any better way to cleanse my palate  As mentioned in another review, they should open up a sorbet parlour, and it will sell like hot cakes!! For my main dish I ordered the chicken and my husband ordered the fish which again were lick-the-plate-clean-good. To end it all, we had the peach dessert which also came in a set of three! To know how good it was, you should go try it!! You will NOT be disappointed.

The restaurant is in the heart of it all... on one of the roads off Rue St Jean.. Beautiful, romantic, ambiance - with its stone walls, fireplace and cozy deco. The Staff are dotting and gracious. You leave feeling treated like royalty!! If you are planning a trip to Quebec City, a dinner at this restaurant will be like icing on the cake! A perfect restaurant for a fairy-tale like

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1  Thank brownie06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2010

This was an interesting experience, in that I encountered something I had never encountered before, while dining in a fine restaurant. More on that in a second.... First about me, I don't like to call myself a foodie, but I think I am anyway. I routinely search out Michelin star restaurants and my world travel always has a strong culinary focus, if not a predominant one. Her father was a French chef, she is an even more well-traveled citizen of the world, and she is definitely a foodie. She also knows how to interact quite impressively with a sommelier! So with that in mind, the review.

When we arrived, we were immediately struck by how lovely the decor was as we entered the restaurant. Old stone walls, rich wood, contemporary & relevant artwork, intimately small without being crowded--it was lovely. Already living up to the four-diamond rating. We stepped to the host area and awaited the hostess. A woman in smart attire and nifty eye glasses whisked by us and briefly turned to us and relayed, "Un instant". Directly translated this means "one instant", but it basically means, "just a second". I kind of laughed it off and mentioned to my dining partner that it was a rather abrupt welcome. I said I might have at least added an SVP on the end. It wasn't anything to fret over, but I was rather surprised and I found the subtle lack of tact to be out of place for the establishment.

Over the next minute or two, several staff saw us patiently waiting by the entrance and acknowledged us with smiles. The hostess/server was explaining the concept of the menu to another table. At one point, what I believe was a bus-boy, came over and welcomed us and asked us if we had a reservation. We did, so he set about searching the printed list in front of him. He seemed a bit unfamiliar with the process, but we pointed out our reservation on the paper and he was able to tick it off. At this point the hostess/server showed up and welcomed us, while the bus boy was pointing out his helpfulness on the printout. Busboy was dispatched back from whence he came and we were seated!

We looked over the menu and the hostess/server came over to take our order. I call her a hostess/server because she was acting in a dual capacity. I do not know if this was by design, or if someone had called in sick. Anyhow, I suppose it might have worked with a less 'efficient' greeting. Back to the story. My dinner mate and I were both going to be eating meat. The hostess asked her how she would like her meat. "Medium rare, but towards medium" replied my friend. Rather surprisingly, the hostess shot back, "Well, which is it?". I was so taken aback, I had to replay the sentence in my head. While I was doing that, my dinner mate apologized and was obviously a little shaken as well. She explained that she doesn't like blood. I've had a medium rare come in what some people would consider rare. It seems to happen more often in Europe. I think a medium rare in Europe is a rare in North America. In any case, my friend again said she would like it closer to medium if a medium-rare was going to be bloody. The hostess looked at her and shrugged and kind of shook her head. My perception was an echo of her initial comment and she still wanted an answer. My friend then shot out a rather distressed and forced "medium-rare" and seemed relieved to have done so immediately after. I suppose I can see how it may have been slightly more difficult to articulate that 'wellness'-preference to the kitchen, but I think I could have managed it. I certainly could have come up with something better than, "Which one?". Man, looking back...LOL.

I ordered and, as I always do, I mentioned that, although nothing I had selected appeared to contain mushrooms or fungi, I was allergic, so please mention that to the chef. Hostess/server asked me if it was ok if the food was cooked around mushrooms. I replied that it was fine, just that my food could not contain mushrooms. As she walked away, the hostess asked/told me that it was more of an intolerance as opposed to an allergy then. Somehow this now felt like a debate and I found it necessary to mention that I had an epi-pen with me and that I didn't want to have to use it if my throat swelled up and I could no longer breathe. I then repeated that I was fine with food cooked around mushrooms, even on the same cooking surfaces, just no mushroom juice or actual mushrooms in the food. The hostess said ok and whisked away. My guest and I discussed what had just happened and we both agreed that the hostess server seemed annoyed and quite unaccommodating with the entire process. For a dinner that is probably going to cost a couple around $200-$300, one would normally expect a slightly more nuanced approach. Taking everything up to that point into account, a trend seemed to be developing with the hostess-server.

