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Posts by Jason Lee

Where to eat tacos in Montréal

Think of the best taco you’ve ever had in your life. Where was it? In Mexico? In California? In your mom’s kitchen? What if I told you that Montréal’s taco scene rivals any city south of the border? Whether authentic tacos, So-Cal fusion or even Tex-Mex, Montréal has a taqueria to satisfy all of your taco cravings. Taqueria La Matraca – 4607 Saint-Denis Street This no-frills taqueria on the Plateau serves up super authentic tacos. Named after a wooden noisemaker, the atmosphere at La Matraca is often a boisterous one. Check out their tacos al pastor—trompo (vertical spit) roasted, the marinated pork is shaved and served on a warm toasted corn tortilla, topped with onions, cilantro and pineapple. Icehouse – 51 Roy Street East Icehouse isn’t exactly a taqueria, but it is known for b eing Montréal’s go-to spot for everything Tex-Mex. Fried chicken tacos, fish tacos, or even fried shrimp tacos: load up on tacos that will entice enthusiasts and offend purists. El Rey del Taco – 232 Jean-Talon Street East Located right in the Jean-Talon Market, “The King of Tacos” is another destination for authentic street food tacos. From chicken, pork and beef to lamb, chorizo and beef… / Read More →

Preview of La Poutine Week 2016 in Montréal

It’s that time of year again. That time when people reconsider the feasibility of their New Year’s resolutions and throw their arms in the air in ravenous abandon to indulge in a weeklong cheat meal from their new diet regimens to celebrate the fourth annual “La Poutine Week.” From February 1 to 7, over 40 restaurants in Montréal celebrate our unofficial-official national dish, the poutine, concocting signature dishes with adventurous ingredients to top the humble dish of French fries, cheese curds and gravy to create one of a kind poutines. For the first time ever, the 2016 edition of La Poutine Week will introduce “La Passe Poutine” a variable “frequent eater” pass (bracelet) that, when purchased, will entitle the wearer to a 15% discount on La Poutine Week specialties at selected participating restaurants. The kicker is that it may be used an unlimited amount of times throughout the week-long festival! La Passe Poutine will be available for purchase online or at the following locations: Miss Prêt à Manger (1104 Bleury Street), Chez Boris (5151 Parc Avenue), and People Mover Technologies Headquarters (485 McGill Street, suite 400). This homegrown phenomenon has grown into an international love of poutine, and “poutine week”… / Read More →

Vegetarian-friendly diners to try in Montréal

From high-end restaurants to local diners, Montréal’s culinary scene has it all. Some of our most famous and iconic restaurants don’t feature table linens and coat-checks, but are fun, laid-back affairs that sometimes don’t even have chairs. Hitting up our city’s famous “greasy spoons” for counter-top favourites like burgers and fries is an age old tradition, but what if you don’t eat meat?  Luckily, Montréal is home to a great variety of classic diners with awesome vegetarian options that will satiate your comfort-food cravings and won’t break the bank. Gibeau Orange Julep – 7700 Décarie Boulevard Although gone are the days of carhops and window-side service at the Orange Julep, “The Big Orange” remains a popular hangout. Here, vegetarian options, like veggie burgers and “Pogos” (what we call corndogs), go nicely with a tall frosty cup of Montréal’s famous julep. The pleasant doo-wop soundtrack played over loud speakers completes the wistful walk down memory lane. Restaurant L’Anecdote – 801 Rachel Street East A typical corner diner, L’Anecdote has a menu that not only consists of traditional “greasy-spoon” items like burgers and hot dogs, but also dishes that vegetarians can enjoy. Cases in point, veggie burgers with grilled tofu or a… / Read More →

