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Posts by Mayssam Samaha

Weekend brunch options around downtown Montréal

Brunch is a very Montréal affair. Montrealers partake in this culinary tradition quite regularly with complete abandon – and at a leisurely pace – to start the weekend on the right note. While there are tons of delicious brunch options all over the city, here are some of our favourites in and around downtown to Old Montréal. Old Montréal: Le Cartet Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Part restaurant, part fine food store, Le Cartet has a very New York feel to it. It’s open almost all day, every day but is especially nice for weekend brunch. Le Cartet also doubles as a fine food store with an impressive collection of chocolates. Suite 701 Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday brunches at Suite 701 are laidback while Sundays are set to the beat of an in-house DJ. The brunch menu includes items such as fried chicken, mac and cheese as well as your usual omelettes and egg dishes and their signature house cocktails. Restaurant Holder Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. A typical French brasserie, Holder’s cuisine is classic français. The brunch menu includes great omelettes and Benedicts as well as a kids’ menu… / Read More →

Irresistible chocolate treats in Montréal

Ah! Easter. That time of year synonymous with daffodils, spring and chocolate. Since spring and daffodils seem to be in no hurry to make an appearance, let us all rejoice in the gift of chocolate, or rather, the gift of chocolate giving. The quirky A sense of humour seems to be the common thread with Montréal’s chocolatiers this spring. Funny looking sheep, unusual Easter eggs, goofy chocolate chicks and floppy-eared bunnies have all found their way onto the shelves of many of Montréal’s chocolate makers. Juliette et Chocolat and Fous Desserts are both guilty of indulging in this quirky trend we love so much. Pâtisserie Gascogne’s Laurier outlet welcomes you with an oversized nutty-looking sheep and a handier sized chocolate menagerie for you to take home. Chocolats Privilège has several locations around town, including the Atwater and Jean-Talon markets. This Easter, their collection includes hand painted Easter eggs as well as some very funny bunnies resting on chocolate bars. Award-winning chocolate maker Christophe Morel makes some of the best chocolate in Montréal, and could be included in all the categories in this article. His chocolate bars are first class, his bonbons boxes are elegant and sophisticated and his floppy-eared Easter… / Read More →

A “cabane à sucre” (sugar shack) experience in and around Montréal

Once again we find ourselves at the tail end of a long and arduous winter that is still not ready to take its leave. The only light at the end of this icy tunnel comes in the shape – and taste! – of sticky sweet maple treats that we are ready to welcome with open arms. Traditional cabanes à sucre (sugar shacks) are found in the country, amidst the forests of maple trees, although pop-up urban cabanes have been providing maple-laden meals to city dwellers. Come spring, syrup seekers congregate in country cabins, sit at long communal tables and eat simple sugar shack food that help whisk the winter blues away and welcome spring. If you are looking for such a spot in and around Montréal, below are a few of our favourite sugar shacks. La Cabane chez Jean New to the cabane à sucre scene this year, La Cabane chez Jean is a stone-throw away from downtown Montréal at the Beach Chalet of Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Notre-Dame. In a “cozy cabin décor,” a menu of traditional dishes such as baked beans, omelette and maple sugar pie will be served to everyone’s delight. Dates: Friday to Sunday, March 20 to… / Read More →

Hot food for cold days in Montréal

It’s the perfect time of year to be talking comfort food. And not just comfort food, but hot and spicy comfort food that will keep us warm while we go about our daily lives in this harsh and frigid weather. I read somewhere that some parts of Canada are colder than Mars these days. That’s certainly how I feel, but I refuse to stay in and hibernate. To keep me (and you) warm and cozy, here are some of my favourite hot foods. Indian vindaloo curry at Dévi Vindaloo is one of the spiciest Indian curries on Devi’s menu, but the complex and interesting flavour make it worth the tears and is guaranteed to keep you warm for hours. Spanish zarzuela de mariscos at Restaurant Mesón Filled with several kinds of seafood, zarzuela is the Spanish answer to the French bouillabaisse. Hearty and with a faint kick, it’s a great dish to consume when it’s cold out and you’re in need of a warm hug. Cheese fondue at La Fonderie Who doesn’t crave a cheese-laden extravaganza when the temperature plummets? Dive into La Fonderie’s Swiss cheese fondue or the Swiss and Québec combo raclette, with a side of tartiflette to… / Read More →

