How does one relatively new restaurant distinguish itself from a fierce competition in the well-established bastion of “French haute cuisine” which is Old Quebec City? Value, Value and in case I forgot to mention it: Value!
Inconspicuously located among late night Hairdresser AND Jazz Saloons (Yes, in this part of the world, it seems that you may enjoy both a haircut and your favorite live music with no need to switch locations or even chairs), La Gueule de Bois presents itself at first as a small unpretentious popular eatery with a modest rather sober interior décor behind a simple street front. The feeling that you are in for a “nothing really special” kind of meal continues as you are presented with a relatively small one page menu. One quickly realizes that the effective choices are actually much less than listed as several appetizers and main dishes share in fact the same main chief ingredients. We ordered our picks a bit skeptical about our decision to dine there in the first place. So far, we were only encouraged by the fact that the place had excellent web reviews and the hosts were friendly and attentive.
Everything changed the moment the appetizers arrived. There was no more question that we were in for a very special treat. I had the “bison gravlax” (no, it had no salmon =lax, but rather the bison meat was prepared “the gravlax way”; we were lucky to have among us two genuine experts from Sweden who set the score straight). Beside the lost translation, the dish was absolutely outstanding. And so were the Sweetbreads main dish as well as the Pudding desert. My companions were equally highly impressed by their respective choices. The “Ohhhhs! and the “Ahhhhs!” expressions of ecstasy kept coming out from around the table throughout the meal.
In the end there was no more question that we have just experienced “haute cuisine greatness”. By focusing on a few top quality key ingredients combined with the unique talents of an excellent chef (and her two partners that provide an outstanding and effective service), “La Gueule de Bois” offers you a unique high end dining experience without any glitter nevertheless, with plenty of value and lasting satisfaction. Highly recommended!
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