Montréal seafood restaurants to try

Montréal is an island situated on the St. Lawrence Seaway, which connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to this great connection, we are home to amazing restaurants that serve some of the greatest seafood the world has to offer. Here are some of my favourites. Maestro SVP – 3615 Saint-Laurent Boulevard Maestro SVP has been a seafood destination in Montréal for over 25 years. Renowned for their oysters, this restaurant proudly boasts serving the largest variety of oysters in the city. Their blackboard oyster menu often features roughly 20 (of over 100) different kinds of our favourite bi-valve mollusks at any given time. Be sure to check out their awesome all-you-can-eat mussels special on Sunday and Mondays and their happy hour oyster special. Chez Delmo – 275 Notre-Dame Street West Located in historic Old Montréal, Chez Delmo experienced a revival when current owners gave the 80-year-old space a facelift and ushered the restaurant into the 21st century with a re-envisioned modern decor and chic atmosphere. Chez Delmo takes pride in its culinary tradition, both in its classic preparation and presentation of its dishes. Try the signature Dover sole à la meunière, served with vegetables, tomato provençale and… / Read More →

A sampling of Montréal restaurants open on Christmas Day

During the holidays, December 25 is an important day for some, but an ordinary day for others. So if you observe Christmas or are just celebrating Friday this year, here are some of Montreal’s restaurants that will be open on December 25. Chez Lévêque – 1030 Laurier Avenue West Chez Lévêque has a Holiday Season Christmas Menu that features classic French dishes with a modern twist. With dishes like crispy veal sweetbreads and pan-seared scallops, celeriac mash, morel sauce and kale chips, if you weren’t sentimental about December 25 before, this may well inspire you. Vieux-Port Steakhouse – 39 Saint-Paul Street East Christmas day brunch is a tradition for many people and if you’re in town and want to keep the tradition going, visit this Old Port landmark, the Vieux-Port Steakhouse. From a classic “American Breakfast Station” to a meat station for prime roast beef, pasta and seafood, you can give the gift of a food-coma this year.   Verses Restaurant – 100 Saint-Paul Street West Another option for brunch on the 25th is at Verses Restaurant. Pick from dishes like a hearty Steak and Eggs Benedict with horseradish Hollandaise sauce, and Yorkshire pudding or a waffle slider with tomato… / Read More →

Influential women chefs in Montréal

Montréal’s restaurant scene is rich in diversity, from the types of cuisine to the people who work behind the scenes preparing dishes that represent different areas of gastronomy. We are lucky to be home to some of the most creative culinary minds. In a male-dominated industry, women chefs have never backed down from the high-stress work environments of restaurant kitchens. Montréal is proud to have some of these talented female chefs in the city’s top-rated restaurants. Helena Loureiro – Portus Calle, Helena, Cantinho de Lisboa Executive chef/owner of the city’s most notable trifecta of Portuguese restaurants, Portus Calle, Helena and Cantinho de Lisboa, Chef Loureiro redefines Portuguese cuisine her way. With a deft hand and culinary vision, she interprets classic Portuguese dishes and family recipes with a modern touch and refinement. Whether it’s the fresh seafood at Portus Calle, the reimagined Portuguese grilled Cornish game hen at Helena, or the fresh homemade natas at Cantinho, Chef Loureiro makes it obvious that Portuguese cuisine is an essential part of the fabric that makes up the city’s culinary diversity. Fisun Ercan – Su, Barbounya Chef Ercan is the chef/owner of two of Montréal’s favourite Turkish restaurants, Su and Barbounya—located in Verdun and… / Read More →

