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Our Restaurants: Great Places for Lunch

Our Restaurants: Great Places for Lunch

For lunch with a business focus, lunch with friends, lunch with your sweetie pie or lunch to replace the one you forgot on the kitchen counter when you left for work, the choice in Val d’Or is endless and diverse. If you’re looking for comfort food, a healthy meal, or a quick bite, anywhere in town (east, west, downtown), you’ll find it. All palates and appetites welcome! Have a look at our five top picks for lunch in Val d’Or.

 

 

Le Conti, Continental Hotel

hotel motel continental restaurants

Le Conti is the restaurant at the Continental Hotel. It’s popular with locals and hotel patrons alike. In addition to their regular menu, there’s a soup, salad and hot buffet as well as a weekly menu with three different options every day. Its home cooking and welcoming environment make you feel as though you’re at grandma’s house. (Providing your grandma is a great cook and as comforting as can be!)

Tip :

souvlaki-kebabs (to die for) or the bacon & liver dish

Habaneros Mexicain Grill

Habaneros Grill Mexicain manger rapide Valdor

The Habaneros Mexican Grill (Habaneros Grill Mexicain) is the perfect place to ease your environmental conscience (take-out is served in biodegradable containers), look after your body and take a quick trip to Latin America.  You’ll find typical South American fare, such as quesadillas and burritos, cooked in traditional style. Focus is on ingredients that are locally sourced, fresh and natural. To the delight of many, Habaneros Mexican Grill is on a roll at the moment and is opening up new restaurants by the minute. There’s a Habaneros Mexican Grill in downtown Val d’Or, and another in the western area of the city in the same building as the Van Houtte Café. There are also Habaneros restaurants in Amos, Rouyn-Noranda and Sherbrooke.

Tip:

you cannot go wrong—everything on the menu is excellent!

La Sandwicherie

Sandwicherie restaurant val d or healthy lunch

The friendly atmosphere in La Sandwicherie is what makes it so special. Mismatched chairs, cozy cushions in every possible colour, bright yellow walls that feel like constant sunshine and exhibitions that are always being refreshed.  The open-air kitchen makes for easy banter and conversation between patrons and owners. The laughter and high spirits are catching: it starts with a smile and then the cheeriness and camaraderie are so contagious that everyone becomes part of the conversation and, before you know it, customers are all kibitzing together like a bunch of old friends. Lunchtime there feels like a family reunion filled with great food and good times.

Tip:

When they ask you whether you want sauce on your sandwich, the answer is most definitely ‘yes!’. It’s made of herbs and spices and is a beautiful, original touch to whatever sandwich you’ve ordered.

Le Canon at Escale Hotel Suites

L'escale hotel suite le canon restaurant fine cuisine

Le Canon is the restaurant at the Escale Hotel Suites. The decor is elegantly minimalist: white plush walls, a waterfall and huge windows that let in lots of light. The environment is very calm and peaceful. It’s the ideal setting for a business lunch, a serious conversation or a quiet moment. The lunch menu is full of interesting, flavourful dishes. Your plate will be loaded with veggies and the mashed potatoes are divine!

Tip:

Give into temptation and try the Caprices de Brigitte pastry.

 

 

 

Les Becs sucrés-salés

restaurant val d'or becs sucrés salés

Folks who forgot to eat in the morning or whose favourite meal is breakfast will think they’ve died and gone to heaven here. Even at midday, delicious breakfasts are available, such as eggs Benedict, omelettes and French toast (try the cheese and fleur de sel caramel: doesn’t get any better!). Owner Régis Henlin is part of the Slow Food movement, which is evident in his menu. The Slow Food movement is focused on healthy, clean and ethically-produced food. To learn more about this international movement, click here. Les Becs Sucrés-Salés uses only top-quality, seasonal and locally- or regionally-sourced ingredients.  And the food tastes great!

Tip:

Les Becs Sucrés-Salés also has a delicatessen and sells ready-to-eat meals. On your way in or out of the restaurant, take some time to check it out: you’ll find an array of delicious, inspiring, surprising and mind-blowing things to eat.

