Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by Pamela
A new addition to the Quebec City food scene, Alphonse cuisine & cocktails opened its doors in 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic. Located on the corner of rues des Jardins and Sainte-Anne, Alphonse is located in the old Desjardins bank and required a $1.2 million renovation to transform the space into a chic upscale bistro.
A green safe serves as a hostess desk as you walk into Alphonse, a brass banker’s lamp with a green glass shade resting on top. Behind the bar, there is a wall decorated entirely with pennies, and angular copper light fixtures with warm yellow globes hanging from the ceiling. Mid-century modern décor is the current design trend, and Alphonse definitely got the memo (I have loved this design style for a long time, but it’s quickly becoming everyone’s go-to).
I dined at Alphonse during lunch in the middle of the week. A time when I knew they would not be busy, and I could snap photos of food without worrying about lighting (a constant thought when I plan to review/try a restaurant). Seated at a banquet towards the back, I had a view of the entire restaurant. It’s low season in Quebec City, and the streets outside the floor-to-ceiling windows are quiet.
As a local, this is one of my favourite times of the year. It’s a time when I can visit restaurants and safes without waiting for a table, and I can leisurely chat with staff who are not burned out from a busy summer season.
I start with an order of burrata with roasted peppers. I love burrata cheese, perhaps too much, and order it almost every time I see it on a menu. The burrata at Alphonse is perhaps one of my favourites. The cheese is at room temperature, and the mixture of roasted peppers and pine nuts gives the cheese a slightly sweet and tangy taste.
Next is a delightful cheesy squash soup that I will remember for a while. This is, perhaps where I should have stopped. Buratta, soup and a cocktail (I ordered La Pouère- Bombay gin, vermouth, bergamot, pear nectar, matcha syrup, lime, and egg whites) feel like an ideal lunch in early spring. I did not, however, stop.
Instead, I ordered the bistro-style hot dog (a hot dog, but make it fancy) because I was told it was good. It was… okay. I say this as a self-proclaimed hot dog snob. I love a good hot dog – there is a certain allure to a $1.50 hot dog from Costco, but I also enjoy European hot dogs from William J Walter.
For dessert, a crème brûlée that was, sadly, not fully set. I wept a little on the inside, but overall, the food at Alphonse cuisine and cocktail are good. Next time, I’ll try the brussel sprouts caesar salad, and maybe the flat iron steak. I’m still looking for good steaks in Quebec City.
You don’t need a reservation for Alphonse, but during high season and on weekends it’s a good idea. Alphonse is a charming restaurant with good cocktails and a menu that changes with the seasons. It’s located across from Hôtel Clarendon, in the heart of Old Quebec’s Upp Town.
don’t forget to tip your servers! tipping is customary in quebec (and canada), and 15-25% is recommended.
go to alphonse cuisine and cocktails
where: 19 rue des jardins • old quebec (vieux-quebec) • 418-694-0707 • alphonse.ca • open: tues-sun 5pm-9pm (open at 11h30 wed-fri)
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quebec city hotel recommendations
The hotels listed below are my current favourites. I have stayed in each of these properties and often recommend them to out-of-town friends and family. This list will change over time as I make my rounds through the various accommodations in Quebec City.