If one is going to try rabbit for the first time, it makes sense to do it at a restaurant that has it in the title. The first thing that catches your attention at Le Lapin Sauté before you even walk in is the adorably happy rabbit statues hopping around the sign on the outside.
Going inside is like entering another country, which old Quebec City as a whole is like. The restaurant is cozy. The interior seats about 31 people and is all done up in rustic wood and exposed stone. The staff make you feel instantly welcomed. Our server let us know that in the summer there is a patio that fits about 50 people and is the spot of joyous eating and drinking.
Being winter when I visited it was great being in the intimate atmosphere, making us forget the cold outside. There is a fireplace in the dining room for the really chilly nights.
We were surprised that for such an intimate restaurant that the menu is as extensive as it is. There are essentially two menus titled discover and classics. There is no issue mixing and matching between the two. Keeping with the French style of offering prix fixe meals, the restaurant offers that with each entree, one can add $15 and also receive an appetizer, dessert, and coffee or tea. Of course for certain items such as foie gras there may be additional surcharges which are listed on the menu.
Our server was a great wealth of information when it came to helping us decide between selections on the menu and was able to describe in detail each dish and how they differed from each other.
No matter what you select here you will not go wrong. Everything was delicious, but I must insist, since it is Le Lapin Saute, you must order at least one thing with rabbit.
Appetizers for our table were homemade rabbit “rillettes” served with an onion confit and a carrot confit for my companion. La Sauvagine cheese fondue with honey butter for myself. Both were delicious. Both dishes came with delicate pieces of crostini to enjoy them with. The fondue was a combination of brie and camembert cheeses and combined my two favorite things, cheese and honey butter. The rabbit rillettes were delicate both in texture and taste.
I selected as my entree, rabbit with choice of sauce; either a double mustard sauce or mushroom and white wine. I chose to have both which made for an interesting plate in a positive way. The rabbit was divided into two portions with half on one side of the plate in one sauce, and the other on the other side. Accompanying the rabbit was a delicious pile of diced roasted Yukon gold potatoes and fresh vegetables. Bread is available for the table on request and in this case was needed to ensure I could devour every last bit of sauce.n My companion selected the confit rabbit ‘cassoulet” and duck sausage. This dish has a contemporary twist on it with the confit rabbit laying on a bed of roast white beans and veggies. The meat was perfectly cooked and tender. The duck sausage was moist and flavourful. This dish is a classic in french cuisine and it was obvious the restaurant took much pride in it.
We barely had room for dessert but had to at least try a couple. We ordered and sampled the salted honey pie and chocolate fondant with dark beer caramel and a shooter of dark Boréale beer. The chocolate fondant was very rich and therefore just a taste was enough for me. If you are already getting a bit of a full stomach I would suggest the salted honey pie which was delicate with a burst of flavours in my mouth.
All the presentations throughout the evening were beautiful and the servers seemed to genuinely care that everyone was enjoying the experience. Le Lapin Saute is a must for your stay in Quebec City.