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Posts by Jason Lee

Delicious salads to savour in Montréal

With farmer’s markets in Montréal such as the Jean Talon and Atwater, there’s no excuse for not filling our plates and packing our summer meals with local and seasonal good-for-you veggies that are bright and vibrant at the peak of the season. I was challenged to find some of the city’s tastiest salads and, when the mercury topped 33 degrees and I dared not fire up the BBQ, I gladly accepted. Mandy’s Mandy’s Salads first started as a modest lunch counter and has now expanded to three locations across the island.  Owned and operated by two sisters with a certain passion for salads, this spot satisfies the salad cravings and guilty consciences of everyone.  They have 15 signature salads like the “Smoked Meat Salad”, the “Man Salad” and the “Wolfe Bol” – aptly named after the sisters – of mixed greens, arugula, brown rice, kale, cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts, avocado, shaved parmesan, carrots and sesame seeds in their own tamari dressing.  Mandy’s also offers a “create your own salad” where you can pick and choose from a list of ingredients to order a personalize creation. Mandy’s 5033 Sherbrooke West, 2067 Crescent Street, 201 Laurier Avenue West Deville Dinerbar The “Neptune… / Read More →

4 Montréal Rooftop Terrasses to discover (or rediscover!)

The days are slowly getting shorter and nights are getting cooler but it’s still August! That doesn’t mean there isn’t enough summer left to squeeze in a few more patio sessions before we break out the down-filled parkas and winter tires. The city is filled with patios – or what we call in Montréal “terrasses”. Dining al fresco or stopping by to enjoy a drink or two before a night out on the town, there’s nothing more satisfying than enjoying the weather or basking in the city lights on a rooftop terrasse. Hyatt Regency | Six Resto Lounge Enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling Place des festivals from the terrasse at the Hyatt Regency’s Six Resto Lounge. Overlooking the iconic esplanade of Place des Arts, the restaurant’s ultra-chic lounge pours out onto their patio where plush sofas and ample seating await you. Take advantage of their Thursday Happy Hour event (Les Jeudis en Vue) from 5 pm to 7 pm: The terrasse is open to the public to enjoy a trendy atmosphere featuring a live DJ, outdoor bar and grill. Hyatt Regency | Six Resto Lounge 1255 Jeanne-Mance Street Le Newtown Nestled in the heart of downtown Montréal,… / Read More →

A sneak peek at Montréal’s 2015 Burger Week

The 2015 edition of Le Burger Week marks the fourth year Montréalers will be celebrating a gussied-up and glorified backyard barbecue staple. From September 1 to  7, visitors and locals alike will top off their blood pressure medication in preparation for this week-long event set up to tantalize the burger lover in all of us. The concept is simple, local restaurants are carefully selected to create a signature burger that reflects the cuisine and overall concept of their restaurant. This burger will be offered at a reduced “Burger Price” as an incentive for hungry burger-lovers to seek out participating Burger Week restaurants to vote on their favourite one. Here is a sneak peek at the burgers to come! Brasserie Artisanale L’amère à Boire | “Burger aux saveurs des sous-bois” Sous-bois aromas, Imperial Stout beef patty, 2-year aged, smoked cheddar, mushroom marmalade, and arugula. Bar Brutus | “The 6 Pack” Onion bread, cheese-curd stuffed beef patty wrapped in 6 slices of bacon, pickles, lettuce, fried onions, homemade BBQ sauce. Bâton Rouge | “Big Devil Burger” Pub Bishop & Bagg | “Brawn Burger” Breaded, fried slice of brawn (pork and beef terrine), melted white cheddar, cucumber, caper, Dijon sauce, fresh tomato, arugula,… / Read More →

Food and fun at Montréal’s 7th annual Oysterfest

Montréalers will celebrate almost anything and more often than not, we’ll party hardest in the name of food. One of the most highly anticipated summer food festivals is one that not only visitors to the city plan their entire family vacations to attend, but locals plan their weekends around as well.  This year marks the 7th edition of the wildly popular “Oysterfest”, a two-day event taking place at the Canadian Parks Heritage site, the Peel Basin and over the weekend of August 29 and 30. Oysterfest started as a dream and was realized in 2007 when founder Daniel Notkin put together a modest event that drew a meager 150 attendees and a handful of participants and sponsors. Experiencing exponential growth through the past seven years, it is projected that the 2015 edition of Oysterfest will attract over 8,000 guests while featuring over 80 restaurants and vendors where over 25,000 oysters are expected to be devoured. This event is renowned for bringing together restaurants, industry professionals and the general public all in the name of delicious food, a party atmosphere while encouraging a socially conscious mandate of promoting ocean sustainability and aquatic-life awareness. The Open Pier Conservatory (also founded by Notkin)… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Antonio Park

Chef Antonio Park’s road to culinary notoriety has taken him through three continents, five cities, and countless kitchens. This due diligence to his craft has ultimately helped shape his culinary ethos that blends the tastes and flavours of his youth (having grown up in South-America) and the techniques procured while working in kitchens in Tokyo, Osaka, New York, and Toronto. This direction has facilitated the development of a style of cuisine that is uniquely his own – “a blend of the countries I’ve lived in and the cultures that formed me. The international recognition of his Restaurant Park has solidified his role of one of Montréal’s culinary ambassadors bring “his” city to the world’s stage. Having been listed in The Diner’s Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, as well as securing a spot on “must visit” lists of local and international food critics, Restaurant Park is undoubtedly a destination restaurant no matter where you’re from. I had the opportunity to chat with Chef Park in the middle of his busy workday. A typical day that consists of personally talking to local farmers and producers, overseeing his row of Westmount restaurant kitchens – Park, Marché Park and Lavanderia – receiving orders… / Read More →