 

Whatever lunch experience you are seeking, whoever your companions are, wherever you may be, there’s a perfect spot for you in Val d’Or. We shared our favourites with you – what are your picks?

 

The Best Cocktail Spots in Val-d’Or

The Best Cocktail Spots in Val-d’Or

Because summer just tastes so much better on a sunny patio, a refreshing cocktail in hand, I decided to do some detective work and find the best spots to unwind in Val-d’Or. I headed out on a reconnaissance mission with my friend, Marguerite (not her real name) (just for the fun of it, I decided to give someone I know a fictitious name, because I could). We established some very specific criteria for our mixology research: originality, ingredient ratios, execution and, of course, the bartender. Here are our findings:

Bar Bistro l’Entracte

The urban lounge feel at Bar Bistro l’Entracte is perfect for sitting back and enjoying a good cocktail. There, you’ll find the most extensive cocktail menu in Val-d’Or and a beautiful offering of top-quality spirits. In addition to the classics, you’ll find some house creations. Among others are L’Entracte, made with Hendrick’s gin, apple juice, sugar, lemon juice and 7 UP. It sounds sweet, but it’s actually quite refreshing and subtle on the pallet. If it’s a sweeter drink you’re after, I suggest the Limonade l’Entracte, which offers a fruity, summery taste.

One of my top favs is the Long Island Iced Tea. It’s absolutely sublime – one of the best I’ve ever tasted! It has just the right amount of alcohol in it (enough so that you know it’s there, but not so much that you feel your oesophagus being disinfected on every mouthful).

The quality of execution is certainly a reflection of bartender Daniel. He’s a talented mixologist who has been with Bar Bistro l’Entracte for a long time. His expertise, charisma and talent make the drinks and overall atmosphere there a real treat to experience.

cocktails-entracte

During my mixology research with my friend “Marguerite”. While she was enjoying Long Island Iced Tea (the brown drink), I drank a Limonade L’Entracte (the orange cocktail).

Le Prospecteur Microbrewery

Although locally brewed craft beer is their speciality, Microbrasserie Le Prospecteur does a fine job on their cocktails too. With evocative names like La Grande pêcheuse (Come Hither) and Le Café du bûcheron (Lumberjack’s Java), most of their cocktails are original creations. Sweet or subtle, refreshing or comforting, the proportions are always just right. My personal favourite is a little number called the Frasilic, a mix of strawberries, fresh basil, vodka and sparkling water.

If you sit at the bar, you may get the chance to meet the lovely barman, Olivier. Not only is he funny and congenial, he has a wonderful talent for mixology and a great deal of imagination. In fact, challenge him to whip you up a surprise cocktail? I’m quite sure you won’t be disappointed.

cocktails-prospecteur

With its delicious locally brewed craft beers, Le Prospecteur offers tasty beer cocktails. The one on that picture is a suggestion of bartender Olivier.  🙂 

Special Mention to La Tanière – William J. Walter

If you’re one of those people who believes that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself or you believe you’ve got potential as a mixologist, then I suggest you head over to La Tanière. In fact, even if you aren’t one of those people (you prefer that someone make you a good drink and serve it to you), I still recommend checking out La Tanière. (You can always resort to the DIY approach when you’re snowed in or back at home, unable to enjoy our delicious Val-d’Or cocktails.)

La Tanière is a purveyor of fine foods that sells William J. Walter sausage products, but also cheeses, deli meats, hot sauces, micro-brewery beers, the best sauerkraut in town and… – drum roll – a whole range of cocktail products! The shelves are stocked with simple flavoured syrups, lemonades, ginger ale syrup, colas or tonicBloody Caesar mixgarnishes and flavoured bitters, waiting to jazz up your drinks! All you need to do is let your imagination run wild! They also have all the essential bar accessories to make you feel like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. For instance, they sell a shaker that opens easily when it’s cold (the same model professional bartenders use), a strainer to get the fresh fruit juice out without any lumps or pulp getting into your glass, a pestle to crush lime, sugar and mint in your mojito and a long spoon to stir your martinis.

cocktails-taniere

The display shelving of all cocktail products at La Tanière offers a great choice and always new stuff. 

