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“Simply Perfect”

Restaurant Initiale
Ranked #2 of 1,468 Restaurants in Quebec City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $86 - $126
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Just 3 minutes from the Château Frontenac, in the heart of the Old-Port of Québec, you'll discover gourment cuisine worthy of the greatest tables in the world. Member of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, 5 diamonds AAA/CAA, Gault & Millau.
Regina
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Simply Perfect”
Reviewed September 9, 2012

We enjoy fine dining around the world; this qualifies. We had the 'table d'hôte' menu (fixed price with a few choices for appetizers, mains, and desserts. Having decided to try Duck à l'Orange we asked the sommelier to help with a suitable wine, his selection was excellent. Our waiter was enthusiastic, clever, and polished. Many reviewers have remarked upon the ability of this restaurant to work seamlessly with the poorly dressed people on holidays to the appropriately dressed - I concur. You will see it all in these spectacular surroundings but if you are one of those who didn't bring something suitable for special occassions, go anyway because you will never feel out of place by the staff or other patrons. Don't miss it!

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank pickypickypicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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588 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    505
    47
    23
    9
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best French Dining Outside of Paris”
Reviewed September 8, 2012

If you are in Quebec City, this restaruant is not to be missed. An unforgettable evening and worthy of a Michelin star rating.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank Arthur S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Failed Vegetarian Test”
Reviewed August 19, 2012

So, this is ranked as one of the best restaurants in Quebec and is priced accordingly. It is aiming for Michelin star class (with which we are familiar) so the food is all nouvelle, special tastes and micro portions (which is fine). But great restaurants are based on three things: the food, the service and the room (how these come together for the full dining experience). I cannot fault the food and the room was very nice, but the delivery came up short. Specifically, they failed the Vegetarian Test.
Twenty-five years ago, many places failed this test (ESP. In France where they used to put a 'little' ham in your vegetarian salad just for taste). Now even France has moved on and vegges are accommodated seamlessly. But the Initiale is still not there yet. A huge and inappropriate fuss was made over our vegetarians; it was like they had no protocol for what to do. So, at the beginning though they said chef would prepare something off menu (we had signaled vegetarians in our reservation) everyone was given a menu ?? Then there was this coyness about the meal where the maitre'd would not tell them what they would be getting. What eventually arrived was a small green salad starter, a small vegetable plate (with an almond-potatoe croquette and a round of potenta) and an enforced cheese plate. A lot of hoo-haa was made about all of this. And the food was good but the whole thing became very self-conscious. When the starters were delivered we were told that they would be described to us, but several minutes passed of waiting and no one did this, so we ate (what can you say! 'it's a green salad'). Then after the main this woman appeared with a cheese board and said do you want some cheese; one vege did the other didnt and it was not offered to the non-vegs. So, then this cheese plate was delivered and we all sat there watching this single person eat it. No protocol, no one has thought this through. So, all in all this was a poor showing for what you would expect at this price level. Finally, as the meal went on, it was clear that the room was run by the maitre'd and the sommelier;The other servers seemed less effective and somewhat lacking in confidence. Again not what you would expect at this level. So, at $510 for 3 we left feeling disappointed.

    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank mukdennnis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Very good but a bit over priced”
Reviewed August 12, 2012 via mobile

We had the degustation menu and it was very well executed. Each dish had the classic Michelin level multiple levels of flavour and they were well judged to be predominantly light (unlike some French inspired restaurants who drown you in super rich dishes).

A couple of marks off though. First, the price of $129 per person for a 6 course degustation menu was too steep. We've gone to quite a few restaurants that were technically better and were cheaper.

The second mark off - my other half doesn't like cheese (I know!). Normally, I'd expect the obligatory cheese course to be replaced by something from the a la carte menu but we were presented with a small plate of random salad. Very poor show there.

Saying that, there was a woman on the table next to us who was gluten intolerant (loudly) and they managed to present her with a full degustation, so it must just be that the cheese intolerance was incomprehensible.

    • Value
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    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JimmyMcFatboyfat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“almost perfect”
Reviewed August 1, 2012

This lovely room is in the midst of a touristy neighborhood and provides an elegant ambience. We had the tasting menu - the courses were almost all delightful, with wonderful contrasts of texture and flavor. The only misfire was the meat course, where the lamb was slightly tough, unexpected in a restuarant of such ambition. Expensive.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank CobbleHillCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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