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Le Massif — Dining

Much of the dining takes place in the region’s inns. Baie-Saint-Paul, with a population of about 6,000, is the largest town and offers the best variety of dining. Auberge La Maison Otis (800-267-2254; 418-435-2255; $$$$) has one of the region’s best dining rooms, serving a four-course dinner that blends Charlevoix regional produce and French inspiration. Auberge La Pignoronde (888-554-6004; 418-435-5505; $$$; above left), on a hillside overlooking the town and bay, also has a fine four-course dinner featuring regional produce. The menu changes nightly.

New in town in 2006, Resaurant 51 (418-435-6469; $$-$$$) serves excellent French dishes with local flair and an unusual use of fruits, like an original recipe cassoulet or pork medallions sauteed with rotie potatoes, prunes and jus Saveurs Pedneault, and a delicious cheese cake dessert made with local migneron cheese. Restaurant Le Marion (418-435-5575; $$$), located in the Auberge La Grande Maison, offers beautifully prepared cuisine of Charlevoix in a softly lit, white table cloth ambience, using regional ingredients whenever possible.

Le Saint-Pub Microbrasserie Charlevoix (418-240-2332; $–$$) brews its own beers and serves a menu that includes pasta and seafood. Enjoy lunch at surprising Joe’s Deli Bar Smoked Meat ($) where the sandwiches are massive and tasty (and Joe is friendly and speaks English). Vice Café (418-435-0006; $), a recent addition in 2006, is a combination creperie and Internet café, serving crepes and sandwiches with live music on Friday evenings.

If you’re willing to drive a bit, La Malbaie, an hour east of Le Massif and 45 minutes from Baie-Saint-Paul, has an excellent selection of fine dining:

Le Manoir Richelieu (800-866-5577; 418-665-3703; $$$$, left), a four-star, five-diamond Fairmont resort, has several restaurants. Fresh regional cuisine is the highlight of Le Charlevoix, the fine dining room, which also showcases antiques and local art created exclusively for the restaurant. Views of the St. Lawrence River are splendid.

Auberge des 3 Canards (800-461-3761; 418-665-3761; $$$$; right) just down the hill from the Manoir Richelieu, rivals its larger and more famous neighbor with its acclaimed dining. Prepared by long-time Chef Eric Betrand from Strasbourg, France, the multi-course dinners here have won numerous awards.

L’Auberge des Peupliers (888-282-3743; 418-665-4423; $$$–$$$$) sits high atop a hill overlooking the St. Lawrence River and is one of the oldest guesthouses in the Charlevoix region. A five-course gourmet regional dinner is prepared by a renowned chef.

La Pinsonnière (800-387-4431; 418-665-4431; $$$$), a charming country inn hugging the shore in La Malbaie, serves a five-course dinner. Dinner might be extra-tender lamb raised locally as a specialty of the house, accompanied by libations from the 12,000-bottle wine cellar of mostly French wines. A most impressive collection of masterpieces from regional artists hangs on the walls of the dining room and throughout the inn.

See Québec City dining for more dining choices.

Dining: $$$$–Entrees C$30+; $$$–C$20–$30; $$–C$10–$20; $–less than C$10.