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With decor that can be only be described as eclectic and entirely whimsical, Chez José is a favourite local lunch spot with smoothies to die for, bangin’ sandwiches and awesome homemade pastries. Looking around the small shop, brightly contrasting animal prints (red and yellow leopard print, purple and black zebra stripes), funny bits and pieces of memorabilia (“sex scene – do not cross” tape, Ken barbie doll, disco ball) and high res photographs of nameless individuals catch your eye and make you smile.
There is a distinct New York vibe about Le Cartet. With an upscale gourmet foods boutique at the front of the restaurant, diners are encouraged to check out the goodies while waiting in line during the busy weekend brunch rush or upon leaving the restaurant during regular hours. The trendy design of the place features minimalistic art, colorful ransom lettering of select menu items on the front welcome board and long communal tables where diners sit alongside one another, strangers and friends alike. The hustle and bustle of the place doesn’t take away from the quality of service at all, contrary to what you might think – we were served promptly and courteously from the moment we walked in.
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.