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Montreal’s La Coupole Restaurant: No menu required

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.

Olive & Gourmando: Where Hollywood stars eat

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. 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 →

Tre Marie restaurant: Montreal, Italian-style

  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 →

Graziella Italian Restaurant: Gnocchi with a twist

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.

Joe Beef restaurant: Off the beaten path

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.

Montreal Jazz Fest: 5 places to eat

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.

A Greasy Spoon in the Gay Village

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…

Apollo Bistro: New Restaurant with Amazing Design

There’s a new restaurant in Montréal’s Little Italy, Apollo Bistro, and it’s full of surprises. Here, you get to invent your own meal, bring your own wine, and enjoy it all in an usual setting designed by Alain Forcioli.

Montréal and BYOW

Love food? Love wine? Then I’ve got good news: there’s no need for your cup (or wallet) to run dry while in Montréal. That’s right, feel free to tote your favourite bottle with you to hundreds of Bring-Your-Own-Wine (BYOW) restaurants across the city. It’s true that the BYOB concept can be found in other North American cities, but nowhere have I seen it as common as here in Montréal. Heck, we even have entire streets dedicated to the practice (Duluth and Prince Arthur Streets, both in the Plateau area, are lined with BYOW restaurants). The whole process is very civilized. Simply purchase a bottle or two of your favourite wine or beer at the nearest SAQ (government-run liquor store), then bring it in to a BYOW restaurant. Now, you should know that BYOW restaurants often have a bit of a mark-up on their prices (20-30%) to make up for the fact that they don’t have alcohol sales, but you can still end up saving a pretty penny – particularly if you’re the kind of person that enjoys a few glasses of good wine with a meal. I’ll be posting my favourite BYOW restaurants fairly regularly, but to get the ball… / Read More →

Thanksgiving dinner in Montreal Restaurants

Coming to Montreal this weekend? Eager to partake in Canadian Thanksgiving? Here are my restaurant suggestions for the finest of Montreal turkey, potatoes and cranberry sauce.