Quebec City, Que.
(Near Mt. Ste. Anne and Stoneham.)
When a friend who knows Quebec City suggested Gambrinus, we decided to check it out. We weren't disappointed. Gambrinus is Italian with a French accent and an emphasis on seafood.
It's located in the old city, across Place d'Armes from the Chateau Frontenac, and offers a non-smoking section that is truly separate from the smoking one-a rarity in this city. Though we attempted to parler Français, the maitre'd and our waiter immediately broke into English-a welcome relief.
A strolling musician helps set the tone, which is formal but not uptight. Waiters appear when needed but don't hover. And the food will have you making plans to return. The wide-ranging menu is in French with English subtitles. But the best deal, as in most Quebecois restaurants, is the daily prix-fixe table d'hote, which includes a choice of appetizer (perhaps a paté or a seafood antipasto), soup or pasta, entrée (from catch-of-the-day to caribou filet) and dessert, with prices ranging from about $15 to $25 ($22 to $35 Canadian). Save room for that dessert. The crème brulée with sirop d'érable (maple syrup) is divine. -H.N.
Information: 418-692-5144; reservations recommended.
Mt. Holly, Vt.
You have to have faith to find this restaurant. It's a rural 10 miles from Okemo-so rural we were tempted to turn back. Then the parking lot we decided to turn around in-a full lot, by the way-turned out to be Harry's. This multi-ethnic restaurant will satisfy even the pickiest eater. Meat-eater? Go for the Jamaican jerk pork. Prefer seafood? How about scallops casino. Vegetarian? Try the veggie burrito. Can't make up your mind? Make a meal from the wide-ranging appetizers. Pair the excellent Pad Thai with a Greek Salad or steamed ginger chicken wontons. The red shrimp will spice up your life-deep-fried in a red curry batter and drizzled with hot red chili, garlic and lemon sauce. There's even a kids menu, with favorites such as chicken fingers and buttered spaghetti. Many restaurants attempt such a wide-ranging, multi-ethnic menu, but few succeed as Harry's does. -H.N.