There are restaurants that intrigue us, not because of the food so much, but because of the experience. O.Noir is certainly one of the most mysterious dining venues around town. Served by blind waiters, you eat in complete darkness.
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La Cantine is fun retro restaurant with yummy brunch menu that goes further than the traditional eggs and bacon. It’s brunch, revisited! In one sitting, you can taste four Quebec-style breakfast specialties all in one plate. “A client once told me that we energize traditional breakfasts. It made me smile,” explains Pierre-Luc Chevalier, co-owner of La Cantine.
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.
Located in downtown Montreal at the Hotel Crystal, La Coupole is a French brasserie with sophisticated food and…clairvoyant servers. I kid you not. “Yes, we have a menu, but it’s almost just for show,” jokes Gino Mourin, food and beverage director of La Coupole. Ok, that’s unusual. I’m intrigued.
Because of our diverse architecture and four distinct seasons, Montreal is a go-to destination for Hollywood film productions. And since most of the big movie stars stay in Old Montreal during shoots, so don’t be surprised if you see one chomping on a huge sandwich at Olive & Gourmando, a fantastic local bakery and café. http://www.youtube.com/v/AExUtm8ihUM&hl=en&fs=1 On any given day, you’ll find Olive & Gourmando chock full of business people, tourists and locals, all happily munching on their pastries or signature sandwiches. Try the Cuban, which is filled with pork, cheese and chipotle mayo, or the chicken sandwich with mango, tomato and avocado. The bread is baked in-house, so everything is really fresh and flavourful. If you go for lunch and want to eat on-site, arrive early – the place gets packed in no time. But most people choose the take-out route and eat their sandwiches on the bench outside the restaurant or near the waterfront, which is just a block away. On weekends, people even drive down from the suburbs to have a croissant or Valrhona chocolate brioche for breakfast. As for tourists, a number have told me that a trip to Olive & Gourmando quickly becomes a morning… / Read More →
Montreal has a large Italian community and that means one thing: great Italian food! And with Montreal Italian Week going on until August 16th, I recommend heading to Little Italy for a taste of la dolce vita at Tre Marie. The Fabrizio family opened Tre Marie more than 40 years ago. It started off as a teeny-tiny pasta diner, where they actually served wine in beer mugs. Those were the days! Much has changed since then – they’ve expanded and purchased real wine glasses – but the homemade pasta and sauces and family atmosphere remain the same. Not surprising when you consider that the family matriarch nona Rosina Fabrizo still works in the kitchen! Personally, I grew up going to Tre Marie, and still go there for family birthdays. Just last weekend, my family and I went in honour of my aunt’s 50th, and despite the fact that their menu changes daily, I found myself ordering the same thing as always: the pasta trio, which includes my favourite, ravioli with rosé sauce. Creamy, flavourful, and so very comforting! Everything about the experience remains unchanged with time, except one. I now know why I wasn’t allowed to order the tiramisu… / Read More →
Gnocchi made out of cheese. Really! I first heard about if from my friend Gerry, who’s the concierge at Montreal’s Intercontinental hotel. I had to try it, so I immediately made dinner reservations at Graziella in Old Montreal. Served in a tomato sauce brimming with fresh cherry tomatoes and asparagus, the gnocchi were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Between bites, I found myself wondering how I’d gone for so many years oblivious to the fact that this dish existed.
The best restaurants aren’t always located in the trendiest neighborhoods. When it comes to location, some restaurant owners prefer to work off the beaten path. Joe Beef is living proof that address doesn’t always matter.
Since you’re bound to work up an appetite shaking your tail feather at the Jazz Fest, I wanted to share with you a few good addresses for grabbing some grub on the go.
It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. You just shut down the bar. But your night is not over. Your stomach is growling. You need a greasy spoon restaurant to intervene on the impending hangover. I’ll tell you where to go…