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Noting the popularity of chocolate bars in parts of Asia and Australia, Easy Ying – the owner and the concept creator of Cacao 70 – was particularly surprised that nothing remotely similar had yet surfaced in Montreal’s diverse restaurant and culinary scene. So, he endeavored to create a unique and novel experience for those who had never been while bringing something new to the table for those who have. What differentiates the place from their competitors (say, Juliette & Chocolat) is the fact that all the raw materials used both inside and outside the restaurant are recycled and their selection of chocolate and raw cocoa is seemingly limitless and variety driven (their cocoa comes from Venezuela to Costa Rica to Tanzania to Ghana). While conceding to the fact that the restaurant’s look and concept seems to be more fitting for trendier areas like Mile End or the Plateau, it is their hope that Cacao 70 can perhaps kickstart the revitalization of the West end of St. Catherine street much like Joe Beef, Jane’s and The Burgundy Lion have done for Griffintown. They’re off to a good start, that’s for sure.
The Zagat rated Bistro Isakaya is a quiet, delightful little place on Parc avenue. In close proximity to McGill university, students, families and seniors alike frequent the authentic Japanese restaurant. Featuring daily specials based on the freshest ingredients in house, the menu changes a little every time we go. Selling a variety of Asian candies, cookies and novelty knick knacks (sushi erasers) by the front cash, there is a friendly and homey type vibe from the minute you walk in.
Sunday, September 11th was a perfect day. For once, the weather cooperated. Shooting rays of sunshine and warmth all over the city, Montreal’s annual Oysterfest event was a complete blowout success – starting around 2 in the afternoon and lasting all the way until 9 pm, the lineup was long even at the start. Tickets at the door went quickly and were totally sold out about an hour after the event started. With over two dozen restaurants present providing food in exchange for coupon tickets, the place was teeming with excited and eager foodies itching to try everything all at once.
Le Bremner is one of Montreal’s newest and most popular restaurants – not only has it been all over the Urbanspoon talk of the town, but it has been quite successful in getting a fair amount of attention just through word of mouth. This buzz may mostly be because of its celebrity chef owner, Chuck Hughes. With a sweet spot on St. Paul street in the Old Port and one of the most beautiful terraces I’ve seen in a while, the back part of the restaurant is an absolute gem. Weather permitting (fall and colder weather fast approaching), make sure to request for a spot out there. Surrounded by rustic chic decor and leafy greens, paneled/embossed ceilings and great big wooden tables, Le Bremner has its look nailed. The lack of signage makes it very possible for people to miss Le Bremner – the word “Restaurant” is written in simple red lettering above steps leading to a basement level giving it a more underground, exclusive feel.
World renowned French chef and restauranteur Joel Robuchon – the only one in the world who has received as many as 24 Michelin stars – has opened a Salon de Thé in Taipei’s Bellavita high fashion complex. Beautifully decorated with not a single item out of place, the furniture, the floors and the couches alternate between a jet black and a bright red, providing a stark contrast. We went around 11 am, a little early for afternoon tea granted, but we were anticipating waiting for a while, having heard that lines to get a seat inside are common. To our surprise, it was completely empty! We were the only customers until a few minutes before we left as some more groups started to trickle in. The place is gorgeous – as are the pastries served here.
Exhausted after sunning ourselves all day and swimming in the lake (I know, hard life right), we had to have something that was going to fill our empty stomachs and wake us back up. While enjoying the beautiful view of our backyard, we started with a tomato and watermelon salad with feta, dill and mint. The first time this dish was made was for my parents – for their joint birthdays back in April. Since then, it has become a house favorite for the summer, despite the seemingly uncommonly put together ingredients. The watermelon brings sweetness to the dish, the tomatoes weight, the walnuts a crunchy texture and the mint and dill a surprising twist. The recipe can be found here.
For the grilled vegetables, all you need is fresh produce. Cut up a few eggplants, asparagus, red peppers, artichoke and whatever else you fancy and throw them on the grill. Easy!
The challah bread is store bought, so just head to your closest Kosher bakery and pick up a loaf.
The ribs are perfect for a summer BBQ. Juicy, tender and oh-so-delicious. The ribs have to be pre-cooked for three hours until the meat is falling off the bone. It must then be marinated with Diana Sauce and grilled for five to seven minutes.
Check out this link to get the details on how to make the rhubarb strawberry oat crumble. This is also a relatively easy recipe to get through. Throw all the ingredients together in a baking dish and put it in the oven. Good to go![flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626900447500″]
Welcome to the food! I ordered the roasted beets to start. They were chopped to bite-sized pieces that were perfectly tender and nicely complimented by the horizontally sliced chevre chaud that lay on top of the beets like a warm, creamy blanket. Both the Jane Salad and the Caesar Salad were comprised of Roman lettuce though the former had an Italian style dressing while the latter had an obvious Caesar dressing along with hot cheese puffs (the warm temperature a nice touch).