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Meet a Montrealer: Lesley Chesterman

Montréal is famous for its great restaurants, and Montrealer Lesley Chesterman is renowned as one of the city’s premiere fine-dining critics and food columnists. The widely-respected Montréal Gazette food critic and author – whom you can also listen to on CHOM 97.7 FM and on the ICI Radio-Canada radio program Médium Large – is fearless and sometimes controversial, but always honest. “I was with a big New York restaurant critic last week and he thinks the restaurant scene in Montréal is the best in North America, including San Francisco,” says Chesterman. In addition to her own reviews in The Gazette, Chesterman recommends reading Eater.com’s Montréal page. “I agree with about 36 reviews on their Eater 38 for Montreal – that list is very strong,” says Chesterman. “We’re the only Canadian city to have an Eater’s page – they gave up on Vancouver and Toronto. Montréal is really that good. Toronto and Vancouver get all competitive with us, but a lot of the chefs still look to us to set a trend. You are really looking at cuisine here that is based on Quebecers. There was a time when we looked to the French, but the Quiet Revolution in dining –… / Read More →

Your Spring Break guide to eating, drinking and partying, Montréal-style

Spring Break amazingness? You can have it all in Montréal. With its 3 a.m. closing hours, drinking age of 18 and hugely depreciated dollar (the whole city is basically a 30% off sale), Montréal is a win-win-win Spring Break party proposition. Let the following be your guide to doing it up right. Eats and pre-drinks There are those of us who would argue that the eating and pre-drinks portion of the evening is the most critical phase: not only are you laying a base for the remainder of the evening, you’re setting the tone. If you’re starting out on the Plateau Mont-Royal, imaginative hipster magnet and oyster/cocktail bar Le Majestique is all eye candy and killer cuisine. Fab fun food and drinks are also the raison d’être of L’Gros Luxe (Caesars topped with hamburgers, ’nuff said), and Big in Japan’s delectable small plate menu and vibrant vibe have also made it big in Montréal. If downtown, head to Sainte-Catherine Street West for Imadake, another Japanese small plate pub with a fun bordering on raucous atmosphere (which may have something to do with their signature “sake bombs”). Dominion Square Tavern is a must if only for the beautiful 1920s setting, though the… / Read More →

Glitzy girls’ weekend in Montréal

For the best kind of girls’ getaway, you need a simple yet essential list of ingredients: 1) No men; 2) Lots of pampering; 3) Great spots to gab (and laugh like idiots); 4) Amazing food and drinks; and 5) Chocolate. Lots of chocolate. You’re in luck: Montréal has got it all, against the backdrop of an incredibly culture-rich city you’ll fall in love with for all kinds of other reasons too. SATURDAY Brunching There’s nothing better to get the weekend rolling than brunch, and Montréal knows brunch. Choose from a sophisticated menu (tipples included) at Le Comptoir on St-Laurent or a heartier eggs-n-bacon style selection at Fabergé (try the breakfast poutine!) in Mile End – and did we mention the gazillion options downtown? If you’re in Old Montreal, let the gabbing begin at Le Cartet, a beautiful space on McGill Avenue that serves punchy coffee, delicious mimosas and a dish that involves crêpes topped with fruit coulis and nut-and-maple French with apple butter and blueberries, plus a bowl of homemade granola. Whaaa? Yes. Learning Oh, chocolate, how we love thee. One of the funnest things to do in Montréal is learn stuff – you really know a trip will stay… / Read More →

Montreal Facebook and Instagram fans share their favourite 5-a-7

If there’s anything that Montreal does better than brunch (and we brunch like bosses) it would be the ubiquitous 5 à 7, also known as “happy hour.” We call it 5-à-7 because it happens between after work and before dinner, but trust me it’s just as happy.