Vieux Carré in Old Quebec City

Velvet & Vintage: Discover Vieux Carré in QC

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Pamela MacNaughtan

Behind a black door and heavy green velvet curtains is Quebec City’s newest speakeasy, Vieux Carré. It’s a cozy space decorated with deep greens and tan brown. Heavy green velvet curtains stretch down the right side, high-top tables set near the windows. On the far wall is a 19th-century black and white image of Quebec City, a low table vignette tucked into the corner.

Vignettes at Vieux Carré

A bar stretches down the other side, and the amber vintage-style glass-covered lights hanging above the bar have me planning a lighting heist.

Outside, a beautiful view of Place de Paris and the Saint-Lawrence River can be enjoyed on the patio, which is spread over two floors.

Vieux Carré: a bar and a cocktail

Vieux Carré is the newest venture of Groupe La Tanière (Tanière3, Bistro L’Orygine, Légende). Its name is a nod to the historic Vieux Carré neighbourhood in New Orleans (the French Quarter), where a cocktail of the same name was created at Hotel Monteleone‘s Carousel Bar.

The cocktail is a favourite of Phillipe Veilleux, Director of Food and Beverage at Groupe La Tanière. His signature drink from his days as a bartender in Montreal.

Vieux Carré is a classic cocktail made with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine and Peychaud’s bitters.

Vieux Carré à Phil, one of 4 premium cocktails on the menu at Vieux Carré, is made with Blanton’s bourbon, Laubade 1994 armagnac, Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, Bénédictine, Angostura, Peychaud, and marigold mist.

It is a smooth, chill, comforting cocktail, the way you’d want a man to be… (or is that just me?).

It’s a premium cocktail with a premium price tag of 36 CAD, which I will forever refer to as a special occasion cocktail because I’m a writer and I don’t have “smooth man” money (ha!).

Vieux Carré has 4 cocktail categories with 4 cocktails in each one. There’s a strawberry cocktail that is light and fresh and tastes like summer (and my new go-to choice). They have mocktails, too. There is something for everyone with cocktails ranging in price from 15 to 56 CAD.

The beverage menu extends beyond cocktails, offering beers, wines, premium spirits and liquors.

The food menu

When it’s midnight and you’re wandering around Petit-Champlain and Place-Royale, hungry… Coucou, Vieux Carré!

Keeping with the spirit of Groupe La Tanière restaurants, the dishes on Vieux Carré’s menu are made with local ingredients – not tropical foods here. The menu is small and focused, featuring some of the more popular dishes from Bistro L’Orygine and Tanière3.

I was rather excited to see cerf (deer) tartare on the menu, a favourite of mine from Bistro L’Orygine’s winter menu in 2022. It is delicate, flavourful, and buttery, everything a tartare should be, in my opinion.

cerf tartare from Bistro l'Orygine and Vieux Carré
cerf tartare… get in ma belly!

The menu also features sturgeon caviar, charcuterie, fromage, mezzé, and another New Orleans inspiration, a Cubano Sandwich.

At Vieux Carré, it’s comprised of ham, braised sirloin, housemade mustard, pickle, and Louis d’or cheese on a roll with a crunchy crust. It’s served with a tiny squeeze bottle of mustard so you can add as much as you like. It’s a good sandwich but it would be better with a bit more pickle flavour (IMO).

Cubano sandwich at Vieux Carré
vieux carré cocktail and Cubano sandwich

The food menu at Vieux Carré is available until 1h (1am), something that is rare in Old Quebec. It also means that when I have insomnia and I don’t want to cook, I can get dressed, walk next door, and grab a bite to eat. This may not bode well for me…

See you at Vieux Carré!

Where: 36 ½, rue Saint-Pierre • Place-Royale • Open: 16h to 1h Thurs – Sun; 13h to 1h Tues-Sun end of June to mid-October

Reservations are not required, but as the popularity of this new cocktail bar grows making a reservation will be a good idea.

Dining at Bistro L’Orygine? Arrive early and enjoy a cocktail at Vieux Carré first.

Spend a night (or more!) in Old Quebec!