5 must-try burgers in Montréal

Montréal usually celebrates the humble burger during Le Burger Week in September, when over 40 restaurants offer specialty burgers at awesome prices. Unfortunately for burger lovers, a lot of these creations are retired after the event, never seeing the light of day again. But fear not! Here is a list of some must-try burgers that are available in the city all year long. Uniburger – Multiple locations Uniburger is Montréal’s answer to the popular American fast food chain, In-N-Out Burger. We suggest getting the “Uniburger,” which is topped with lettuce, tomatoes and signature Uniburger sauce. Pick from a variety of free toppings to your liking. The AAA grade Canadian beef is never frozen, and the fries are cut fresh daily. Don’t forget to order a classic chocolate shake with your meal—they use local Glacier Bilboquet ice cream! Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce – 5732 Sherbrooke Street West A play on the name of the borough where it’s located (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce), Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce (or NBG as it’s referred to by locals) is a popular neighbourhood burger joint that grinds its own meat, offering deliciously pink burgers. Start by choosing a 3 or 6 oz. patty and then pick from a list of 19 “free will toppings” or 12 “creation toppings” like pickled… / Read More →

Get a room: private dining options in Montréal restaurants

It goes without saying that holiday meals full of merriment taste better when you’re surrounded by the ones you love and care about. The season of sparkle is quickly approaching and group dinner plans are inevitable. Whether it’s an intimate gathering of friends and family or if you’re in town with the gang and looking for a special place to eat, here are some places in town that offer private dining options for holiday times around the table . Restaurant L’Autre Version  – 295 Saint-Paul Street East L’Autre Version is your “bistronomic” getaway in the heart of the Old Port. Focused on local products treated with creativity and infused with international influences, Executive Chef Samuel Sauvé-Lamothe’s menu entices all palates and appetites—and is accentuated by an award-winning wine list. Their private dining room accommodates a seated dinner party or cocktails and canapés all with a magnificent view of the old city, Saint-Paul Street and the famous Marché Bonsecours. Branzino – 1800 Sherbrooke Street West A great dining experience is a simple of equation of food, atmosphere and service—a balance that the team at Branzino achieves proudly. A menu that features creative and not overly complicated dishes will wow you and… / Read More →

Tasting the autumn harvest in and around Montréal

Autumn is arguably one of the most gorgeous seasons in Québec. Not only are the stunning colours of the fall foliage beautiful to look at, but they also are donned by the fresh produce in our farmer’s markets around the city. If you’ve ever taken a stroll through Marché Jean Talon or Atwater Market at this time of year, you’ve seen the abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables enticing shoppers. If you’re looking for a fun family activity that celebrates the fall harvest, there are a few places you need to check out. Apples have long been associated with autumn, whether this means apple picking, or cooking with apples, these seasonal fruits are a mainstay in everyone’s pantry at this time of year. Head over to Le Verger Labonté on Île Perrot for some choice apple picking and family fun. With over 2,000 trees, the orchard offers 16 varieties of apples: here’s a chart of when each kind is in season (http://vergerlabonte.com/en/products-of-our-harvest/apple-varieties/). From picking your own apples to pumpkins to squash, Le Veger Labonté provides a unique farm experience, no to mention a bistro (with a menu featuring produce grown on the property) and a giant corn maze! La Ferme… / Read More →

Taste Montréal with the family during MTL à TABLE

Montréal’s restaurant week or “MTL à TABLE” is a great opportunity to check out different restaurants around the city to try delicious culinary creations for sometimes a fraction of the regular price. If you’re dining out as a family, it’s probably safe to say that half the battle is not finding a place to go, but a place where everyone will be happy with. Here are a few restaurants to check out during restaurant week that will satisfy gastronomes of all ages. Mesón – 345 Villeray Close your eyes and take a gastronomic trip to the Iberian peninsula of Spain at Mesón. Gather the gang and relax at this warm and casual neighbourhood bistro specializing in Spanish-inspired comfort food. Incorporating market-fresh produce in their dishes, with a great selection of Spanish wines and cocktails to pair, Mesón will be definitely a unique experience during the 2015 MTL à TABLE. Café Griffintown – 1378 Notre-Dame Street West Located in one of the city’s most colourful and eclectic neighbourhoods- Griffintown – Café Griffintown invites you to discover their Franco-American cuisine inspired bistro-pub menu. A live Jazz band on weekends often tops off the laid back atmosphere of charming bricked walls and casual… / Read More →