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ROBERT LEPAGE DIRECTS CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

Last week in Montreal, writer and director, Robert Lepage, unveiled Cirque du Soleil’s brand new show, Totem. As cleverly explained by my colleague Daniel Baylis, Totem is a voyage through the evolution of the human species. Surprisingly, it was a long-time dream for the notorious playwright to finally direct one of the Cirque’s touring shows (Lepage had previously directed Cirque du Soleil’s Kà, which is presented at the MGM Grand in Vegas).

MONTRÉAL NEIGHBORHOODS 101: OLD MONTRÉAL

In a city renown for charm and romantic nooks, there is one neighborhood that visitors reference time and gain as their most memorable location: Old Montréal. This historic district of Montréal gives our little city a reputation for being charming and creative, with a European flair rarely found in North America.  The cobblestone streets, stunning gothic architecture and epicurean delights have seduced countless travelers. It really is a “must see” on any visitor’s agenda.

CREPES?

I’d intended to begin this post about crepes with something along the lines of “even the pancakes are classier in Montreal”. But, in the interest of full disclosure, it should be mentioned that it was the name of a chain of crepe shops that prompted the writing of this post…

DRINKS AT THE HOTEL LE ST-JAMES

Located in Old Montreal, the Hotel Le St-James is certainly in the running for this city’s nicest hotel. At the very least, it’s where Madonna and The Rolling Stones stay when they’re in town (the Stones, apparently, rent the entire hotel when they do). When meeting up with several of my fellow Montreal Tourism Insiders, only a place with this degree of swankitude would do…

Love at first sight: exquisite tableware boutique

Love at first sight — it doesn’t happen very often, but this week, as soon as I walked into À table tout le monde, I fell head over heels with this magnificent design boutique that showcases china, dinnerware and the art of setting a beautiful table…

Behind the scenes with Normand Laprise at Toqué!

In a previous post, I visited a farm with talented chef, Normand Laprise, from Toqué! — one of Montreal’s top restaurants. After our field trip, Normand kindly invited to visit his kitchen! So, as a good Insider, I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into one of Montreal’s most famous gastronomic institutions. Now you can see his culinary innovation first-hand as he continues to promote farm-fresh products in his restaurants.

Let’s eat! Exhibit at the Chateau Ramezay Museum

The Chateau Ramezay Museum is a history museum, appropriately located in the heart of Old Montreal, in front of the City Hall. You may ask, why is a foodie writing about history? Well, as soon as I heard they were having an exhibition called, Let’s eat! a retrospective on food and the eating habits of early Quebec settlers, I rushed to check it out.

Chocolate trade fair: Salon passion chocolat

Uh oh. This could be dangerous. Fans of this sinfully sweet, creamy cocoa delight — you’ve been warned. In fact, to avoid tempting you further, perhaps I should just stop right here.

Farm-fresh straight to your table at Toqué!

In Montreal restaurants these days, there is an emphasis on serving food made with local products (vegetables, high-quality meats and cheeses from small local producers). Much of this tendency towards using regional farm products in local restaurants is due in part to Normand Laprise, the chef from Toqué! His restaurant, Toqué! is a Montreal culinary institution, and thanks to Normand Laprise’s relentless determination over the years to cook with locally grown produce, and to use regional suppliers of meat and cheese, he has influenced other restaurants to follow suit.