Restaurant Les Ancetres
391 chemin Royal
Saint Pierre, Ile de Orleans
We had dinner at this charming restaurant/inn with a view of Montmorency Falls from its terrace. The restaurant was deserted on a weekday night, but we didn’t mind a bit. We had roasted duck breast to start, followed by a main course of Red Deer, and then crème brulee with fresh berries from the island for dessert. The food was wonderful, the wine list a little pricey – but with good choices. The juxtaposition of atmospheres plays a part in your enjoyment of this restaurant. The floors are creaky wood and the bar looks about 100 years old, this coupled with the modernist paintings on the wall, the youthful staff and the view of Montmorency spilling itself into the St. Lawrence, make it a unique dining experience. Oh – and did I mention the food is fantastic.
Entrance to Restaurant Ancetres
Cidre Fort (Hard Cider) – I never liked apple cider as a kid. We used to drink it in Mississippi when the weather started getting cool (below 80 degrees F) and I always thought it tasted like slightly less disgusting apple juice. That all changed on a trip to Quebec when I was introduced to Canadian apple cider at a local cidrerie (cider producer). The Canadian cider actually tastes like apples – rather than Koolaid-flavored apple juice, et Voila – it’s got alcohol in it! Who knew drinking juice could be such a pleasurable experience?
The cider we sampled at Domaine de la source a Marguerite is distilled from apple trees right on the premise. During the summer bring a picnic lunch, get a bottle of cider at the boutique and relax right under the trees. Domaine Marguerite is located on Orleans Island (Ile d’Orleans), an island on the St. Lawrence river that’s about a 10 minute drive from Quebec city. There’s only one bridge to get on the island and one road, chemin Royal, which encircles the entire island. Orleans Island is mainly farms, restaurants, B&B’s and wineries. It’s gorgeous, quaint and unspoiled – even with the tourists.
Back to the cider – the tasting or degustation (yes, they do speak French here) is free. The only exception being the ice cider, which is a $2.00 per person charge to taste. We sampled the light and hard ciders; the difference being the percentage of alcohol. Our favorites were the black current & maple syrup hard cider and the ice cider. What can we say, we like it sweet AND strong! After the tasting, get a glass to enjoy either on the front patio or the picnic tables out back. If you decide to buy a bottle, the friendly staff will wrap it up for the plane trip. Sante!
Domaine de la source a Marguerite
3788 chemin Royal, Sainte-Famille, QC
Telephone: (418) 952-6277
Cider recommendations: Bouquet d’ automne – Black currant & maple syrup hard cider, La cuvee des Ti-Coq – Ice cider