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Posts by Mayssam Samaha

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 →

A selection of Montréal’s latest, hottest restaurant openings

Are you finding it hard to keep up with restaurant openings in Montréal? We have a handy list of the last months’ openings for you to check off here below. Bon appétit! The Center: Downtown, Old Montréal & Mile End Lattuca Barbecue (open since September) – 15 de la Commune Street West An authentic southern style barbecue joint, Lattuca Barbecue is helmed by pitmaster John Lattuca and serves up all your favourites from smoked chicken to what has been dubbed as the best brisket in town. Chez Jerry (open since October) – 1083 Beaver Hall hill Chez Jerry is a “casse-croûte du terroir” by Jérôme Ferrer, one of the most celebrated chefs in Montréal. It serves well made, traditional Québécois comfort food such as burgers, poutine, fish & chips, chicken nuggets and lobster rolls. Jellyfish crudo + charbon (open since November) – 626 Marguerite d’Youville Street The duality between raw and charred dishes reigns supreme at this new Old Montréal restaurant. The immense windows, high ceilings, beautiful shimmering chandeliers and central bar create a stunning décor and set the stage for the creative menu. Bar Henrietta (open since December) – 115 Laurier Avenue West The owners of Balsam Inn, Whisky… / Read More →

Let’s brunch for #MTLaTABLE!

More than 150 restaurants will be participating in this fourth edition of MTL à TABLE from October 29 to November 8, 2015. Each year, this most anticipated food festivals brings fixed price, 3-course menus to the table as well as a slew of food related activities such as gourmet excursions through Montreal, a wine and chocolate tasting or a Relais & Châteaux experience featuring restaurants Toqué! and Europea. For this year’s fourth edition, MTL à TABLE is adding one more delicious activity to its repertoire: brunch! There’s nothing Montrealers love more than indulging in a leisurely weekend brunch with loved ones. Twenty of Montréal’s hottest brunch restaurants are offering $21 brunch menus in honour of MTL à TABLE. Whether you’re in the mood for a full Turkish breakfast from BarBounya or restaurant Su, a more elegant affair from EVOO, LiliCo or Brasserie T! or a heartier offer from Le Valois or Les Affamés, you are sure to find a perfect fit among the brunch restaurants listed below. Click on the restaurant’s name to reserve your MTL à TABLE brunch spot now. ACE Deli et Bar Au Petit Extra Barbounya Beaver Hall Brasserie Central Brasserie Le Pois Penché Brasserie T! Chez… / Read More →

Taste the best of Québec cheeses during MTL à TABLE

Did you know that the province of Québec produces more than 450 cheeses? From small artisanal cheese makers to bigger producers and from soft cheeses to blue to firm, Québec’s cheese production has blossomed over the past two decades to rival the best of European imports. For its 4th edition, MTL à TABLE is proud to partner up with Our cheeses to take you on a discovery of some outstanding local Québec cheeses. Participating MTL à TABLE restaurants were invited to create a main dish using a Québec cheese from an Our cheeses selection. The 15 most original recipes will be featured on the menu of the winning restaurants. You can enjoy these delicious recipes at the restaurants listed below during MTL à TABLE from October 28 to November 8, 2015. Au Petit Extra – Smoked trout mille-feuille with Riopelle de l’Isle cheese, celeriac and yellow beet Café Griffintown – Mac ‘n’ cheese with three Québec cheeses Quindici – Veal osso buco, Baluchon cheese mashed potatoes and asparagus salad Chez l’Épicier – Classic Cordon Bleu-inspired Guinea fowl from M. Besnier farm, Blackburn soubise sauce, homemade gnocchi with ham Decca77 Restaurant – Rack of Charlevoix lamb, potato mille-feuille with 1608 cheese,… / Read More →

Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à TABLE – Montréal’s Restaurant Week

If you love food and fall, then you’ll especially love this fall in Montréal because the city is rolling out the fourth edition of the feast known as MTL à TABLE—Montréal’s Restaurant Week—from October 29 to November 8, 2015. The 2015 edition is presented in partnership with YP Dine (an exclusive new mobile app from Yellow Pages dedicated to the restaurant and dining sector) and will see more than 150 participating restaurants, including 45 new eateries to enjoy this year. Following the same winning format as in previous editions, each restaurant will be offering a 3-course, $21, $31 and $41 set-price menu. For foodies both seasoned and new, MTL à TABLE offers a dream-come-true chance to explore the city’s fabled culinary scene. Whether you set out on a delicious discovery of several Montréal restaurants or revisit favourites, you can do it all at prices that won’t leave your wallet weeping. And with the wide range of participating restaurants to choose from, you can find something to suit every occasion, whether you’re feeling romantic, looking to book a family restaurant, organizing an outing with friends or bringing your extra special own bottle (there are 11 BYOWs to choose from!). With all… / Read More →

Great Middle Eastern restaurants in Montréal

I am of Lebanese origin and when I crave a taste of home, I turn to any of these Middle Eastern restaurants for a trip down my culinary memory lane. Kazamaza I really can’t pick a favourite dish at this Mile End address. Set in a funky yet simple decor complete with brick wall, Kazamaza is a vibrant restaurant serving traditional mezes as well as mains and grilled meats. Try their cherry kebabs and the delicious omelette with kawarma (lamb confit) served at brunch. Damas Damas on Park Avenue was ravaged by a devastating fire a few months but it’s rising from its ashes in a brand new location on Van Horne Avenue. This has to be one of my favourite spot for Middle Eastern food, specifically Syrian in this case. All the mezza are fresh and delicious but try some of the house specialties like the eggplant fatteh or the moloukhiya. BarBounya and Restaurant Su Both these restaurants are helmed by Turkish chef Fisun Ercan. Su serves traditional Turkish food including mezes and main dishes. BarBounya is a mezes bar with emphasis on small Mediterranean-inspired dishes that are meant to be shared. They also both serve one of the… / Read More →