Restaurant La Nouvelle France (Quebec, QC)

After a second morning wandering about the various events of the Carnaval de Quebec, we were again hungry and in search of sustenance.

Vieux Quebec has a lot of little restaurants representing all sorts of cuisines, but we decided that if we’re going to be spending an extended weekend in Quebec, we really should have at least one meal that featured Quebecois food. So we set off in search of poutine.

Walking down rue du Tresor, a local alleyway stretching away from the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, La Nouvelle France is located in a little blind alley between several spots where where local artists are hawking their wares. Sporting the obligatory outdoor ice bar and some ice sculptures, they’ve also got a cozy little dining room, where we settled in for lunch.

Restaurant La Nouvelle France focuses primarily on Quebecois food, with a variety of Quebecois soups, appetizers, salads, and the like. I decided to play it straight, getting a classic Quebecois dish: pea soup, and then splitting a poutine with Carol. It doesn’t really get more more Quebecois than that particular pairing. The rest of the table pretty much did the same, although the particular soup selections varied.

I started with the pea soup. Those that know me well know that I generally don’t order pea soup (primarily due to a handful of family vacations that involved trips to Pea Soup Andersen’s at which the pea soup was rather overhyped), often finding it a bit bland and chalky, but this was a rather nicely done pea soup. The split peas were still split (you could still pick out entities that were individual peas) and tender, the soup flavorful, and it had a really nice herbal note. Most importantly, it wasn’t overly salty (I swear that somewhere there’s a cookbook out there telling everyone that “salt” needs to be the second ingredient in all soups). Served up with some nice little slices of garlic bread and a modest caesar sald, this was a nice lunch.

The poutine was good as well. Nicely done fries, actual cheese curds (down here in NH, they occasionally seem to foist off shredded cheese on you instead of proper curds), and a decent gravy, this was a nicely executed poutine. I’ve definitely had better (The foie gras poutine at Au Pied de Cochon distinctly comes to mind), but it was a good poutine nonetheless.

Overall, I rather enjoyed Restaurant La Nouvelle France. It was a nice, cozy, and friendly restaurant that gave us some flavorful food as we got out of the cold for a while. The Poutine was quite good, and the pea soup excellent. I wouldn’t mind coming back and trying their patio in warmer weather.

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