The team behind the CAA/AAA five-diamond restaurant Le Patriarche is opening up a new rotisserie this spring. Located in downtown Quebec City, le Tournebroche will find a home in the Vieux-Québec Hotel. The entire building is currently undergoing major renovations. The menu of this rotisserie will embrace everything chicken, including the somewhat related guinea fowl, with a touch of creativity in its sauces and deserts. Grilled-cheese sandwiches are also on the menu.
I was invited to taste a sample of their upcoming menu and point out my favourites in sauces, fries, meats and crème brûlée. Such a hard and painful task for a foodie. What I wouldn’t endure for the benefit of you, reading this now.
The second floor of Le Patriarche is where we sat for the tasting. A long table of fellow foodies, as well as friends and employees of the owners, were also invited for the tasting. The owners surveyed our opinion on everything from chicken providers to our preference of sauces and thickness of fries.
Even though every slice of meat and homemade condiment was served with Chef Christian Roth saying: “I’ve already made up my mind about this, but…” didn’t matter to me. They wanted my point of view on their products; a testimony of their ambition to woe foodies and hard-to-please customers. like me.
Quebec City’s high restaurant per person ratio
You see, Quebec City has one of the highest restaurant per citizen ratio in North America. I have yet to find another place in the world to surpass, or even match such important statistics. Nope, not even New York City. In 2012, there were 708, 000 residents for 1775 restaurant permits in the Quebec City region. Calculate the ratio, it’s hard to find anywhere else. Consequently, and to stand out in this very competitive crowd, restaurateurs need to be creative and manage precociously. So, the minute I received the invitation to taste their upcoming menu, I sensed Le Tournebroche to be a fierce competitor. If you know the trends, have an award-winning chef and ask your local foodies for feedback, you’re bound to have a successful story.
In addition to that, there is no other rotisserie in downtown Quebec City. St-Hubert is not a reference in this category of restaurants. St-Hubert is a chain restaurant. What Le Tournebroche wants to offer is the best organic chicken available, raised in the best conditions possible with the least amount of distance travelled to its kitchen. They have a socially conscious and sustainable philosophy that comes with a price, but definitely planned for customers who care about a product that ends up in their mouth. To me, this is exactly what stands out in Quebec City. But it hasn’t opened yet. We can all be a judge of that starting later this spring.
If a restaurant in Quebec City has crème brûlée on its menu, chances are I’ve tasted it. And I can easily point out which has the best texture, vanilla and/or price in town. I am a crème brûlée fanatic! Le Tournebroche will offer a fragrance of crème brûlée for every day of the week! I’ve tasted caramel with apple cider, chocolate à la lime and my favourite combination white chocolate and ginger.
I’ve heard locals say that restaurants located inside the fortified walls of Quebec City are tourist traps. Aaaand it’s not false. But, with the recent recognition of Le Patriarche as a five-diamond restaurant, the arrival of Chez Boulay and this upcoming Tournebroche, there are serious contenders that can woo any palate from anywhere in the world. Even the local “hard-to-please”!
Le Tournebroche opens April 2014.