Quebec's license plates are tagged with the line Je me souviens, which translates as I remember. What I remember about Quebec is the food, the endless bounty, the quality, the emphasis on locally sourced fare. In the states, locally sourced food is the trend; in Quebec it's tradition. And in no place is this more clear than in the Charlevoix region, east of Quebec City, and in no place is it more surprising than Le Massif de Charlevoix, a ski area where the food offered in the cafeteria rivals that served in many fine restaurants.
My midday lunch was a masterpiece, prepared by a chef who took time not only to pull the plate together, but also to present it with flourish. He took special care to add a sprinkle of fresh parsley on my tart prepared with apples and local Migneron de Charlevoix cheese. It came with a red cabbage slaw and a carrot and broccoli vegetable melange. My friend Karen's sole was complemented by a cheese crisp topped with tapenade, rice, and ratatouille. Yes, all this from a cafeteria.
Approximately six entrees are offered daily, in a rotation that changes about every three weeks. There’s always a soup of the day—the leek and chick pea was delicious—served with house-made rolls. And the desserts are equally enticing. Beyond the entrees, there are a la carte choices, such as salads, plates of local cheese or charcuterie, and other healthful options; never anything fried.
Not fancy enough? There’s also a fine dining restaurant, Mer & Monts (Sea & Mountains), where the views own the slopes and over the St. Lawrence complement the food and service.
Photo of Mer & Monts restaurant courtesy of Le Massif de Charlevoix