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PASTAGA: BIG TASTE ON SMALL PLATES

The new restaurant Pastaga, which puts the spotlight on Quebec ingredients, has been garnering lots of buzz and media accolades for the creative small-plate cuisine of chef-owners Martin Juneau and Louis-Philippe Breton and the interesting selection of organic wines on offer…

CHEF MARTIN JUNEAU TAKES OVER MONTREAL’S URBAN SUGAR SHACK

The early spring tradition of the sugar shack (or “cabane à sucre”) is a given in Quebec, which, for city folk like us, used to mean piling into a car for a chilly ride up to some rustic cabin. Last year saw an ingenious innovation to the tradition: The urban-chic sugar shack of La Cabane, in the Old Port…

CHEF MARTIN PICARD’S CABANE A SUCRE AU PIED DE COCHON

Celebrity chef Martin Picard recently launched his second book, Sugar Shack Au Pied de Cochon, at his own sugar shack (or “Cabane à Sucre”), located an hour away from his wonderfully indulgent Montreal restaurant Au Pied du Cochon. The new artsy tome celebrates one of Picard’s favourite ingredients – maple syrup. In between fattening nibbles and sugary drinks, I got to chat with the Wild Chef, as he’s known on his TV show of the same name, about some of the more risqué aspects of this atypical cookbook, such as “squirrel sushi”, pole-dancing (sort-of) and, oh yeah, 100 recipes that include that gooey, golden, liquid ingredient. The Cabane à Sucre PDC 2012 season is sold out, but you can put yourself on the waiting list for next year

TRUFFLE CRAZY IN MONTREAL

Black truffle freaks will know this, of course, but here’s a word of warning to the uninitiated: the season is ending soon. Some restaurants in town still have them available – XO, Le St Urbain and Venti, for example – but only for a few more days…

VALENTINE’S DAY IN MONTREAL

Oh Saint Valentine’s Day. Intimate candle-lit dinners, slow and seductive gazes over the rim of a wine glass, the smoldering glow of a crackling fireplace, the delicate smell of rose petals as snow slowly falls in love with the ground… Montreal has always been a hopeless romantic, here’s how to make the most of it on February 14…

DISHCRAWL MONTREAL: “A PUB CRAWL WITH FOOD”

We all know that special dining experiences are only half about the food – the company is also of utmost importance. The increasingly beloved and buzzed-about Dishcrawl is an ingenious idea that utilizes the genius of social networking and combines it with a real-life pursuit of food happiness…

MONTREAL’S SNOW VILLAGE TAKES OVER PARC JEAN-DRAPEAU

Until March 31, Parc Jean Drapeau will be home to Montreal’s most wonderfully wintery attraction, the Snow Village. In fact, the Snow Village is an hommage to the city itself, boasting icy reproductions of Montreal’s building and monuments, not to mention a hotel, restaurant, bar, convention centre, chapel and, fittingly, a whole bunch of igloos. An obvious must-see for locals and tourists alike. To make reservations, visit the Snow Village website or call (514) 788-2181.

24 HOURS AT LE GROS JAMBON

Montreal’s Old Port is a magnet for visitors to the city, with its scenic river views, cobblestones, horse-drawn carriages and what have you. But this part of town is also a hub for locals, who work hard and play harder and, until recently, there was a lack of simple, down-to-earth but still utterly interesting and delicious places to eat. Now, there’s Le Gros Jambon…

LATE NIGHT CUISINE AT NOUVEAU PALAIS

The old Nouveau Palais was a sleepy, old-timey diner on Bernard street in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood, a basic bacon, eggs and late-night poutine affair. But the new Nouveau Palais is under different management and the times they are a changin’. The latest incarnation of this storied diner has everyone buzzing because it offers restaurant goers the charm of the classic diner experience with a brand new menu that comes to life at night…