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Posts by Jason Lee

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 →

5 cool Montréal ice cream shops to pop into this summer

It’s spring! We’re counting down the days until the warm weather sweeps into town, kicking off the summer season and, of course, some of the city’s hottest festivals.  When the mercury rises, the best way to beat the heat is to bring on the cold, right? So here’s the scoop on some of Montréal’s coolest ice cream parlors to check out this summer. Le Glacier Bilboquet – multiple locations Bilboquet is one of the city’s premiere gourmet ice cream shops that has been around for 30 years! With seven locations in and around the island of Montréal, this summer mainstay offers high quality handmade artisanal ice creams and sorbets using farm fresh and local ingredients. They proudly source their dairy products from the Saguenay region, chocolate from the Montérégie and seasonal fruits from the Eastern Townships and parts of Ontario, all in the effort of promoting local businesses and industry. Staff t-shirts are even made with organic cotton grown in Québec! La Diperie – 68 Avenue des Pins East As the same suggests, this ice cream shop is all about the dips – 15 to be exact! Their luscious soft serve cones are dipped in Belgian chocolate-based dips with flavours… / Read More →

A Round-up of Irish Pubs to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Even if you’re not Irish, there comes a day once a year when everyone sports their finest green and shamrocks in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Montréal is home to the longest running St. Patrick’s Day parade in Canada – 190 years and counting – that attracts locals and visitors alike to pack the parade route and enjoy the sights and sounds of Celtic pride. Whether it’s on the special day (March 17) itself or any other night of the week, Montréal is home to some awesome pubs that are sure to fill you with Irish spirit. McKibbin’s Irish Pub – 1426 Bishop Street With three locations, McKibbin’s Irish Pub is for many the go-to place for the quintessential Irish experience. Their Bishop Street location is often the epicenter of St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the heart of downtown Montréal with two floors to host green-clad patrons. Be sure to try their traditional Irish stew – tender lamb braised in a Guinness broth with potatoes and carrots – a recipe that has been a part of the McKibbin’s family since 1912. Hurley’s Irish Pub – 225 Crescent‎ Street If a more laid-back atmosphere is what you’re looking for, Hurley’s Irish… / Read More →

Authentic Italian restaurants in Montréal

Montréal’s Italian community has deep roots in the city and is reflected from one end of town to the other. If you’re in the mood for some authentic Italian eats, you’ll find lots of solid dining choices no matter where you are in Montréal. A good place to start is Montréal’s Little Italy, home to tons of restaurants, cafes, and social clubs that have become local institutions. These establishments have recently welcomed a new kid on the block, Impasto, which embodies a new breed of eateries that are shaping the next chapter of Italian culinary creations. Impasto (48 Dante Street) Impasto is the property of local Montréal television celebrity chef Stefano Faita and seasoned veteran of the Montréal restaurant scene, Chef Michele Forgione. Located in the heart of Little Italy, Impasto’s menu is inspired by the fresh produce and products at the famous Jean-Talon Market around the corner. From seasonal variations of rustic dishes to classic menu mainstays like Chef Michele’s famous Porchetta Del Nonno, a traditional rolled boneless pork roast rich in rosemary and herbs, to any of Impasto’s homemade pastas, all options are great.   Industria Brasserie (100 Peel Street, #112) Over in Montréal’s rapidly up and coming Griffintown neighbourhood, Industria Brasserie, offers a modern… / Read More →

All you can eat buffets in Montréal

Amidst the thousands of restaurants in the city that offer the very best of Québecois terroir cuisine lead by kitchen teams and international award winning chefs, whether we all admit to it or not, everyone holds a soft spot in their heart for a banging all you can eat buffet. Pavillon 67 (1 Du Casino Avenue) If a more western style all you can eat buffet is more your style, be sure to visit Pavillon 67 located in the iconic Casino de Montréal, and headed by Jean-Pierre Curtat. Enjoy the buffet formula of “abundance” and “gourmet” with breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence seaway and skyline of the city. The concept of Pavillon 67 is that most of the buffet food is prepared in front of the guest – a rotisserie station sees whole roasted turkeys and chicken carved to order, as well as succulent whole-roasts sliced to perfection. Pavillion 67 also offers a brunch buffet on weekends. Jardin De Jade Poon Kai Restauran (67 De la Gauchetière Street West) What’s a Chinatown without the quintessential Chinese buffet? Rows upon rows of steam tables with trays of classic and non-traditional Chinese dishes; Jardin De Jade Poon Kai Restaurant offers all your favourite Cantonese, Szechuan… / Read More →

