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One of the newest restaurants to join the Griffintown block, Le Bureau montreal channels vintage chic. The ancient brick walls, the high lofty ceilings, the golden fire extinguisher lamps and even the cobra snake beer tap all add to the laid back, casual sort of vibe. It aims to be the up-and-coming hotspot for young locals and professionals to grab a drink after work, nibble on some snacks maybe and talk into the night.
“Prove that you love me and buy the next round”. Have any words rung truer than that? I think you know the answer. The cheeky little sign sticks out over the restaurant’s entrance, announcing its presence in bright red and white letters, suggesting the place itself might be where you can test that love out. Meet Hawker Bar.
Garage Beirut is a small Lebanese eatery in the heart of downtown Montreal. Offering a cozy set up, the place is decorated with framed photographs of Beirut, personal mementos and picturesque scenic views. We sat down in the half-full restaurant, happy to trade the cold outside for a hot meal. The friend with whom I went with is Lebanese herself so coming here put us squarely in her territory. I was happy to let her do the majority of the decision making and I wasn’t disappointed.
Finally. It’s come time for us to share with you the legendary, all-encompassing, truly epic cabane a sucre au pied de cochon experience. Is there anything else like it? Probably not. After signing up a little later than we meant to for this season’s apple themed menu, we got a call from PDC two months after we were waitlisted asking if we wanted to fill in for a last minute cancelled reservation in the middle of the week.
Whilst scouring the Old Port for lunch places to eat at during work breaks, I came across Safran et Cannelle. Peering in from the outside, it looked more like a sit down place, so I’d been hesitant to try it for fear of not being able to make it back to work on time. One day though, the tagines sitting on the table outside just seemed too alluring so we decided to check it out. And you know what? Food service made it just so I had a couple minutes to power walk back and make it in time.
Dolcetto & Co. can be described as a hip Italian wine bar with a tapas mentality. Located on St. Paul street in the Old Port, the place caters to a well to do mid to late twenties crowd looking for a casual chic evening out. Going for a ocean/beachy vibe as indicated in the rope and anchor ampersand part of their logo, the blue and white striped seats, the captain’s hats hanging off the hooks across the room and the bottle chandeliers, the whole place gives off a relaxed but sophisticated air.
This place is honestly the cutest. Maybe also one of the kitchiest but it’s a vibe I can get down with. Action figures populate little cupboard protected by glass (Mexican and other), flashing neon bulbs surround a mounted photo of Madonna and dark doodles on a black chalkboard set the mood. I especially love the sassy facts written on the wall like “Nacho chips are NOT a Mexican food” and “Achiote is a condiment” and “The green sauce is not guacamole”. Word.
We spent the day walking and shopping all over the city of Toronto, from the downtown core all the way through to Parkdale. With tired feet and hungry stomachs, we walked just a couple blocks more to wait in line at Grand Electric. Arriving only two minutes before opening at 6 pm, a huge line had already amassed outside its wooden doors. A good thirty to forty people had gathered in anticipation of being among the first to be seated that Saturday night. We were hopeful but dubious as to whether or not we would get in on the first round.
Cuisine Szechuan serves exactly what its name advertises. There’s no dancing around it – this place serves legit Szechuan food, plain and simple. There are no frills, no added extras – just real food that stays true to its roots. There’s a mixed aura of respect and fear around the restaurant for its ability to produce delicious but mind-blowingly spicy food. I’m talking fish filets marinated in chili peppers and I’m talking cucumbers marinated in chili flakes and oil. Basically hot on hot on hot.
As an ex-resident of the West Island, I’m happy to say that I still frequently go back and visit. Panama has been one of the newer, ‘trendier’ restaurants to appear in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, along with the installments of La Verita and Panne Pazzo by Marche de l’Ouest. After hearing several acquaintances praise the Jean Talon location of Panama for their authentic Greek food, we decided to try it closer to home.
Known to locals as the best soup dumpling place in Montreal, Qing Hua has taken note and expanded its operations to better service its clients, this time branching off from its original Lincoln location to the Chinatown area. It’s not a far stretch. With the chefs in the back making the dough fresh, stuffing them with readily prepared ingredients and working their magic to allow the soup to permeate the dumpling skin and give it a nice amount of flavor, each dumpling is just delicious.
Divided between the Shahi Palace and Tandoor & Grille, we opted for the former as it seemed advocates for it were stronger than for the latter. I personally had never been so I was totally game. Ya’ll know how much I love trying new restaurants…
Le Chien Fumant was one of our top restaurant choices to celebrate Alex’s birthday. It had been roughly a year since we last went and recollections of our time there were rosy. With the likes of food celebrities such as Gail Simmons having made previous appearances, we knew that we were likely going to be in good hands.
Aikawa is not what it used to be. Once a shining beacon of light in the West Island sushi scene (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration), Aikawa brought a sort of sophistication to the Japanese cuisine relative to the other places around here. Serving primarily Japanese fusion, the place definitely does not stick to the rules and has no qualms about serving items such as
Once we saw Sarah Musgrave’s review in the Gazette about Honi Rose, we decided to give it a shot. It was a weekend afternoon and we didn’t have much to do. Obviously my reflex to counter boredom is to ask myself: “what can I eat today?”. Opting to try out something new, this restaurant seemed like it would be an interesting pick for the downtown area.
It’s been more than a month since we went to the Tuck Shop to celebrate. I for one, have secured an internship for the summer at an agency I really had my heart set on! Bubbling over with happiness and excitement, Alex insisted that we head out for a couple of drinks and something good to eat.
Don’t be fooled by the tinted windows or the somewhat seedy exterior (i.e. purple and red neon signs, worn in seating and carpeting). Pekin Garden serves some great Peking duck – that is in fact, their specialty. We’ve been going here for years on and off, probably once every year or two. It’s a place that will do when you’re craving straight up Chinese food and some greasy, fatty, delicious duck.
Several weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of accompanying a friend and a classmate to Les Deux Singes de Montarvie for a tasting. The distinctive restaurant name immediately intrigued me. Nada, the current owner of the place explained the story behind the unique name:
Ever since we first read about The Spotted Pig restaurant and chef April Bloomfield in The New Yorker nearly two years ago, we’ve wanted to go! We finally got our chance a few weeks ago when we were in town for a wedding.
On the hunt for poutine while downtown is no easy feat. You would think it would be a quick fix given the number of clubs and bars around the area. If you think about it, the number of intoxicated people craving some greasy gravy covered fries must be huge! Especially during the weekend. Having had a few drinks at my apartment, a couple of friends and I set out our sights on La Belle Province on Peel just below Sherbrooke to sate our late night craving.