Tucked down a little side street in the lower level of Old Quebec City, Toast! is attached to a boutique hotel, but happy to make you a reservation if you happen to be staying up the hill. Dimly lit with twinkling lights and a very attentive waitstaff, Toast! was set for a perfect romantic late dinner. Toast! has a multi-course pre fix menu, and I chose the slightly lighter 3-course dinner. Pictured above is the yellow beetroot and deep fried, melting mozzarella with hazelnut aoli, lemon juice emulsion, macadamia nut, oyster king mushroom, basil and micro tomato. Quite a mouthful, huh? As a first course, this appetizer was quite large, very rich, and a wonderful mix of textures and flavors. With so many components it was hard to create a “perfect bite,” but every bite was delicious. The mozzarella was not so much melted and softened, but I didn’t mind cutting pieces from crispy ball.

Rich and textural vegetarian food was a theme at Toast!, where the vegetarian choices (one per course) were consistently creative, beautiful, large, and flavorful. I had the home made vegetarian ravioli with marscapone, black garlic, pesto and hazelnut filling, butternut sauce, mushroom, “pied de mouton” (a tiny mushroom similar to a straw mushroom), chanterelle, argan oil and parmesan crisp. Can you tell by now that I kept the menu? Anyway, you can how beautiful it was, but it was also so rich, and so delicious, and a few bites in I was already full. But I kept eating.

Because who is going to resist a cheese course? Not me. Never me. “Le secret de Maurice,” a sheep milk cheese, firm on the outside and liquid creamy on the inside, served with warm fig and rye bread and home made grape preserves. Did I mention I could not eat another bite? I could not eat another bite. But I kept eating bites. And try as we might the two of us weren’t able to quite finish Maurice’s “secret,” but I promise you, we tried.

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