Classic, sweet, refreshing, subtle or girly: whatever your taste, you’ll find everything you’re looking for at these four great cocktail spots in Val-d’Or. My parting suggestion would be to trust in the bartenders’ passion, expertise and talent and let them surprise you!

Let finish this blog on a good note with a clip of the great movie of Cocktail . 🙂 

The Best Cocktail Spots in Val-d'Or
From Innovate to Classic

From Innovate to Classic

Dear Readers: This month we’re reviewing four pizza restaurants in Val-d’Or. Keep reading to expand your gastronomic horizons and find out where you can get the best pizzas in town. We used a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being best, to assess 10 criteria. So, without further delay, let’s look at our four reviews (done at the expense of our waistlines!).

Prospecteur_microbrasserie_restaurants_bar_val-dor_interieur
Prospecteur_microbrasserie_restaurants_bar_val-dor_salle de brassage

Price | $15.00

Conveniently located in downtown Val-d’Or, Microbrasserie Le Prospecteur serves up original pizzas, such as vegetable and goat cheese, or BBQ featuring smoked chicken from Boucanerie Fins Délices and a house BBQ sauce made with beer. Yum! We tried the Polonaise, with kielbassa, loads of toppings, just the right amount of sauce and an excellent aged cheese. Numerous craft beers are brewed on site to pair with the different pizzas. Prices are very affordable, the atmosphere is authentic and the lunchtime “pizza of the day” will satisfy your appetite without breaking your budget. A great place to eat for lunch or dinner!

Pizzabella_restaurants_val-dor_3
Pizzabella_restaurants_val-dor

Price | $19.50

The pizza looked appetizing and the aroma alone made us hungry. The crust was crispy with nicely-done edges, lots of toppings and melted cheese. The portions were perfect, just enough to keep us from feeling stuffed to the gills. And it was tasty! The restaurant’s reputation for service did not disappoint – our server was friendly and attentive. The menu boasts close to 20 pizzas, including the house specialty, Bella (with smoked meat), the Hawaiian, and the Seafood, so there is something for everyone and enough variety to keep you coming back. The pizza has excellent texture with just the right amount of toppings.

valdor-pizzeria-restaurants-valdor

Price | $17.67

The crust was perfectly cooked, including the edge, the toppings were attractive and the vegetables crunchy. There was plenty of the tomato-based sauce, with slightly salty cheese. And the intoxicating aroma wafted through the room. The slices are thick and the portions generous. There are close to 15 pizzas on the menu to choose from, including the Four Seasons for meat lovers, with bacon, olives, ground beef and ham. This family restaurant has a nice atmosphere, where good portions, good prices and good taste rule the day. If you are a diehard fan of classic pizza, this is the place for you!

Avantage_bar_restaurants_ambiance
Avantage_bar_restaurants_pizza_four a bois

Price | $16.75

Hip pizzeria L’Avantage is also downtown, and as soon as we smelled that pizza aroma we were hungry. Abitibi-Témiscamingue’s only wood-fired pizza is cooked to perfection, with a delicious crust, just the right amount of toppings, a silky and delicately spiced tomato sauce and succulent melted cheese, all adding up to one exquisite dish. The restaurant’s original pizza creations, including The Pesto and The Mexican, are sure-fire crowd-pleasers. The American, our favourite, melts in your mouth. L’Avantage offers excellent pizza at an excellent price, and according to our review process, deserves the title Best Pizza in Town. You simply must give it a try. The top-notch food and service, combined with the warm and welcoming atmosphere add up to an unforgettable gastronomic experience. You can hear yourself talk and the flavours are distinctly down home.

Make your taste buds happy and put these four restaurants on your list. Sample their fresh ingredients, innovative dishes, and pleasant surroundings, and rediscover the classics, with a touch of contemporary style! You’ll love the delicious pizza, the great prices and the service at these warm and welcoming restaurants!

 

Translated by Anne Laflèche