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Do you see this? No, this is not a joke. Lobster croque monsieur. Straight up pimp daddy baller breakfast. Steak and eggs for those of you who can get down and dirty with steak in the morning and want something heavier to tide you over from last night’s hangover (or whatever). And oeufs cocotte for those who want something a little more ‘sophistiqué’.
Now, for a change of scenery. We’ve left the hustle and bustle of Tokyo behind for the more quiet, rural city of Nagano. We’re here for one night, two days. Walking up the main street in Nagano, you’ll find shops that sell curio items, cute little souvenirs and dried goods en route to the Zenkoji temple at the top of the hill.
Tsukiji Fish Market is the central hub for the buying and selling of fish and seafood in Tokyo. Anything that lives in the sea can be found here – from above average quality to the most premium sashimi grade kind of stuff that is not only hard to find but costs an arm and a leg too. There are also fish auctions that are held here. If you’ve seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the scene where Jiro’s son attends the tuna auction at the market is pretty spot on.
Everything on Prohibition‘s menu sounds amazing. House cured salmon on a sesame bagel? Oooh. Shakshouka? Cool. Maple fried challah French toast with fried chicken? Hell yes.
Self proclaimed providers of ‘gourmet comfort food’, Prohibition montreal endeavours to serve brunch as it should be.
“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.
Our vote for Best Coffee in Toronto. Toronto has its’ fair share of independent coffee shops and boutiques, strewn across the city left, right and center. If you’re looking for a proper caffeine fix, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our top picks
Weslodge is a new addition to Toronto’s dynamic King West street having opened in July of this year to much local media fanfare. From the instant diners walk through the big, bold yellow doors, the saloon style restaurant makes no apologies for its colorful personality.
Just around the corner from where I was staying in Toronto over my visiting weekend, L’Ouvrier seemed like a good bet for brunch time food. A friend had been for a party after a TIFF event and had great things to say about the space and the aesthetic of the place. Open to whatever, I was down to check it out – we ended up going for a nice brunch with a couple people.
Kenzo Ramen is one of Toronto’s prime destinations for quick and easy no-nonsense ramen. There are a plethora of other ramen houses close by that compete for your dollars – we noticed Sansotei Ramen as a big competitor with a lineup that spilled out into the cold noontime weather.
With lots of fanfare, Maison Publique finally opened its doors earlier last month. French for “public house” the restaurant is led by Derek Dammann of former DNA fame in partnership with British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. It has been made clear that Dammann has full control of the restaurant’s daily operations, from the selection of the ingredients to the planning of the menu to the actual cooking itself. Oliver’s role seems to be more in the background, acting as an investor
Popping up just a couple weeks ago, Furco has managed to become wildly popular in a matter of days. Boasting a high-ceilinged, open and industrial type of space, it exudes a sort of laid back cool. It is no wonder that the owners have some connection with Buvette Chez Simone, known for their dominance in the trendy wine bar scene. Let me tell you – Furco’s emergence on the scene was sorely needed. The downtown core is in dire need of decent bars – I think I can name one other place that makes the cut.
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.
Primo e Secondo is an absolute and total gem. This is one of the best Italian restaurants in Montreal, if not THE best. Just take a look at the pictures below or from the restaurant website. If those don’t make your mouth water, then I don’t know what will. From the food to the service to the atmosphere, Primo e Secondo takes the whole dining experience to a whole new level.
Last time I went to New York with my family, we went to EN Brasserie. This is the same trip where we went to the legendary Cocoron – check out that experience here. Talk about amazing Japanese restaurants, right? We loved EN so much that we made it a point to go back on our most recent trip. Located on Hudson street, this place is like the shining light of the surrounding blocks, giving off this mysterious and intriguing “come to me” vibe. Don’t ask questions. Just go. But make sure to make reservations here because it won’t be easy to stroll in and expect a table.
If you like Japanese food and you’re in New York City, you’ve got to go to Ippudo. A steadfast regular on NYC’s Talk of the Town on Urbanspoon for several months now, I made sure to check it out this time around. Hopping into a cab, we made it just in time to catch a spot in what became the middle of a long line minutes later. People really love their food here, that’s for sure. Showing up to the restaurant an hour before opening to secure a spot inside? Braving the elements in the name of a good meal? This definitely becomes more admirable as the weather gets colder. Now, that is commitment. In some ways, I’m thankful Montreal hardly has lineups this size – maybe it’s because we’re a smaller city or maybe it’s because people in the city have yet to catch this level of food craze or maybe, dare I say it – no restaurant has yet been able to inspire it.
Ever since we ate at the black hoof in Toronto, we’ve been bemoaning the lack of top shelf charcuterie in Montreal. We had heard a lot of buzz about Le Comptoir in the past few months and it took us all summer to finally get the chance to try it out.
This year’s Oysterfest was another smashing success. The weather fully cooperated: it turned out to be an overall perfect September afternoon – smiles all around. With all the delicious foods being made and served on the premises, I don’t know what in the world anyone could have been upset about. Upbeat music blasted through the speakers and people milled happily about within the thick mish mash of aromatic scents in the air. Regardless of where you looked, people lined up left, right and center for a taste. And you can’t blame them either.
The summer isn’t over just yet. Squeeze Dinette Triple Crown into your agenda and only then can you without shame call it quits and not feel bad about staying inside. This little bite sized diner is located on the corner of St Zotique and Clarke in Little Italy. You sort of get the comfort-food vibe from the moment you get in there thanks to the friendly staff, the jars of home pickled veggies lined up against the walls and the menu itself (cornbread, braised greens and brisket anyone?). Old school milkshake makers sit patiently on the counter and the smell of fried chicken just perpetually wafts in the air. That’s what I’m talking about.