Montréal celebrates food all year round

Montrealers love to celebrate anything and everything, especially food and drink. Here are the top 15 food events that you need to look out for! Je t’aime en chocolat A weekend-long event dedicated to all things chocolate. Join chocolate vendors and experience seminars by the Academy of Chocolate and a chocolate fashion show, all for free at Bonsecours Market. Annually in February (2016 dates to be confirmed). La Poutine Week Some 40 restaurants around the city create signature poutines – our official-unofficial dish – in a bid to win the title of the city’s best poutine. Annually in February (2016 dates to be confirmed). Mondial des cidres Taking place at the Grande-Place of Complexe Desjardins, this event introduces over 300 varieties of sparkling, still, and ice cider made locally in Québec. Annually in February (2016 dates to be confirmed). MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE The 16th edition runs until March 1. One of the largest festivals in the world celebrating winter, Montréal en Lumiere pairs world renowned chefs with some of the city’s finest tables to create menus and wine pairings offering unforgettable experiences. Aperitivo Montréal’s Little Italy invites you to experience the Italian tradition of “Aperitivo” (a European version of happy hour). From February 4 to March 25different… / Read More →

Light up your taste buds during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE

Winter winds may blow, but Montrealers don’t let frosty temperatures dampen their spirits: we embrace the season and celebrate it. One way we shake off the cold is with one of the world’s largest winter festivals, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIERE, from February 19 to March 1. For 11 days, visitors and locals alike can experience the pleasure of a Montréal winter through a unique program of activities that brings together performing arts, free outdoor family-friendly activities and, most importantly, gastronomy! Since 2000, over 500 world-renowned chefs have been paired with local culinary talent at the city’s finest tables to express their passion for the art of food. Here are some of the gastronomy events not to be missed. Honorary President of the festival, Pierre-André Ayer from the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Pérolles – voted western Switzerland’s chef of the year –joins host Jérôme Ferrer at Europea. He will be presenting a six-course meal of dishes that have helped build his reputation. The two Honorary President Dinners will be accompanied by some of Switzerland’s finest vintages never seen before in Montréal, hand-picked by Paolo Basso, named World’s Best Sommelier in 2013. Twice Michelin-starred chef Reto Lampart joins Riccardo Bertolino and Daniel Boulud and… / Read More →

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Montréal with authentic Chinese food

Chinese New Year is a time to recognize and pay homage to deities and ancestors. Certain customs and traditions arise when welcoming the New Year, including a thorough cleaning of the home, giving loved ones “lucky money” in vibrant red envelopes and burning firecrackers to welcome good luck and scare away bad mojo. But nothing brings people together – especially in a time of celebration – like food! So here are some authentic Chinese restaurants you need to check out for Chinese New Year. Restaurant Beijing When you want authentic Chinese fare, your first thought would be packing up your bags and traveling to Beijing; and you’re absolutely right! Lucky for you, now you can enjoy that amazing Chinese food without leaving the city: just head for Restaurant Beijing. This local spot in Chinatown has got you covered from Cantonese classics like an extensive list of fried noodles, sizzling platters, as well as a respectable vegetarian menu. Restaurant Beijing (92 De la Gauchetière Street West) Qing Hua It’s tradition to eat dumplings on the New Year. Chinese dumplings are often wrapped or pleated to look like gold or silver ingots – boat shaped “bars”, where it is said that the… / Read More →

Casa de Mateo: a classic in Old Montréal for authentic Mexican eats

There are a handful of restaurants in Montréal that belong to an elite list of establishments that span decades of being in business. Local places that not only add to the vast array of culinary choices offered in Montréal, but help define our multicultural city. From steakhouses to delis, from the Mile End to Griffintown, there are numerous institutions that have helped mold the gastronomic spectrum of Montréal, and one of those places is Casa de Mateo. In the heart of Old Montréal, steps from all major attractions like the Notre-Dame Basilica, as well as galleries, boutiques and public transit, Casa de Mateo has been charming locals and visitors alike for over 25 years with their charisma and Mexican cuisine. Serving traditional classics like the “Pescado Veracruzano”, a Veracruz specialty of fresh whole red snapper delicately fried in garlic, to more contemporary takes on Mexican cuisine inspired by Québec terroir like the “Pato con mole verde” – two tender legs of duck dipped in a flavourful blend of Serrano chillies and tomatillos, spiced with ground pumpkin and sesame seeds; the extensive menu at Casa de Mateo appeals to all palates. The property exudes the Latin spirit of hospitality and embraces the 200‑year old building… / Read More →