Review of 'Bistro B'

After a long day browsing the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec we wandered down the somewhat fashionable Avenue Cartier looking for somewhere to eat. Somewhere a bit nicer than fast food. We ended up settling on the glass walled “Bistro B” which, though not full at 7:00 pm on a Wednesday, certainly looked popular. The menu looked quite tasty as well…not cheap but very good quality.

Open Plan Kitchen

The interior is quite cool and modern with adequate but not dim lighting so you can see what you are eating unlike the trend for very lighting at all nowadays. We were shown to a seat at the window by the front door looking out onto a relatively quiet Avenue Cartier which had an occasional slight chill from the window due to the cool weather. The seating area is quite large but broken up by several plant features which makes it feel welcoming. The open plan kitchen allows the diner to see the food being prepared by the small but talented cooking staff in their immaculate chef's whites. Throughout our visit they never once got flustered, always concentrating on the task at hand.

The helpful waiter left us with the menu on an iPad which we had a glance over (it was in french but with English translations). For the evening (they have different menus each day and for each time of the day: breakfast, afternoon and evening) the menu was divided simply into “Entrées” (starters), “Plats” (mains) and “Desserts” along with a separate substantial wine and drink menu. We placed our order after some helpful advice regarding drinks then relaxed to enjoy the evening. A good evening of dining it would turn out to be.

We started first with “pain & beurre” (bread and butter; $1.50) which was absolutely wonderful though a bit small in portion. The sourdough was fresh and firm while the butter was creamy with just the right amount of seasoning. Things were looking good for the rest of the show.

Bread

I started with the unusual sounding “ris de veau en croûte de maïs, gnocchi, pois verts, purée de topinambours & sauce à la moutarde” (corn crusted veal sweetbread, gnocchi, green peas, Jerusalem artichoke puree and mustard sauce; $22) which was absolutely delicious. The sweetbread, often tricky to prepare correctly, was perfectly cooked with a nice crunchy coating while the gnocchi added a note of softness to the dish soaking up the tremendous gravy of Jerusalem artichoke puree and mustard. It was a good sized portion, perhaps a bit too large, but absolutely delicious and I cleaned my plate very handily.

Sweetbreads Starter

My companion started with “salade radicchio, orange & noix de grenoble, poudre de cassis, vinaigrette á l'aronia (radicchio salad, orange & walnuts, blackcurrant powder, chokeberry vinaigrette; $10) which looked amazing - a tower of the brilliantly purple radicchio dusted with the dark blackcurrant powder. According to her, stunning and delicious.

Salad

For my main I had the “chou de savoie farci au canard braisé, choucroute maison, pistaches, pleurotes & bouillon de canard au scassis maderise” (stuffed Savoy cabbage with confit duck, homemade sauerkraut, pistachios, mushrooms & duck broth with blackcurrent; $27) which was slightly disappointing with the sauerkraut seriously overpowering the mild flavour of the dusk. It was also not terribly visually appealing but, having said all that, I ate the entire plate and was quite happy.

Stuffed Savoy Cabbage with Duck and Sauerkraut

My companion's main was a linguini pasta dish with a meat/tomato sauce ($25) which similarly disappointed. We both agreed the starters were the absolute stars of the show.

Pasta

The waiter suggested we have a look at the small dessert menu (with three items as well as options of various cheeses) but given the good sized portions we were not able to consider ordering any.

Certainly not the cheapest option around at more than $65 each (including taxes, drinks and tips), we found the service and food from “Bistro B” the best we have had or seen in Quebec City. Though slightly disappointed with our mains the food was still very well prepared, presented well and tasted very good indeed with, no doubt, the best ingredients. When we are back in Quebec City we will certainly be looking them up again.

Rating:

Review Date: 2019-04-24


Cuisine: French

Address: 1144 Avenue Cartier, Québec City, Quebec G1R 2S5, Canada

Location: Quebec City (Canada) - Montcalm

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Telephone: +1 418-614-5444

URL: http://www.bistrob.ca/