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BLACKSTRAP BBQ: MEMPHIS COMES TO MONTREAL

New to the Wellington strip in Montreal’s Verdun neighborhood, sits the greenhorn, Blackstrap BBQ – offering the lucky residents and destination restaurant diners authentic Memphis style, southern barbecue.

TASTE MTL, MONTREAL’S RESTAURANT WEEK: NOVEMBER 1-11

Yes, I know – it does seem incredible that until this year, a food-filled city like Montreal doesn’t have a Restaurant Week. Until, now, that is. The good news is that this November, Tourisme Montreal will launch TASTE Montreal presented by the SAQ (the liquor commission) and several other major sponsors, will be hosting the first annual Taste Montreal – Restaurant Week.

LESBIAN MONTREAL 101

Montreal is blessed to have such a vibrant cultural fabric. It weaves together people from different walks of life, who speak different languages and do different things, yet when you step back you see one stunning tapestry of a city. When I step back and look at the best coffee shops, amazing restaurants, best bars and best party nights, it becomes obvious who is responsible for making these places awesome… LESBIANS!

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 30 TO OCTOBER 6)

Summer is over but Montreal’s busy fall season is about to leave all that fun and sun in its wake. As the days grow shorter this week, the nights light up here: in bars and restaurants – and for outside dining too, in theatres and music venues, in art galleries and cinemas. The weekend starts with an arts and culture bang with Les Journées de la Culture, three days of free entertainment around town and around the whole province…

FALL HARVEST TIME AT MONTREAL’S MARKETS

There was a time when autumn in Montreal was my favourite season – the crisp air and quickened pace, dappled sunlight on red and yellow leaves in Mont-Royal Park, everyone stylish in their new fall-season fashions. Idyllic really. Yet at some point in the past five years, I became a summer person, happiest in its heat, whether urban frenzy or country calm. High summer is also when I discovered that I really like vegetable farming (in small doses), though a visit to any of Montreal’s markets proves that both farming and farm-fresh bounties continue well into September and October…

MONTREAL RESTAURANTS IN THE NEWS

I’ve always been impressed by how often Montreal and its food scene popped up in The New York Times and other publications I like to read – but recently things seem to have kicked up a notch. All of a sudden, local chefs and restaurants are being written up seemingly everywhere, so much so that I had to ask myself why…

MONTREAL OYSTERFEST: SHUCKERS, CHEFS, BANDS AND WINE

Montreal’s not a place you’d associate with premium oysters and seriously good shuckers? Well, think again… and if you’re in town on Sunday, September 11, prepare to be pleasantly suprised at the third annual Montreal Oysterfest. The nearest sea may be hundreds of miles away but this is, after all, a food-crazed town where locals have a special weakness for all things served on crushed ice, from the insanely good snowcrab legs at Garde Manger to the exquisite urchins and mussels sourced locally and served at the Brasserie T! (when in season) – not to mention the top-notch oysters at Joe Beef and L’Orignal…

DELICIOUS DRINKS ON MONTREAL’S WATERFRONT

Nothing beats having a chilled drink by the water and, since Montreal is an island, there’s no shortage of bars, cafés and restaurants overlooking the St. Lawrence river – especially in Old Montreal. The trick is finding the right spot, as the best and most scenic waterside bars are mostly hidden from view. Here are some of my personal favourites…

GRUMMAN 78: MONTREAL’S FAMOUS TACO TRUCK

In my neighbourhood, people really look forward to the weekend these days for yet another reason: Grumman ’78 tacos. Indeed, these tacos, which are now famous thanks to a Bastille day visit from Anthony Bourdain (more on this later), mostly exist as transient foodstuffs, sold out of their picaresque truck during most of the city’s major festivals. Otherwise, you gotta be in the right place at the right time…