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We heard about Le Smoking Vallée through social media a few weeks ago and were intrigued by the buzz. What we have here is a real bring your own wine veteran Marc-André Paradis (Les Infidels, Mr. B, Les Heritiers, L’Emporte-Pièce), teaming up with some past collaborators and upstart 25 year old chef Thierry Dufour.
Just across from the famous Olive & Gourmando, La Villette is sometimes overlooked as an equally delicious lunch spot. Going for a distinctly French look and feel, the restaurant has a rustic, comfortable interior equipped with big wooden tables and chairs, hanging charcuterie, vintage photographs, and a large counter where their sandwiches, salads, terrines, cheeses and pastries are proudly displayed.
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.
Montreal is a city with no shortage of culinary institutions and L’Express is one of my favorites. Established in 1980, this Parisian bistro has long been a fixture of St Denis street with its name written out on the iconic tiled terrace.
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:
Leméac is similar to the Montreal classic L’Expresse in that they are both French bistro type restaurants serving excellent fare for reasonable prices. Leméac is a little less stuffy in terms of atmosphere and just as classy. It also has a great terrasse that is open air in the summertime and equipped with heated lamps for the colder days of winter. We went for the after ten menu where you get an entrée and a main for $25 (such an amazing steal) and you would be surprised at how generous the offerings are and how much variety there is to choose from!
Les Filles Du Roy is the restaurant of the Pierre du Calvet hotel. Located just steps away from Le Bremner and a few steps more from the Old Port beach (under construction in anticipation for next summer), the place can be easily missed. The novelty of the experience is probably one of the best parts of eating here – the building itself has been standing since 1725, so right off the bat you know that the architecture and the aesthetic of the place is going to be older, or shall we say vintage. Scattered throughout are remnants of life in the 18th and 19th centuries, from Victorian style paintings to mounted game to antique furniture, rugs and draperies. Towards the end of the reception area are several talking birds – if you’re lucky, you might be greeted with a squawk of a hello as you pass by the washrooms.
Every time I stop by Le St. Bock, I’m surprised at how extensive their menu is. And almost everything on it has beer in it. It’s insane how beery things get. They even manage to put it in brownies… Definitely on my to-try list. The St. Bock is a good spot for an afternoon meal, a dinner on the terrasse as well as a drink with a couple of friends late at night. The virtue of the place is that it is perfect for almost any (casual) get together location-wise, atmosphere-wise and food-wise. For avid beer drinkers, the St. Bock offers a number of house brews that are listed here – the listings apparently change every week depending on what’s on tap and what’s new in house. From what I understand, they are quite good!
I finally got a chance to go to Toqué for my birthday dinner. After having heard so much about the gourmet eatery in the Old Port, I can say that the restaurant went above and beyond in every respect, including the hype surrounding it. I was completely blown away by the impeccable service, the great food and the amazing ambiance. Walking in, the atmosphere of ‘high class sophistication’ is apparent from the get go.
We made reservations at Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne, one of the several celebrity restaurants at the Shoppes at the Marina Bay Sands. For your information, their roster includes Mario Batali’s Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza (actually tried to make reservations there but they were booked up for the next two days), Tetsuya Wakuda’s Waku Ghin, Wolfgang Puck’s Cut and Guy Savoy’s self titled restaurant.
The number of high tea places in the Shoppes at the Marina Bay Sands seems endless. After our pleasant foray into the world of high tea in Singapore with TWG, we decided to check out High Society. Featuring plush red velvet seats and curtains, gold colored chandeliers, black and white tiled floors, a bar full of nothing but Veuve-Cliquot and Moet, the place definitely gives off a more fancy and uppity air. Despite the setting, the service isn’t snobby at all and you can really enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee and a dessert quite comfortably.