Descending below street level into the retro-cool, wood-paneled world of La Buvette Scott, it feels as though you’re stepping into the rec room of your coolest high school friend. You know the one: always wearing vintage plaid, with an elusively sophisticated taste in music, effortlessly chill.
Such is the air of this 25-seat wine bar in Quebec City’s St-Jean-Baptiste neighbourhood, and with its bold, brassy menu, deer print wallpaper, and turntable in the corner, it’s easy to see why this vinyl-loving wine bar has the whole city dancing to its tune.
Opened in 2014 by co-owners Jean-Phillippe Lessard, Pier-Luc Germain, and Dave St-Yves, La Buvette Scott is well-known for pairing rare wines, ales, and ciders with an adventurous menu of inventive plates. But don’t let the subterranean locale fool you: this place is anything but a brewpub.
“We don’t like to only do one thing,” says Germain. “The idea is to have a balanced menu.”
“With real food, not pub food,” adds Lessard, describing the team’s outré approach to seasonal vegetables, plucked fresh from a Buvette employee’s garden.
Libations come from places like Belgium, Norway, France, Quebec—even Long Island, and when it comes to pairing something like Savignon Gris with a curious cucumber salad of Nordic shrimp, dill, nori powder, and herring caviar, the co-owners prefer to just follow the flavours.
“We just showcase the good stuff,” St-Yves shares, adding that their goal is always to be flawlessly informal—to create “beautiful bites, without the fuss.”
As the clock strikes 6 p.m., the dining room fills up fast. St-Yves pinballs through the space, explaining the menu to two tables at once, pouring glasses of wine, sake, beer, and cider, pausing only to put on a record (the Budos Band, and later, American Epic). Music is played according to the mood of the moment, he explains. Acoustic tiles have been installed to ensure the best listening experience, and when you’re tucking into a dish of miso butter-glazed veal marrow and a glass of fragrant Julienas Beaujolais, the right song at the right moment makes for an ideal multi-sensory experience.
La Buvette Scott, 821 Rue Scott,Quebec City, (581) 741-4464.
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