Spag&tini Restaurant Review

Photo: Nelson Peters

From under a row of blue and yellow umbrellas on the Petit Champlain come the gentle sounds of conversation, silverware clinking with plates, and servers bustling to and from the kitchen carrying orders. Here at the foot of the Chateau Frontenac, local restauranteurs Caroline Bergeron and Dominique Roy are trying to attract more local customers to their tourist-frequented Italian resto.

"Our location is very important here in attracting visitors to Quebec," says Bergeron, "but we want people to know that we are not just for tourists. We have spent a lot of time ensuring that we offer a complete experience, focusing the quality of food, improving service, and keeping prices reasonable. We try to receive our customers the same way we would guests to our home."

Spag&tini is a family restaurant serving a variety of Italian foods, such as lasagna, pasta, pizza, and of course spaghetti. In existence since 1984, the restaurant has undergone several changes in its time, the latest in 2006 when Bergeron and Roy undertook $125 000 worth of renovations to improve their dining area and found a new logo and trademark for their business.

"We are not just spaghetti," says Bergeron, "although it's still our specialty. We have changed our menu to include a variety of items, such as steak, veal, and fish."

Spag&tini profits from an excellent location, within sight of the St. Lawrence River and at the heart of Quebec's historic area.

Bergeron and Roy run the restaurant as a husband-wife team, spending much time at the restaurant overseeing its operation and helping out when they can.

"We have different strengths, so we complement each other," says Bergeron. She doesn't hesitate to add, "I don't know if I could do it without him."

Caroline Bergeron grew around the restaurant business - her father had 9 restaurants, including one at the present site of Spag&tini. Before entering the restaurant business with her husband, Caroline worked at Campbell Soup as a Sales Director. "Working there gave me a lot of tools and training that I could use here," says Bergeron.

Always looking for a challenge, Bergeron and Roy hope to open another restaurant in the Quebec area in the near future, and perhaps expand their Spag&tini brand across Quebec and maybe even the rest of the country.

The restaurant boasts a large outdoor patio area, kept cool by a breeze from the river. Inside the restoration work shows off - a tasteful white decor takes advantage of the architecture, which provides a quiet, cozy ambience. There is also a 28 seat private room available for private parties, such as family functions, work meetings, or any other excuse to get together and have a good time.

"All of our service staff speak English as well as French, and several speak Spanish too," says Bergeron. "It's a multicultural workplace."

Located just across from the Levis-Quebec ferry crossing near Place Royale, Spag&tini is open year round.