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Where to enjoy natural wines in Montréal

For the past few years, the term “natural wine” has carved itself a larger spot in our daily vernacular as well as on restaurants’ menus. The natural wine phenomenon is nothing new but its “rebirth” and its newfound popularity is. This latest buzzword designates wines that have been grown and processed with minimal intervention and no added chemicals. Instead of trying to control nature, natural wine producers embrace and work with it. This produces wines that are a true representation of their unique terroir. The natural wave hit Montréal a few years ago and the city has since become one of the best in the world to enjoy these funky wines. Several restaurants in town boast a great carte de vins natures that are fun to explore. Pastaga is one of the first restaurants in Montréal to popularize natural wines since it’s opening in 2011. The opening of its sister restaurant and wine shop Cul Sec located around the corner, has consolidated the natural wine love affair these two spots have going. Vin Papillon’s sommelière Vanya Filipovic’s passion for great wines and fantastic winemakers is evident in the care and research that goes in the creation of the restaurant’s outstanding… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: LP Maurice

Job: Entrepreneur. CEO & Co-founder of Busbud, an app to help travellers book intercity bus tickets worldwide. Favourite pastime:  Travel, music and photography. Ideally all three together! How long have you been a Montrealer?  Since birth! Then I spent most of my 20s outside of Montreal studying and working in Boston, San Francisco, New York, Paris, London and Beijing. That said, I’m looking forward to spending all of my 30s based in Montreal! What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I became an uncle when my brother had his first boy earlier this year! Other than that, I went hiking on Kauai island in Hawaii, which blew my mind, and had an awesome roadtrip week in the canyon lands between Nevada and Arizona. I also had the chance to visit two local gems this summer in Quebec: Bic park near Rimouski and the Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean region. I’ve travelled around the world and I’m always stunned by Quebec’s world-class natural beauty, with so much to explore right in our backyard. What’s the next big thing you’re planning? Right now I’m planning a series of business trips to San Francisco & Silicon Valley in January, New York in February, and… / Read More →

Montréal restaurants shine on Canada’s 100 Best for 2016

Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list for 2016 was revealed yesterday. Congratulations to all 100 restaurants and most specifically, to the 23 Montréal restaurants that have made it onto this most prestigious lineup. No. 1: Toqué! – 900 Place Jean-Paul Riopelle Chef Normand Laprise’s avant-garde thinking fueled ingredient-driven cuisine in Montréal. He has managed to stay on top of his game – and indeed, ahead of it – for the past 20 years. No. 4: Joe Beef – 2491 Notre Dame Street West Chefs David McMillan and Fred Morin’s little restaurant has become synonymous with Montréal cuisine and has put the city on the culinary map. No. 5: Le Vin Papillon – 2519 Notre Dame Street West Joe Beef’s vegetable-centric little sister is helmed by Chef Marc-Olivier Frappier and boasts one of the most impressive wine lists in Montréal curated by sommelier and co-owner Vanya Filipovic. No. 19: Park – 378 Victoria Avenue Chef Antonio Park serves some of the freshest sushi in town, prepared in a traditional way but with the chef’s Argentinian and Korean roots peeking through from time to time. No. 20: Bouillon Bilk – 1595 Saint-Laurent Boulevard Chef François Nadon’s precise cuisine and focus on high quality… / Read More →

Don’t whine, have wine! 10 places to drink up in Montréal

Wine is in Montréal’s blood, partly because it’s a bacchanalian sort of party town, partly because of its French heritage. But restaurants and wine bars go way beyond the limits of the Old Country today, with private-import wine lists from around the globe that inspire both oenophiles and weekend tipplers to open their minds and palettes. Here are some awesome spots to clink glasses. Philémon Bar The wine list at this stylish hangout may be short, but it hits all the marks and offers 16 choices by glass, plus it pairs perfectly with the tasty dishes so beloved by the hungry crowd of Old Montréal partyers. Try the beef tartare with smoked jalapeno sauce with a 2013 Pot d’vache Gamay from the Loire Valley. Cul-Sec Named after the French expression for “down the hatch,” this small wine hub in Little Italy invites people to take their organic, natural and artisanal wines to go (with a meal), or to sit down for a glass and a deceptively simple plateful of deliciousness, ranging from satisfying salads to decadent sandwiches (the boneless BBQ rib bun is not to be missed). Le Comptoir Nestled in a narrow storefront on the Plateau, this “comptoir à… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Sleiman-Tanios Chahwan, Owner of Adbeus

Sleiman is busy, a free spirit of Lebanese descent raised in Montréal, and a citizen of the world. After spending time in New York and Beirut refining his skills, this entrepreneur, soon to be 27, returned to his adopted city that he deems “passionate and populated with creative, enthusiastic, and open people.” Since 2010, he has been developing Adbeus, a website listing the best independent coffee shops in Montréal, which has gradually transformed into a mobile app and dedicated project. Sleek, aesthetic and practical, this guide focuses on the product quality, ambience, service, and décor of each of the establishments visited. Rather than admitting to being a coffee expert himself, Sleiman prefers to address the experiences that accompany coffee consumption. At the beginning of April, he launched the second version of his app, downloaded over 10,000 times in Montréal alone and offering additional international cities, including Toronto, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Prague, London, and Istanbul, all managed by trusted local partners. Tell us about the Adbeus app. It’s a handy list that fosters the discovery of independent coffee shops through a geolocation system and allows for customizing the experience with specific criteria, such as roaster, WiFi, the nearest Métro… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Raphaël Gaspard, owner of Garçon fleur

September 10, 2015 Editor’s note: The Garçon Fleur shop is closed for an indefinite period. Garçon fleur, a.k.a. Raphaël Gaspard, has been delivering happiness on a bike for over a year. With the wind in his hair, he rides the streets of Montréal, distributing beautiful bouquets of wild flowers, which he creates himself with great attention and discernment. This expanding bucolic and environmental project has been hugely successful in reviving the image of florists. Two years ago, Raphaël also co-founded Gaspard & Roy with Félix Roy (singer for the Montréal rock group Human Human and head barman at Bouillon Bilk), a chic bar service that offers custom-made cocktails and showcases fine alcohols with market-fresh products. For Mother’s Day, this thriving young man, born in Germany but a Montréaler for 20 years now, shares his favourite go-to spots on where to smell the first blooms of spring and spend a perfect day with mom. What’s new with Garçon fleur in 2015? Garçon fleur is expanding with three new delivery bikes that will be bombing around the streets of Montréal selling bouquets to passers-by—a veritable wildflower shop on wheels. We’re also preparing lots of exciting partnerships and the release of our second… / Read More →

Great moments from the 2013 Omnivore Food Festival in Montreal

Once again and for the second year in a row, the Omnivore World Tour food festival has just ended its 6-day stint in Montreal. Food demos, Damn Dinners and the Omnivorious party were all met with huge enthusiasm by Montrealers and visitors alike. I attended a few of the festivities and was happy to see a lot of happy people present at these remarkable and unique activities…