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January 21, 2006
With the Winter Carnival just two weeks away, you may be dreaming of snowflakes and skiing. When you're ready to warm up, burrow into this stone cottage nestled in the cobblestoned quarter of Old Quebec. The tiny entrance is often backed up with customers, but the freshly prepared, attractively presented food is worth the wait - and the price. The city will be hopping with revellers, so call ahead to reserve!
There aren’t many options for strict vegetarians, but beyond that there is something for everyone. The menu includes pastas, salads, grilled meats, regional specialities laced with maple syrup, and, of course, rabbit dishes. I'm lactose and gluten intolerant and don't eat mammals, yet even I was able to satisfy my hunger with the tangy, marinated salmon cooked on a cedar plank (aboutUSD$13), accompanied by steamed vegetables. I finished with a fresh fruit salad. My companion enjoyed the house specialty, the rabbit cooked in a rich mustard sauce accompanied by savoury garlic potatoes (about $15), followed by a velvety pear and chocolate pie ($5). A varied table d’hôte menu including soup, salad, main course, dessert and beverage is also available, ranging from $20 to $26. It’s a snug fit, but it's just fine for relaxed, intimate dining.
The herb-baskets hanging from the ceiling, the stone fireplace, pine furniture and checked tablecloths all bring back the warmth of grandma’s kitchen. If the setting inspires you to have a picnic in the country, order the basket lunch for two (about $17) and eat on the covered terrace. During carnival season, dazzling ice sculptures grace the park flanking the terrace. The meal includes rabbit rillettes, focaccia bread and a green salad. Customers say that the lunch is worth ordering for the bread and piquant sauce alone. Washing the meal down with a half-litre of house wine will set you back $30.00. The Lapin Sauté can accommodate you whatever the season or time of day.
Lunch specials are available (about $9), and if you’re there for breakfast (9am to 2pm), you can choose from a variety of omelettes and pancakes. Refill as often as you like with the “bottomless” cup of coffee. With such delicious meals and such patient service, it’s no wonder that guests linger at their tables.
From journal Spring Break in Quebec City
Valley, New York
October 15, 2004
The food is country French, with rabbit (le lapin) being the specialty. Service was a bit slow and unresponsive (might have been better if we'd been inside?). English menus were available.
I tried the rabbit duet, which came with two sauces, one mustard and one apple. They tasted different from each other, but not like mustard or apples. The rabbit was very tender. I don't remember if I'd ever had rabbit before, but I could tell it wasn't chicken.
The BEST thing I sampled was the snails in filo. It was the perfect blend of (possibly) goat cheese, pate, and chopped snail folded into filo dough.
From journal Anniversary in Quebec