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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
Established in 1919 by Russian immigrant Isadore Shlafman – Fairmount Bagel is Montreal’s oldest bagel bakery and I believe its best. I stopped by recently to get a half dozen sesame bagels. I was greeted by a giant wall of bagels which must have been on its way out to cafes and restaurants around the city. After carefully sliding through the towering stacks of bagels I got a deep whiff of delicious freshly cooked bagels being handled by handsome team of bagel professionals. It was all there, the huge mound of uncooked bagel dough the size of a fatboy, the giant wood fire oven and the piles of classic sesame bagels.
Beauty’s is a historical and iconic symbol of Montreal. One of the first places in the city to serve breakfast (according to the owner, Hymie Sckolnick in Anthony Bourdain’s Montreal episode of the Layover), the luncheonette is clearly imbued with history. Just take a look around the place – old-school diner style banquettes hearkening back to the 40s, the classic and timeless items offered (bagel lox, the best milkshakes ever etc.) and the multitude of signed posters of celebrities that have visited the restaurant are proudly mounted on the walls further affirming Beauty’s as an old favorite.
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.
The Oyster Bar is on the Gourmet Food floor of the Bellavita complex by the Taipei City Hall MRT station. It boasts a very sleek look especially for a food court kiosk restaurant. Their specialty as you can probably guess, is oysters. We ordered two Ecailles oysters that were said to have a fruity taste – and boy, did they! Never had an oyster with such a unique taste that’s for sure.