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Posts by Mayssam Samaha

Where to enjoy natural wines in Montréal

For the past few years, the term “natural wine” has carved itself a larger spot in our daily vernacular as well as on restaurants’ menus. The natural wine phenomenon is nothing new but its “rebirth” and its newfound popularity is. This latest buzzword designates wines that have been grown and processed with minimal intervention and no added chemicals. Instead of trying to control nature, natural wine producers embrace and work with it. This produces wines that are a true representation of their unique terroir. The natural wave hit Montréal a few years ago and the city has since become one of the best in the world to enjoy these funky wines. Several restaurants in town boast a great carte de vins natures that are fun to explore. Pastaga is one of the first restaurants in Montréal to popularize natural wines since it’s opening in 2011. The opening of its sister restaurant and wine shop Cul Sec located around the corner, has consolidated the natural wine love affair these two spots have going. Vin Papillon’s sommelière Vanya Filipovic’s passion for great wines and fantastic winemakers is evident in the care and research that goes in the creation of the restaurant’s outstanding… / Read More →

Festival YUL EAT is back in Montréal this labour day weekend

The third edition of Festival YUL EAT is coming back to Quai de l’Horloge in Old Montréal on Labour Day weekend (September 3, 4 and 5). After last year’s very successful edition, this year’s chapter promises to be even better and more delicious. Free admission tickets will give festivalgoers access to the main site at the Old Port’s Clock Tower Quay where many food trucks will be parked to feed the hungry crowds. The full schedule hasn’t been revealed yet, so keep checking the YULEAT website for details. The YULEAT Festival will also include several other experiences, which we’ve detailed here below. YUL EAT Experience Festivalgoers who purchase tickets to the YUL EAT Experience will have access to a private zone where talented chefs and industry experts, winemakers and local artisans will be presiding over workshops and demos, food stands and wine and spirit tastings. Many industry experts such as chef and TV star Martin Juneau, pastry chef extraordinaire Patrice Demers, chefs Marc-André Jetté, Danny St-Pierre, oyster connoisseur Daniel Notkins and many more will be participants in this portion of the festival. Festivalgoers will also be able to attend some roundtables on some interesting topics pertaining to the culinary industry,… / Read More →

Great Greek restaurants in Montréal

If breaking plates were allowed as seen in movies, Greek restaurants would be the most fun spots in town! Vandalism aside, Greek cuisine, although simple, is one of the tastiest, especially in summer when one can leisurely sample a variety of cold and warm mezzes (Greek tapas) and a few grilled specialties. Below are some of our favourite Greek restaurants in Montréal. Milos –  5357 Du Parc Avenue New York, Athens, Miami, Vegas and London, the Milos empire reaches far and wide but the original one where it all started is on the famous Du Parc Avenue in Montréal. Freshness and authenticity are what made Estiatorio Milos one of the best fine dining establishments in Montréal. The fish is imported daily from the Mediterranean, the olive oil is Milos’ own private label, the vegetables are locally sourced and everything else, including the service, is tended to with much care and professionalism. The Milos Special, a mountain of thinly sliced, battered and deep fried crispy zucchini and eggplants served with tzatziki are a must, as are any of the fish on display. Fresh Grilled #Shrimp and Warm Weather – This Is Turning Out To Be A #Beautiful September 👌😉 #yum#yummy#igers#igersmontreal#livemontreal#igdaily#instafood#instagood#instalike#instalove#DDO#food#foodie#foodpic#foodgasm#Greek#Grecque#Fresh#delicious#greekfood#Laval#Montreal#montrealfood#mtlfood#photooftheday Une… / Read More →

Where to eat around the Rogers Cup

The 2016 edition of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank has descended once again upon Montréal. From July 22 to 31, the best female tennis players will be competing at Uniprix Stadium. Crowds of tennis lovers will be heading to Villeray to watch the games and since you might want to know where to fuel up while you’re in this trendy part of town, below is a list of some of our favourite restaurants and watering holes. Parfaite soirée @huisclosvilleray ✨👌🏼 #huisclosvilleray #mtl #montreal #mtlblog #somontreal #yul #livemontreal #montrealmoments #decouvrezvilleray #villeray #tartare #food #foodie #colorfull #summer #sundayfunday Une photo publiée par Caroline Robert (@ca_rockab) le 24 Juil. 2016 à 19h42 PDT Huis Clos: If you’re an oyster lover, then this is the spot for you. Huit Clos also serves classic fare that go well with their extensive beer, cocktail and wine menus. Impasto is one of the best authentic Italian restaurants in Montréal and it just happens to be a few blocks away from the tennis courts. Indulge in luscious pasta dishes and delectable homemade salumi as well as great desserts. It’s open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays. Bistro L’Enchanteur has become somewhat of a neighbourhood institution for… / Read More →

Québec culture and food in Montréal according to Félipé St-Laurent

Job: Founder of Ils en fument du bon and Les bons buveurs How long have you been a Montrealer? Since I was 17. I started out in Saint-Bruno. I didn’t really listen in school and I couldn’t wait to go to Montréal and have fun. It wasn’t exciting enough for me on the South Shore! Talk to us a bit about how you started your business, Ils en fument du bon. I was lucky enough in my life to meet Ulysse Leuenberger who was 75 years old and made every imaginable kind of sausage in his garage. For two and a half years, I went every Monday to learn how to make them. Making sausages became a hobby that I did in my spare time. One day, I was tired of wearing a suit and tie and I wanted to create something that felt more like me. Ils en fument du bon started in the trunk of my car! I took my mentor’s recipes for fresh sausages and I added my own twist. He freaked out because I was putting chunks of smoked meat, truffles and foie gras in my sausages. I promoted these unique products on social media saying,… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: David McMillan

