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Fine Dining in Montreal: 100 meals at Bronte

I’ve known for a long time that Bronte is one of Montreal’s best fine dining restaurants. Chef Joe Mercuri is a master when it comes to creating unusal fusions of textures and flavours. But when I finally went to eat there (a treat for my birthday!), I was astonished to meet a local couple that has eaten there more than a 100 times.

Best Montreal 5-a-7: Part 1

Ah, the Montreal 5-a-7, a beloved local tradition that is basically just a “happy hour”. Why is it so popular? Perhaps it’s no more complicated than this: Montrealers are social people who love being out and about, so who wants to wait until late into the evening to meet up with some friends for martinis, cocktails and other great drinks? To help you find out where Montrealers go for their favorite 5-a-7s, I’ve assembled a list of the best in Montreal…

Montreal Poker: Where to Play

Poker is the biggest card game in the world and, though Las Vegas is still king, Montreal has become an international destination for poker players of every skill level. Even Cirque de Soleil’s Guy Laliberte is known as a huge fan. From the VIP poker room at the Montreal Casino, to some other spots you may not have heard of, Montreal is holding all the cards necessary to take care of all your poker needs…

Montreal Lounge: Gotha Salon Bar

Gotha Salon Bar (or just “Gotha” as Montrealer’s call it) is one of my favourite lounges in the Gay Village. It’s unpretentious without being skuzzy, and classy without being cher (expensive). I’ll tell you where it is… and what you should be drinking.

Piano bars in Montreal

When you think of a piano bar, the line “Play it Again, Sam” comes immediately to mind. You think of guys in tuxedos and gals in cocktail dresses, martinis and cigarettes in hand, serving up requests to the dapper man tickling the keys for dollar tips placed in an over-sized snifter. Given that this wonderful nightlife image comes from decades ago, the piano bar is much harder to find these days. But there are still a couple places in Montreal where you can spend a couple hours going back in time…

Montreal’s Top Terrasses

To understand why Montreal is a must-visit destination during the summer (a whirlwind period of music, comedy, arts and culture festivals, an unending night of long dinners, drinks and after-hours merriment), one need look no further than Montreal’s winters. Montrealers, contrary to popular belief, don’t love the cold. They tolerate it- where do you think all that moody art and music comes from? So they reluctantly hole up in their houses and apartments, confident with the knowledge that, come June, they won’t be inside for a second more than necessary. From this seasonal dichotomy springs the all-out Montreal summer. It is why, on any night of the week, you will see the bars of St-Laurent and St-Denis filled with people. It is why a quiet dinner out becomes an all-evening affair. And it is why, on a sunny day, every patio (known in Quebec as a “terrasse”) in the city is filled from the second it opens until several moments after it closes. Being a city of endless variety, there is a terrasse for every type of occasion, mood, whim and/or fancy. Here then are some of Montreal’s top terrasses…

Music Videos and more at the MACM

The MACM, or Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, is normally the domain of my colleague Daviel, whose knowledge of the Montreal art scene towers over my “that’s a pretty picture” style approach to art criticism. There are, however, occasions when the MACM crosses over into the dark realm of nightlife…

Live Music in Montreal

Montreal has been a musical mecca since the 1920s, when its famed burlesque and jazz clubs offered audiences something that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Given that this coincided with U.S. prohibition, that “something” may in large part have been “booze”. But the cities’ attachment to live music has never waned and its jazz scene eventually begat the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the largest of its kind in the world. Fast-forward to the present and, internationally, the city has become known for its electronic music (Mutek is the local fest devoted to the genre) and an indie music scene that has delivered Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Malajube and more to the world’s ears. Many of which have played Pop Montreal, the indie fest that has expanded to include a bit of everything. Again the city itself plays some role in this phenomenon: low rent attracts musicians and artists from all over, and the creative bonhomie keeps them here and collaborating. Or maybe it’s just all the attractive women. Montreal is a city that likes to go out, to eat, drink, see and be seen, so you could do worse than wandering around without a plan. But if you’re looking for… / Read More →

Osheaga + MEG = Awesome

If you’re in town for Osheaga, Montreal has more than enough nightlife stuff going on to keep you dancing before, during and after the massive two-day concert at Parc Jean-Drapeau. From Thursday straight through to Sunday, be it in the city, in a park or even on a boat, Montreal is having tons of fun… A big part of the reason that Osheaga has taken commanding control of the first weekend in August is their partnership with MEG (Montreal Electronic Groove). Now in their 11th year, this 4-night electronic-of-all-types festival features its own stage at Osheaga, club events, live music showcases, some 5-a-7s and one not-to-be missed party on a boat – a great way to get to know Montreal while having a blast. From late afternoon to early, early in the morning, read on for the run-down…

Top 5 Montreal Festivals you may not know

If you haven’t noticed yet from this blog’s coverage of Mutek, Osheaga, Jazz Fest and Just for Laughs, Montreal is a city obsessed with its festivals. The reason is simple: for many cold months, Montrealers are stuck in their apartments drinking red wine and waiting out the winter, so when summer hits, no one is ready to go home until at least October… Though Montreal boasts some huge, big-ticket festivals like those mentioned above, it also boasts some smaller, yet no less big-time fests. From French music to beautiful lanterns, there’s something happening every night from now until it’s time to put the snow tires back on. Here are the Top 5 Montreal Festivals you may not have heard of: