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La Champagnerie is a bar with a flair for the dramatic. Treating its clientele to a show, the bar is quickly becoming known for its method of uncorking champagne by sabrage. For those of you are not familiar with the method, YouTube that ASAP. Yeah, I bet you want to see that live now, don’t you?
L’Orignal means “moose” in French. Based solely on the name, you would expect the food served here to be big, hearty and gamey. Actually, after spending over three hours eating here and sampling a good portion of the menu (we were a party of eight ordering a variety of dishes), we came to the conclusion that the portions here were just perfect (what I mean is not overwhelmingly large) and that the food was even better than any of us had anticipated. We first took notice of the restaurant at Oysterfest earlier this September. When we tried L’Orignal’s wild boar-lobster roll, we were hooked. We finally had the chance to come by and it did not disappoint.
Let me start off by saying La Fabrique is amazing. Everything about the place is perfect. The design, both interior and exterior is impeccable, the service was well-timed and the view from the terrasse at the Annexe was beautiful. Boasting minimalistic wooden chairs with ultra low backs, vintage/rustic decor (typewriter, spigot type faucets, warm wooden paneling) and a friendly and inviting vibe, the restaurant finds an optimal stylistic balance somewhere between antique and modern. On top of all of this, the food is great.
Nakhla Shisha is by far the classiest shisha joint I’ve ever been to. Instead of the usual cramped and smoky fare I’m used to in Montreal, the decor channels a hip modern cross between Indian, Arab and Asian style. The place offers just under two dozen different flavors for shisha including green tea, jasmine, mint, watermelon and lychee – we ordered the latter two for the seven of us to share.
Sparrow is a lovely little bar on upper St. Laurent teeming with well dressed youth and intelligent looking people – the antithesis of Chez Serge, the mechanical bull boasting bar across the street. More along the lines of Snack and Blues, the place serves all kinds of finger foods, a list of cocktails both basic and specialty and a variety of beers. Service is friendly, people are friendly and some of the food is (vegetarian) friendly. If you want a table, I suggest going early – around 10 or 11. After that, it becomes difficult to even find a space to stand as the bar fills up quite quickly after midnight. Having become a favorite in my roster of bars to go to, Sparrow has obviously done well for itself as the owners has recently opened up a full on restaurant a block away called Lawrence. I will be going there tonight, so come back and check out the blog tomorrow!
This is quite possibly the only way to recover from the unforgivable sin of buying pre-mixed sangria. We were skeptical at first, but our hosts fervently insisted. Then the Pabst Blue Ribbon came out. Against all odds, this batch of Beer Sangria turned out surprisingly tasty. We used slices of orange for flavor and garnish. Recommendations for next time include:
– Using a different beer – Something extremely blonde or unfiltered (Cheval Blanc, Griffon Blonde)
– Using a flavored beer – Locally brewed St Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale or seasonal Raspberry Ale
– Different fruit – Probably staying with citrus. Lemons floating in summer beers are already a common sight
Things to avoid:
– White wine – Send in pictures if you can prove me wrong, but I don’t think this can work
– Skipping the wine – Beer and juice without wine will taste like beer mixed with juice
– Pre-mixed Sangria