David McMillan is without a doubt one of Montréal’s most famous, larger-than-life personalities. The co-owner of Joe Beef, Le Vin Papillon and Liverpool House has been cooking in Montréal for the past 20 years and is one of the driving forces behind the city’s food renaissance and Little Burgundy’s revival in the past decade. We sat down with him to discuss food, wine and the past, present and future state of the Montréal culinary scene. Job: Co-owner of Joe Beef restaurant Favourite pastime: I spend a lot of time at my house in the Laurentians. I’m into “off-grid” living. How long have you been a Montrealer? All my life, born and raised. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I got an old wooden boat from 1962 and I’m going to start restoring it tonight in my garage. It’s a 16-foot sloop that needs TLC. It’s going to be my wife’s boat. I have a fishing boat, which is my boat, my bass boat. This is kind of a “status” boat on my lake. Everyone who lives on a lake in the Laurentians has a fancy boat that they take out for special occasions. It’s like having… / Read More →

A roundup of Montréal’s public markets

If you travel for food, then you probably like to visit local markets. They’re the most direct–and colorful!–way of going on a delectable tour of what the local culinary culture is all about. You will discover seasonal ingredients, unique local specialties and colourful characters to chat with. Below are some of Montréal’s favourite public markets. Jean-Talon Market The Jean-Talon Market is one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in North America. It started out as a lacrosse field in the north part of Montréal. The city bought the land after the economic crash of 1929 in order to build a market and create jobs. The market–then called Marché du Nord–opened in 1933 and was mostly frequented by Greek, Italian, Vietnamese and Irish immigrants who bought live poultry and meat on Fridays and Saturdays. The Jean-Talon Market is located in the heart of the Little Italy neighbourhood and open year round. It counts 150 local fruit and vegetable vendors at the height of the season, between May and November. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the market counts flower stalls, an SAQ (Quebec Alcohol Society), spice shops, butchers, cheese and fish mongers, a chocolate shop, an ice cream parlor, an… / Read More →

A selection of our favourite Montréal pizzerias

It seems like Montréal has been developing a love affair with all things pizza in the last couple of years. Parlour after parlour keep opening up and thriving. Whether you prefer Neapolitan, Roman, New York, Montréal or a very unique style to your pizza, below are some of our favourites organized by neighbourhood. DOWNTOWN Fiorellino Fiorellino offers great Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in a wood burning oven. Café Parvis A unique decor, a hip and unpretentious ambiance, great coffee and delicious pizze, including a breakfast one for weekend brunch. La brigade Neapolitan style pizza with a twist in the heart of downtown Montréal where you customize your pie from a variety of toppings available. Enoteca Mozza Pizzeria If you find yourself craving a pizza while walking around downtown Montréal, this dynamic spot is just what you’re looking for.   LITTLE ITALY Bottega Pizzeria Bottega is a Little Italy favourite and serves great pasta dishes, gelato and of course, lovely, Napoletana-style pizza made in their famous, red-tiled, wood burning oven. Pizzeria Gema Try the classic 1889, the bitter and tangy Menina (my favourite) or go for the ever-surprising pizza of the month inspired by great culinary talents such a as local chefs… / Read More →

A selection of great cookbooks by some of Montréal’s best chefs

For the past few years, some of Montréal best chefs have been publishing outstanding cookbooks. To bring some of these delicious recipe books and some of these chefs’ cuisines home, below is a list of our favourites. Montreal Cooks: A Tasting Menu from the City’s Leading Chefs Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer Bring home 80 recipes by 40 of Montréal’s best chefs. The recipes are written with the home cook in mind so they are not only delicious but also very accessible.             True North Derek Dammann & Chris Johns Chef Derek Damman’s indisputable culinary talent shines through in this book that is an homage to this big country of ours and its unique products and food purveyors.             The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts David McMillan, Frederic Morin and Meredith Erickson Although the recipes in this book are very interesting and illustrate well chefs Fred Morin and David McMillan’s unique interpretation of French cuisine, they play second fiddle to the stories told. The chefs passion for food and for Montréal is palpable and is absolutely contagious!           Toqué! Creators of a new Quebec gastronomy… / Read More →

Montréal restaurants shine on Canada’s 100 Best for 2016

Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list for 2016 was revealed yesterday. Congratulations to all 100 restaurants and most specifically, to the 23 Montréal restaurants that have made it onto this most prestigious lineup. No. 1: Toqué! – 900 Place Jean-Paul Riopelle Chef Normand Laprise’s avant-garde thinking fueled ingredient-driven cuisine in Montréal. He has managed to stay on top of his game – and indeed, ahead of it – for the past 20 years. No. 4: Joe Beef – 2491 Notre Dame Street West Chefs David McMillan and Fred Morin’s little restaurant has become synonymous with Montréal cuisine and has put the city on the culinary map. No. 5: Le Vin Papillon – 2519 Notre Dame Street West Joe Beef’s vegetable-centric little sister is helmed by Chef Marc-Olivier Frappier and boasts one of the most impressive wine lists in Montréal curated by sommelier and co-owner Vanya Filipovic. No. 19: Park – 378 Victoria Avenue Chef Antonio Park serves some of the freshest sushi in town, prepared in a traditional way but with the chef’s Argentinian and Korean roots peeking through from time to time. No. 20: Bouillon Bilk – 1595 Saint-Laurent Boulevard Chef François Nadon’s precise cuisine and focus on high quality… / Read More →