I visited Québec City about four years ago with students and thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance. The buildings and stone wall seemed to have been transported straight from Saint Malo in Brittany. I kept trying to get my husband and daughter there. Finally, everything came together in late August. The weather was unseasonably cool and damp, but we all enjoyed our French mini-vacation with no jetlag.
We stayed at the Marriott in the Place d’Youville, right next to the old city. We left the car in the parking garage and walked everywhere. The first evening that we were there, the concierge recommended the Hobbit bistro to us as a casual place with traditional food made with quality ingredients and a modern twist. Rue St.-Jean was just a couple of blocks from our hotel and the bistro was surrounded by lots of little boutiques that warranted a closer look another day.
The interior is divided into two main rooms and there are also some tables for outdoor dining. Due to that chilly weather I mentioned, however, we opted for an inside table. The menu had lots of interesting options. I chose the filet de flétan poêlé, salade de fenouil, huile verte et purée de betteraves rôties au miel, or halibut with fennel salad and honey roasted beets (top photo). My more adventurous daughter ordered the tartare de truite à l’orange et coriandre, or trout tartar with orange and coriander. It was served with thinly sliced grilled bread and frites (second photo). She let me try some, and while it was delicious, I personally thought it would have made a better appetizer than a main course. My husband had the confit de canard, which he pronounced OK, but he’s given to understatement. I clearly won the dinner ordering round.
Next, we tried three desserts. We have a theory about desserts. Not unless you’re in Europe should restaurant desserts pass your lips. They should definitely be eliminated if they have photos on the menu. Since Laurien and I had really enjoyed our main courses, we decided to risk it. After all, there were no photos. Laurien ordered the cake with white chocolate and berries, Cliff ordered the apple pie, and I ordered the crème brulée topped with maple syrup. Well, it’s a good rule. And as much as Québec City feels like Europe, it’s not when it comes to desserts. They were just OK. And I’m given to exaggeration. We should have stuck with the rule.
Still, the Hobbit bistro was an enjoyable experience. A- main courses balanced B- desserts. We’d recommend the Hobbit to other visitors to Québec City.