Our first experience with Chez Boulay was to try their famous brunch, which we raved about in a previous article. So it was only right for us to go back to try their dinner menu, which from what we had heard, was simply delectable.
Walking down a surprisingly empty Rue Saint-Jean on a cold Thursday evening, we headed to the restaurant that we found full of clients and playfully joked that all Quebec City was at Chez Boulay that night. Yes, it is that popular. The ambiance was jovial, convivial, with a touch a chic, as always. The atmosphere was much different from our first time there, where it was quieter and the clientèle a little older but it was still extremely pleasant.
We ordered drinks at the bar while our table was being prepared. I asked for a sour drink that wasn’t on the cocktail menu and the barmaid came up with something delicious, made with a berry called sea buckthorn, that I actually discovered at Chez Boulay on our first time there for brunch. We also tried the cocktail of the day, that was made with dry gin and maple syrup, among other ingredients. It tasted amazing.
As always at Chez Boulay, the service was exceptional. Our waiter knew the menu like he had developed it himself and was astounding at advising us on what to order.
For appetizers, we went for the arctic char carpaccio, made with elderberry marinade, cattail heart, milkweed pod and herb emulsion.
One of the things I particularly love at Chez Boulay, is their fish marinade, which is lemony and paired with French shallot. It makes for an explosive combination of flavors that tastes absolutely exquisite.
The Pork belly from Turlot farm served as a croquette, with king oyster mushrooms braised in red wine, roasted oyster mushrooms, mushroom emulsion, cooking jus vinaigrette.
As main courses, we tried a dish that had just recently been added to the menu: Mushrooms, chicken, camelina, black garlic, which consists of roasted chicken breast from the Voltigeurs farm, mushrooms, camelina milk, beluga lentil ragout, black garlic from Island of Orleans and Jerusalem artichokes. I loved it. This was a match made in heaven for me because I live for chicken and lentils and for it to be paired in a dish was perfect. The combination of tender and crunchy textures was especially enjoyable.
And the meat cheek, red currant; made with meat cheek of the day braised in organic red currant vinegar, smoked jerusalem artichoke purée, glazed carrots. When explaining what this dish consisted of to my husband, he noted: “with carrots that actually taste like carrots”, which my husband later approved of. He loved his plate. The meat was so perfectly cooked, it unraveled; so tender it almost melts in the mouth.
Then came dessert time. I never know what to order for dessert because I have the sweetest tooth and I basically want to order everything. After hesitating between the chocolate surprise and the choux pastries, I decided to go for a non-chocolate based dessert for once. The choux pastries consisted of maple and peppery green alder ice cream, caramel with pumpkin seeds and tart apples. The different textures, the contrast between hot and cold made for a delightful combination.
My husband had the mouth-watering cheesecake with lingonberries, cranberries and beets, sunflower seed dacquoise. How original is it to add beets to this legendary dessert? I had a bite or two of this – okay, maybe more – it was delicious.
Of course we ordered coffees with our dessert, because the most perfect combination on God’s green earth is drinking coffee while savoring something sweet on the side. I had a latte as always, while my husband ordered a long black coffee. They make excellent coffee.
Chez Boulay is one of the restaurants we swear by in Quebec City; whether for brunch, lunch or dinner. They’re always on top of their game. Always.
More info on their website.
Note the address: 1110 Rue Saint-Jean, Ville de Québec, QC G1R 1S4