Outremont: Attractive Waitresses and Arcade Fire

Posted on June 3rd, 2009 by .

I love when a whole evening can be had in one small corner of Montreal. Though this is a city easily traversed by bus, metro or bike (and now Bixi), there’s something special to planting yourself and some friends somewhere and seeing what comes…

No corner better fits this description than the intersection of Fairmount and Hutchinson, where the hip Mile End neighbourhood turns into the quietly upscale area of Outremont. This trifecta of fun boasts two of my favorite restaurants and one of my favorite places to see live music…

On one corner, you’ve got the Middle Eastern-flavored resto Rumi, a warm and friendly place that you must, I repeat must, visit if only to try their curried lentil soup with Naan. If God ate soup, this is what he would eat.

Across the street from Rumi is La Croissanterie Figaro, which is not only a favorite of neighbourhood locals but of Montrealers of every type. La Croissanterie is very much in the style of a Parisian bistro, with an eclectically furnished interior and an expansive people-watching patio. I go there for pretty much everything, from a perfect breakfast and massive café au lait to a reasonably priced dinner, or just for a bottle of wine. It would also be disingenuous not to note that La Croissanterie has some of the most attractive waitresses in the city.

But, being the musically obsessed person I am, it’s the Ukrainian Federation building across the street that truly makes this intersection special. Though it was built in 1900, it was only in the last couple years, thanks to the people at Pop Montreal, that it’s begun hosting concerts. It’s an intimate and comfortable space, with sit-down seating and a great balcony that allows the audience to hover right over the musicians. But, the incontrovertible evidence that this is one of Montreal’s hidden gems? When hometown heroes Arcade Fire’s most recent tour hit Montreal, they played the Ukrainian Federation. I can tell you that it took every single bit of my Insider-y reach to get a ticket, and wow, it was worth it. Pop Montreal’s Dan Seligman told me they’ve got a lot planned for the venue for this year’s festival (Sept. 30th-Oct. 4th), but that he’s also got a couple surprise shows coming this summer, so stay tuned to http://www.popmontreal.com/

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