6 Montréal doughnuts you must try

The humble doughnut is no longer considered a lowly breakfast confectionary and a food sponge to dip into your coffee. As more and more coffee shops and bakeries add this to their menus, this delicious gluten ring has reached a popularity of gastronomic proportions. Iconic Montréal foods include smoked meat sandwiches, poutines, steamies (steamed hot dogs) bagels and now we can add doughnuts to that list. Léché Desserts (640 De Courcelle Street) Josie Weitzenbauer, founder and head baker at Léché Desserts, is one of Montréal’s premiere doughnut pushers. The shop is located in Saint-Henri, but it’s not uncommon to see people toting her doughnuts in Léché’s signature bright pink boxes around town. With choices like pistachio cream, sweet miso and sesame, double chocolate brownie and my personal favourite, peanut butter and jelly; her doughnut roster reads like a sugar fiend’s blacklist. One cannot visit Montréal without having a Léché Doughnut. CRémy Pâtisserie (2202 Du Mont-Royal Avenue East) You may recognize the CRémy Mobile at various food truck gatherings or city festivals around the island of Montréal. Luring doughnut fanatics of all ages with their gargantuan doughnut creations, the team at CRémy Pâtisserie recently renovated their retail location to include seating… / Read More →

Montréal frozen treats to beat the heat

If you’re like me and love ice cream, then you don’t need a reason to enjoy an awesome cone of ice cream, gelato or cup or sorbet… or even a box of creamsicles any time of year. One of the days I anticipate the most is when I see my local “crèmerie” (ice cream parlor) come out of hibernation and set up shop for the summer. After the spring thaw, there’s nothing more satisfying than downing a frozen treat in Montréal in the summer months, here are some of my favourite places to go. Monsieur Crémeux : 43 Rue Beaubien East A popular draw at most food truck gatherings in Montréal, the Monsieur Crémeux ice cream truck (by restaurant scene veteran Martin Juneau and Louis-Philippe Breton,) recently opened their first brick-and-mortar location on the edge of Little Italy just in time for summer.  Make sure to load up your cup or top your cone with some of Mr. Crémeux’s homemade toppings like their peanut and pretzel crumble or even their luscious strawberry sundae sauce. Look out for their ice cream carts patrolling the city’s festivals this summer! Les Givrés: Multiple locations This ice cream shop recently opened up their second location… / Read More →

Late Night Dining in Montréal

Summer in Montréal is an exciting time of year. From festival after festival, sidewalk sales, movies in the park and a plethora of other activities and events to keep you busy, there’s no rest of the weary. Keeping yourself fueled for late night walks along the cobbled stone streets of Old Montréal or taking in the sights and sounds of Place des Festivals is essential. In a city that barely sleeps during the summer, here are some of my favourite places for late night dining. L’Express: 3927 Saint-Denis Street The quintessential Parisian-style French bistro will transport you back to the days when you were a struggling poet pouring your heart and soul into your unappreciated work over a coq au vin in some bistro along Boulevard Saint-Germain. That wasn’t you? Well, you’ll feel like it was. Open until 3 am daily and 2 am on Sundays, L’Express is a popular dining destination for locals at any hour. With dishes like their famous bone marrow starter to calf liver with tarragon, their take on classic French dishes will leave you wanting more. Leméac: 1045 Laurier Avenue West Leméac is another great bistro that will satiate your stomach with French classics and… / Read More →

Where to Eat Authentic Japanese Food in Montréal

In a multicultural city like Montréal, you can find almost every kind of cuisine in every part of the city. A short Métro ride in any direction will open up a fantastic new borough with tastes and flavours for you to discover. Japanese cuisine is one of my favourites. Far more than just sushi, food from the Land of the Rising Sun is so versatile that it spans the entire culinary spectrum, from pub grub all the way to fine dining. Here are some of my much-loved, authentic Japanese restaurants in Montréal. Imadake Izakaya (4006 Sainte-Catherine W.) If you’re ever around Shaughnessy Village don’t be frightened if you hear loud thundering claps followed by boisterous cheers. It’s just the patrons at Imadake doing sake bombs! Imadake is Montréal’s go-to place for genuine Japanese pub fare and beverages. All menu items are commonly found on side street izakayas (Japanese pubs) in the heart of Tokyo. Pig out on yakitori, takoyaki, pork belly okonomiyaki, and the establishment’s famous miso gindara—marinated black cod grilled to caramelized perfection. Imadake also has an extensive cocktail menu, as well as Sapporo beer and Gekkeikan sake on tap. Kyozon (1458 Crescent) This multi-storey Japanese restaurant and bar… / Read More →

A roundup of new terrasses in Montréal

Contrary to popular belief, Montréal only has two seasons: hockey season and terrasse season. When we’re not busy counting Stanley cup rings and reminiscing about the ones that got away, our other favourite pastime is dining al fresco. We love to eat out under the sun or star-lit sky and take advantage of the warm summer months. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, from after-work drinks to fine dining, there’s a terrasse that suits your needs. Here are some of the city’s newest terrasses not to be missed this summer. Pizzeria GEMA (6827 St-Dominique) The popular Little Italy Pizzeria of chefs Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita recently added a terrasse to their restaurant. Devouring one of their incredible pizzas under the sun just adds a whole new meaning to al fresco dining. The menu at GEMA features signature pizzas, like the Vetri (homemade mortadella, pecorino, pistachio pesto, and Quebec mozzarella di bufala), as well as monthly specials that are inspired by local chefs and other culinary friends. Whether it’s with a pizza or a cup of GEMA’s frozen custard treats, take in the sights and sounds of Montréal’s Little Italy from this vantage point. Ma’tine (1310, Maisonneuve Est)… / Read More →