Posted on March 24th, 2011 by .

Holt’s Café, located in the upscale shopping mecca Holt Renfrew, is a chic urban bistro that caters to fashionistas, foodies and the fabulous. Simple and stylish, is this place a gay man’s dream?

Gliding down the white marble staircase, I see two things: Food and Fashion. Not just any fashion, high fashion – the kind you see in the magazines. Not just any kind of food either. If flavours could strut down a runway, they would do so at Holt’s Café. Looking through the menu, I find my gaze wandering off into the clothes, bags, shoes, and perfumes. All located mere steps away… As I snap back to reality I realize, I must be gaydreaming. Gaydreaming is the gay man’s equivalent of daydreaming, but with way more rainbows.

The modish space of Holt’s Café gives diners a tasteful place to relax, eat and drink. White, red and dark woods contribute to the understated elegance of the décor, but also act as a backdrop for the piece de resistance: the massive shelf behind the bar that glows in Holt’s signature pink. Adorning the walls of the café are giant quotes of “Je ne peux pas vivre sans…” and are completed by the staff of Holt Renfrew. If I would write my own it would be “Je ne peux pas vivre sans biscuits et boys.”

The menu is simple and unfussy. The most complicated part of this menu is deciding between one tempting tartine and another. In Holt’s tradition the menu is pink on white, except the menu items in blue – these are the dishes that feature local ingredients from around Quebec.  For example the “Warm Charlevoix Veal and Arugula Salad” or the “Pulled Pork Tartine” all have something distinctly Quebecois. All menu items appear to be quite light, so nobody gay or straight has to worry about fitting into those Gucci matte black jeans I’ve been eyeing since I walked in.

After exiting the cafe, I peruse through the immaculate racks filled with Dior, John Varvatos and Dolce&Gabbana and find myself slipping into another gaydream. Circling back into the perfume section enjoying the lingering fragrance in the air, I am again facing the Café. Maybe it’s time to have that afternoon cocktail at the bar? I think so. (Still gaydreaming…)


Guest Blogger: Alex Dunphy


Holt’s Café, 1300 Sherbrooke Street West, (514) 842-3750

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