Exploring St. Roch

Being new to Quebec City, we had no clue what neighbourhoods we wanted to explore.  Fortunately, we ended up at the Hotel Pur in the revitalized St. Roch district, which was in the ideal spot for two hip kids to wander about (if hip qualifies as 20-somethings who eat excessive amounts of chocolate and like to go to bed early).  

When we arrived at the hotel, we found the area full of young people and home to one of the university’s arts buildings, tons of cools shops, and plenty of restaurants, including Table inside the Hotel Pur.

Table's menu is based around small plates - my favourite dining concept.  We tried many, including watermelon and feta salad; crispy trout; goat cheese and roasted tomatoes; mac ‘n cheese with black truffle; caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon; green beans; Iberico ham; pork cheek croquettas; kangaroo; escargot with mushrooms, cheese, and sweet garlic puree; churros, and more. 

It was exceptional, and all served at an impressively long table meant to encourage conversation amongst travellers dining solo.  

If you’re on the road, or just happen to live in the neighbourhood, another great way to share a table with a group is by visiting Ateliers & Saveurs, a cooking school near Hotel Pur.  They have a lunchtime cooking classes for TWENTY DOLLARS.  I am perfectly convinced this is the deal of the century.  Perhaps the millennium?  Heck, it's worth visiting the place just to see how many things can be constructed with spoons.  Case in point:

St. Roch is also home to La Korrigane, the only brewpub we visited on our trip whose team includes a female brewmaster, Catherine Dionne-Foster.  Unfortunately we didn't get to meet her, but we did tuck into a few of La Korrigane's seasonal brews - my fave was the Emily Carter, made with wild blueberries.

Two more spots worth checking out in St. Roch are Coopératives Les Grand Rangs, a wickedly cool shop and deli featuring local food (I bet truly hip kids hang out there!), and Le Clocher Penché, a restaurant just across the street operated by the same people. 

There, we got to taste (among many things) a slice of blood sausage topped with a glowingly-red little crab apple, and faisselle, a housemade fresh cow's milk cheese often served for dessert.  Ours arrived topped with Quebec gooseberries and blueberries, and with a side of maple syrup to pour over top.  I've decided this is an almost perfect way to end a meal, and the perfect way to end our time in St. Roch.

Now, it's 9pm.  Time to eat some chocolate and go to bed.