Top Montréal restaurants for the gourmet traveller

Some people eat to live and some live to eat. This list is for the latter: those who are driven by the decadent pleasure of discovering new gourmand destinations and enjoying delectable gastronomic experiences. For fine dining par excellence: Restaurant Toqué!  Chef Normand Laprise’s cuisine – the very one that started the Montréal food revolution – will leave you speechless and wanting more. For a European feel: Europea A fine Relais & Châteaux dining experience to be enjoyed in the heart of Montréal’s downtown core. For a bit of romance: Chez L’Épicier A fine dining establishment with a touch of whimsy, the charming Chez L’Épicier is located inside a beautiful old stone building in Old Montréal. The chocolate club sandwich for dessert is a must. For those who want to see and be seen: Pastaga Star chef Martin Juneau’s food draws admiring crowds in and the casual yet dazzling food keeps them coming back for more. For the sweet tooth: Patrice Pâtissier Here, you can end a great and delicate dinner with one of Patrice Demers’ scrumptious desserts. For the foie gras enthusiasts: La Chronique This is where you go for the best foie gras in Montréal, and keep returning… / Read More →

Best Tapas in Montreal

Tapas, meze, pikilia, pintxos, petiscos… whatever the country they hail from, the concept is basically the same: an array of small plates, cold or warm, meant to be shared among friends over drinks or a glass of wine. Popular all over the Mediterranean, from Portugal to Lebanon, they often act as starters to a meal or can even replace one. It is not that uncommon to do a tapas crawl, moving from one bar to the next and enjoying a drink and a few dishes at each establishment…

Guide to 2014 Edition of MTL à TABLE – Montreal’s Restaurant Week

The much-awaited third edition of MTL à TABLE – Montreal’s Restaurant Week – will be taking place from October 30th to November 9th 2014. This year’s event is presented by Wine of France and will see 140 participating restaurants which will each be offering 3-course, $19, $29 and $39 set price menus. This is a tasty opportunity for all food-lovers to go on a delicious discovery of several Montreal restaurants or revisit favourites ones at an affordable price. Whether you’re feeling romantic or organizing an outing with friends MTL à TABLE’s participating restaurants will have something to offer you. Although this event is mainly about restaurants, it also offers a slew of other gastronomic activities that will be taking place in and around that week.

Some of MTL à TABLE’s most romantic restaurants

October 30th marks the beginning of the 11-day food extravaganza that is MTL à TABLE, or Montreal’s restaurant week. 140 restaurants are participating in this third edition and will be offering food lovers 3-course set menus at $19, $29 or $39. It is a great opportunity to revisit some favourite spots or discover new ones at very reasonable prices. If you like going on culinary discoveries with your better half, this list of MTL à TABLE’s most romantic restaurants will come in handy…

The 2014 edition of the Omnivore World Tour Food Festival in Montreal

Montreal has a huge food culture and with the Omnivore World Tour Festival visiting for a third year, the city is solidifying its place on the world culinary map. From August 21st to 25th, Montreal will be abuzz with delicious events. Take in a demo, enjoy a dinner like no other or join the party, just don’t miss out on this great gastronomic celebration.

French pastry shop Maison Christian Faure

It’s been almost a year since Maison Christian Faure made its home inside a 300-year old beautifully renovated grey stone building in Old Montréal. The sophisticated and elegant French-style pastry shop has made a name for itself as one of the best sweet spots in Montréal.