Places you recommend on Boutiq have the power to spark the same feeling 30 years from now, not just 300 likes now. In the fiercely competitive restaurant scene, it's hard for a place to change with the times. It's even harder to remain timeless. In this week's Boutiq Stories blog, we're going old-school. Leading their culinary traditions through generations, here are some of the world's timeless restaurants and the passion for food behind them...
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
A French soldier built this auberge (French for inn) in 1688 and it’s now dubbed the oldest inn in North America. Located in the French speaking region of Canada in the heart of old Montreal, you can dine inside this historic restaurant’s cozy stone interior or on the charming patio. The lunch menu offers Thai inspired dishes, like steamed mussels in coconut milk, while the dinner menu offers renowned Quebec cuisine. Boutiq recommends the La Ferme du Village duck from Saint-Pie, a region abundant in farms, orchards and vineyards. Top off the evening with their apple caramel modern tarte Tatin, a famous French upside-down apple tart. Did we mention this was the first auberge in North America to receive its liquor license? When it comes to drinks, you can trust the L'Auberge Saint-Gabriel – they’ve been pouring them for over 260 years.
2. The Union Oyster House
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
America’s oldest restaurant specializes in New England seafood, with a large portion of their lunch and dinner menu devoted to (you guessed it) oysters. From their fried oyster sandwich to union grilled oysters to freshly shucked oysters, there is no shortage of options for oyster aficionados. For those nonconformists, other (equally delicious) options include: grilled Swordfish, lobster ravioli, and pan-seared pork chop. This quaint bar opened its doors in 1826 and its location on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile long path that passes 16 historical sites in downtown Boston, continues to attract travellers (almost) as much as their food does. You can even sit at JFK’s once favorite table.
A few meters underneath the Old Town Hall in Wrocław’s Market Square lies one of the oldest restaurants and beer cellars in Europe. Its name combines the words basement (Piwnica) and a type of beer they serve imported from Świdnica, a city in Southern Poland. Dating back to 1273, Piwnica Swidnicka offers traditional Polish food alongside a unique medieval atmosphere with gothic chandeliers, long benches and candlelit tables. Feast in grilled wątróbka (chicken liver) on baked apple, bigos (cabbage and sauerkraut stew with finely chopped meat), and of course, various styles of pierogies, including minced meat pierogies sprinkled with pork rind, cabbage and mushroom pierogies, and Russian style pierogies with sour cream. Don’t forget to pair your food with traditional Polish vodka or beer – there’s a full bar open until 11pm.
4. The Gables Restaurant
Russell, New Zealand
Set in the cute seaside town of Russell, New Zealand’s oldest operating restaurant was built on whalebone foundations in 1847 and is now listed as a Heritage Building by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Indulge in fresh local fish and seafood, grass-fed New Zealand beef and lamb, and wine from their extensive wine list, while looking onto the scenic waterfront. Boutiq suggests the snapper with a citrus beurre blanc and tomato, caper, watercress salad. The restaurant’s location on the far north of the North Island makes The Gables an attractive summer destination, while its Kauri wood paneling, open fires, original maps, old photographs and delicious dishes attract locals and travellers year round.
5. Chez Dimitri
A family run business since its opening in 1928, this international restaurant is found in Ouarzazate, a city south of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains and on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Red and orange tones brighten and create a warm and welcoming vibe, while the framed photos of the stars who have dined at Chez Dimitri while filming hang on the walls, adding intrigue to the quiet town. Boutiq recommends moussaka, a traditional Mediterranean casserole made from hashed steak, eggplant and Béchamel sauce, and the iced nougat with almonds and honey for dessert.
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