Le SAM, Bistro Évolutif: Château Frontenac’s chic bistro

This superb restaurant is a member of the program Aliments du Québec au Menu! This means that they have chosen to highlight the wonderful products of Quebec and its producers in their menu—something we wholeheartedly admire! Aliments du Québec au Menu is a recognition program for restaurants that value Quebec products in their cuisine. To learn more, click here!

Located inside the Château Frontenac in Old Quebec, SAM offers contemporary cuisine with a sublime view of the St. Lawrence River.

Le SAM—named after the founder of Quebec City, Samuel de Champlain—opened in 2014, during the extensive renovations of the Château Frontenac. The idea behind the project was to rejuvenate the image of the Château with refined bistro-style cuisine, integrating Quebec products and ingredients as much as possible. The concept evolves throughout the day and offers a lunch menu, happy hour, evening service, and a bar—where you can enjoy magnificent cocktails by mixologist Maxime Menard. The Rockwell firm of New York has created a hushed decor with an Art Deco feel, which is quite stunning. The dining room offers 80 seats and 10 seats at the bar. In addition, the solarium—that overlooks the river—seats an additional 62 people; adding warmth and sophistication to the space.

Stéphane Modat’s menu

The bistro’s menu is the work of chef Stéphane Modat—recipient of the 2019 Laurier for Chef of the Year. One of the starters is a perfectly seasoned bison tartare with shiitake mushrooms and toasted sesame oil. Le SAM’s generous cheese plate is served with several assortments, as well as a surprisingly exquisite apricot compote. As for the main courses, a few of their offerings include: a succulent veal chop cooked to perfection, served with a foie gras sauce, and an aligot with 1608 cheese; a creamy coquille Saint-Laurent (revisited coquille Saint-Jacques) that honours the fish and seafood used; and lastly, a delicate fish & chips with a very light breading and delicious tartare sauce.

Quality cocktails and a fine wine selection

As for drinks, the cocktail section by Maxime Ménard is very inventive, and the products used are of high quality. For example, the Sleigh Ride—made with Avril Amaretto and Chic Choc spiced rum—is garnished with a nougat espuma and caramelized pecans. Their classic Negroni is presented in a way that you can dose your cocktail yourself, with equal portions of Ungava gin, Campari and Kayak Vermouth. The wine list is curated by Zsombor Mezey; a sommelier whose excellent work earned the Champlain restaurant the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2016 and 2017. The menu offers a wide range of classic wines with several New World selections.

For quality cocktails, well-executed cuisine, an excellent wine selection, and professional and personalized service, SAM is the perfect address.

From the magazine

Restaurants open on Tuesdays

Finding a restaurant open on Tuesdays is becoming challenging. Some restaurants choose to take a break at the beginning of the week.