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If you’re looking for a sophisticated lunch or dinner in Madrid, look no further than Cilantro Gastrobar. We stopped by for lunch one day after reading a little bit about the place on Conde Nast and of course, they were spot on. This place serves some really nice food that makes for pretty pictures and a satisfied belly.
Can Paixano Barcelona (Xampanyeria) is not for the weak-kneed or faint of heart. It’s the real deal. It’s a loud, crowded, rowdy, messy, salty, drunken experience not to be missed. Located on a narrow side street in the Barceloneta neighborhood of Barcelona, Can Paixano is safely hidden from the unwashed masses of tourists plaguing nearby La Rambla.
Quimet e Quimet is a small but lively traditional Barcelonian tapas bar serving a catered selection of both cold and hot dishes. Frequented mostly by locals, it’s a spot where shouting, laughing and an abundance of wine and champagne can be found – always a good thing. The walls are basically stacked up to the ceiling with different bottles of fine wines, malt whiskies, legendary vermouths and cold cavas, an impressive thing to look at to say the least.
Tucked away and hidden behind a nonchalant doorway and a flight of exceptionally steep steps is one of Montreal’s best terraces. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, let alone give the impression that it has one of the city’s largest open terraces. Le Club Social Espagnol’s main function is to serve as a meeting spot for Spanish ex-patriots to gather, hang out, eat, drink and talk. Most of the clientele are middle-aged and elderly Spanish men watching soccer games and cheering for their favorite players and teams or at other times, casually playing Bingo. Then you have people like us, who aren’t frequenting the place for either of those things but come instead to enjoy the sunshine on the deck and a pitcher of fantastic red sangria.
One of the newest restaurants to join the Griffintown block, Le Bureau montreal channels vintage chic. The ancient brick walls, the high lofty ceilings, the golden fire extinguisher lamps and even the cobra snake beer tap all add to the laid back, casual sort of vibe. It aims to be the up-and-coming hotspot for young locals and professionals to grab a drink after work, nibble on some snacks maybe and talk into the night.
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.
Voro will grow on you, but it won’t take long. In fact, by the time you walk out the door you’ll lie and tell people that you’re a regular. It’s a no frills, Mediterranean restaurant on Fairmount – tucked away just around the corner from Parc street.
Dolcetto & Co. can be described as a hip Italian wine bar with a tapas mentality. Located on St. Paul street in the Old Port, the place caters to a well to do mid to late twenties crowd looking for a casual chic evening out. Going for a ocean/beachy vibe as indicated in the rope and anchor ampersand part of their logo, the blue and white striped seats, the captain’s hats hanging off the hooks across the room and the bottle chandeliers, the whole place gives off a relaxed but sophisticated air.
Overlooking the park, restaurant Le Filet is situated in a beautiful spot. Fully equipped with a small terrace for warmer days, the restaurant embodies haute cuisine in almost every way thanks to the careful attention to detail in the meticulous presentation of food, the well-trained servers and the overall decor of the place. Walking in, you immediately notice the long bar, the open kitchen closer to the back and the mesmerizing three-dimensional photographs of seafood, illuminated by a backlight behind the bar. Very cool.
Having opened its doors about two months ago, Restaurant Biarritz is a new restaurant venture headed by Stéphane Bouzaglou who has previously worked with celebrity chef Daniel Boulud (check out this post from Singapore for a review on his Bistro Moderne). The place is a cozy, tiny little thing that exudes friendliness and warmth, offering up a casual chic atmosphere to meet up with friends and family.
Bisato features James Beard “Best Chef” winner Scott Carsberg’s minimal and creative Tapas. I was able to see firsthand the care and preparation going into each of these vibrant dishes as Carsberg seemed to do all the plating himself.