in a quick visit to magog/n.hatley area, we revisited two favorites:
auberge hatley, in n.hatley is acclaimed by some as the best restaurant in quebec - I dont have the data points to agree (and weve never been to dinner, in the dining room) but we have been greatly pleased by our lunches there, delicate and refined cuisine, caring service by the waitresses (minimal english, however), beautiful view from the terrace, great price for what you get. Our meal (a la carte at lunch) included as appetizers a cool and deeply flavored tomato "soup" , slightly tinged with cumin, with a dollop of wonderful contrasting tomato "ice" in the middle, extremely flavorful squid stuffed with crab (best dish we had), main courses were codfish, VERY lightly cooked, with a light herbal viniagrette - for me this was too subtle - and a dish of scallops, again very lightly cooked, in a coconut curry sauce, garnished with strips of lightly-candied lemon peel and chervil. Menu includes meats, fowl and and foie gras as well as fish - my choice of two soupy dishes with subtle asian flavor accents was a little eccentric perhaps - I would have loved to try more dishes. Wine list is expensive and extensive, but the somewhat assertive and coppery-toned southern french white we chose was reasonable value and very tasty and refreshing on a hot and sunny day. Dessert was an assortment of three sorbets and one ice cream, the latter flavored with thyme and very, very good, the others, a deep raspberry, tangerine, and the best of all, an excellent green apple. My husband gobbled down the plate of small pastries which came with the coffee as well as the excellent tuille that came with my ices - the only jarring note was the tiny interpretation of choc chip cookies which did not rise above the banal. A week later we read that Jacques Chirac had arrived at the Auberge for a vacation - another indication of the high quality of their cuisine.
I had previously reported that there was an excellent patisserie/boulangerie on the main strip in North Hatley, but this has disappeared, replaced by a cafe.
For a taste of what the locals eat, you may want to check out the simple epicerie/boucherie on the chemin du parc in Orford, just outside of the main entrance to the Mount Orford provinicial park and the Arts Centre, with home made sausages, fresh meat and fruit pies and local fruit, or the huge new Metro supermarket in the center of Magog, with a large range of canadian baked goods (including sugar pies), artisanal cheeses and local fruit.