The Most Decadent Food City Anthony Bourdain Ever Visited

If you've been sleeping on Quebec's food scene, wake up. At least, that's what Anthony Bourdain would probably tell you. The chef-slash-writer named Quebec the most decadent food city he ever visited. In an interview with the organized fighting magazine Bloody Elbow (Bourdain was an avid practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu), when asked whether France or Quebec took first prize for decadence, he named Quebec — especially impressive considering Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" guide through France was none other than Chef Daniel Boulud himself.

"They're aggressively hospitable in Montreal. They're just not going to be happy until you're dead; until they've killed you with fine wine, delicious cheeses, and wonderful meats," Bourdain told the outlet. In the Quebec "Parts Unknown" episode, Bourdain was guided by restaurateurs Dave McMillan and Fred Morin of Joe Beef. "It takes a special breed to live in a province like Quebec," Bourdain narrated. "It gets cold in winter, and the winters are long." And yet, Bourdain still describes the city as home to his most decadent experience.

He goes ice-fishing on the St. Lawrence River, traps a beaver, and dines at Le Continental where he eats a salad topped with sauteed duck hearts and an entrée alone runs from $43 to $104. Quebec is world-renowned for its poutine, shish taouk, and Montreal bagels. But when Bourdain visited, perhaps his most memorable (and believe it or not, most luxurious) Quebec experience was the dinner he ate in a wooden shack in the middle of a frozen lake.

Feeling Quebecois with foie gras

In classic "Parts Unknown" fashion, things were not always as they at first seem, and this was far from an ordinary ice-fishing cabin or an ordinary meal. It started with oxtail consommé, chilled lobster à la Parisian, and lièvre à la royale — "a boneless wild hare in a sauce of its own blood" with slabs of seared foie gras over potato puree.

For the cheese course, "A voluptuously-reeking époisses that less-hearty outdoorsmen might call 'overripe,' but not us," — a treat for the outspoken runny cheese fan. Bourdain finished the meal with chartreuse, a Cuban cigar, and a layer cake with almond and hazelnut meringue and chocolate buttercream.

Quoth Bourdain to his dining companions, "You are hopeless romantics when it comes to the art of living" — and he had a point. Later in the episode, while traveling on the rail, he dined on sturgeon caviar, an omelet topped with freshly-shaved "fist-sized" truffles, and a side of (again) foie gras. Earlier, he sipped a white burgundy natural wine with glacier bay oysters as a snack.

"The stuff is all so good and so legendary, you figure, 'I'll never see a wine this good again. I guess I'll have to drink it,'" Bourdain told Bloody Elbow. "It's a week in rehab after episodes like that." Indeed, Bourdain's ex-wife Ottavia Busia even playfully tweeted, "There was much more of @Bourdain when he got back from this Canadian trip #partsunknown."