We waited somewhere around 10 minutes or more for the wine. It was a long time. We felt it. We discussed it. We wondered what was taking so long. I hypothesized that storage of the extensive wine list may have been at odds with the limited square footage on the premises. As each additional wine-less minuted ticked by, I imagined the rescue effort that was most likely taking place in the wine cellar as our stranded bottle lay helpless on the bottom of 8 skids of wine... The hostess finally showed up with our selection. After confirmation, she disappeared with the bottle for a minute or so and we wondered what was wrong. She arrived back at the table with the wine bottle open and cork in hand. Call me old fashioned. Could you please open it in front of me? Minor point, but it somehow felt like an infraction had just taken place. Anyhow, no big deal I suppose.

Here is where the story gets interesting and also where my review will end. My dinner companion had decided she did not want to fill up on bread. We had a lot of food coming. When the hostess-server (and now bread-deliver) showed up with the bread, we politely declined. (I am aware of the function of the bread, but we just called an audible at the line, so sue us.) The hostess-server asked why. We said we just didn't want to be tempted at that point and were happy to anticipate the appetizers and mains. The hostess-server then asked if my dinner mate was fine with the bread contained in some of the components of her meal. Personally, I didn't really understand that part of the interrogation at that point immediately, but after, I surmised that the hostess-server may have been checking about some sort of possible intolerance to gluten or some such ingredient. My table mate was also not quick enough to decipher the rationale behind the questioning and responded in a confused way that bread was fine with the meal. The hostess stood-there looking at us as if we were from another planet and then....she just turned and walked away. Can you believe that? She just breezes. In all my years, I've never seen anything like it. In the middle of a conversation, she just turns her back and walks away! In the space of 20 minutes I had gone from happy and open-minded, to curious, to annoyed, to down-right angry.

We almost left. I would have, but my dinner mate didn't want to cause a scene or completely ruin the night. The next time the hostess came back, I had a chance to make eye contact with her for the first time. I guess that was enough. It was not a happy look. She instantly turned into the most obsequious staff member there. I've never been so sick of hearing "Plaisir" in my life (French for 'it is a pleasure' [as in 'it is a pleasure in serving you']). In my head I kept saying, "really?" every time she said it.

So there you have it. It was a shame to have to deal with that. The rest of the staff were wonderful and pleasant. The sommelier was excellent and very helpful. However they were all over-shadowed by the hostess that nearly ruined the meal. The sad truth is that I personally would not go back. Just a negative memory association now.

That completes my narrative of the events. The rest of the review is below.

I will briefly explain my other ratings:

Food : Definitely inventive and well thought out. Meat was cooked to perfection. The only reason I cannot quite give it 5 stars is that the food seemed to become cold quickly. I do not believe some of the plates were warmed sufficiently. Perhaps adding to the room-temp plates, was that every food offering comes in a borderline kitschy (I'll call it something different but interesting nevertheless) set of threes. There is therefore a certain amount of care that one wants to take with each new bite. A routine cleansing of the palate is sometimes called for, which adds to the length of the process. It was somewhat disappointing that some of the food seemed cold.

Value: Above average or good value. I almost gave it a 4, but we ordered the most expensive items on the menu, so I suppose we have mostly ourselves to blame. So, I'll give it a full 5 for this one. While we ordered the most expensive mains, there were several offerings at lower prices. A $16 appetizer at a four-diamond establishment is something to think about when cheese-sticks at the local pub usually comes in around $9. The wine list had depth and was reasonably priced as well. A bottle of Osoyoos Larose was priced around $70 while the same bottle at a Fairmont property came in around $100. Obviously if you don't order wine, the meal would be that much cheaper, but in my opinion, that much less enjoyable. But hey, I like to drink! :)

Service: Self-explanatory.

Atmosphere: Although I would normally include 'service', as part of the atmosphere, I will not for this review as I believe the service category already bore the brunt of my rating points. The restaurant setting and decor is charming and feels old-world, like how Quebec City should feel. The restaurant is split between an upstairs area and a main floor area. Some tables (like ours) are close to the bottom of the stairs, which was distracting each time a staff member bounded and clomped down the stairs, whisking something somewhere at high velocity, with a near panic pace. It occasionally made conversation difficult. It was actually a subject of conversation! Again, however, if front of house got their act in order, the stairs may not be as big of an issue. I still would ask for a table away from the bottom of the stairs though.

Ultimately I am going to recommend this restaurant with several caveats. If you read the review, you know what they are. I am hoping it was a random experience. I am hoping the hostess was just having a bad night.

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1  Thank PhilHelmuth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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