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Summer is here. Can you feel it? Of course you can. This isn’t just about the physical element of heat. I’m talking about the mental transformation that seems to take hold of every Montrealer as soon as the snow melts and the weather starts to turn around (think eager, shorts-wearing individuals in March where it’s totally inappropriate weather-wise, but points for bravado). It’s the uncontrollable urge to want to sit outside, have a picnic, ride a bike, drink sangria, eat on a terrasse and lick ice cream constantly. It’s the desire to undertake any one of these activities or all of them, at all times. This post is about enabling you.
I’ve been holding off on this post for way too long. After going to Accords once and loving it too much, I thought I would go back within a reasonable amount of time, combine photos and make a bigger post just for you. Unfortunately for me, that hasn’t happened as soon as I would have liked. In any case, I’m going to show you the best brunch place you’ve seen in a while… Get ready!
Jardin Nelson is famous for their impressive terrasse. Spacious, luxurious and beautiful, hot days and summertime is when this place really shines. With two levels of outdoor seating and some, they aren’t messing around. They know that their space is pretty much unbeatable in Montreal – can you think of anywhere else with a spot remotely similar? Watching the huge parasols unfold for the evening is a sight to behold. Check out the video on their website for an idea of what the place looks like at night. The soft lighting, the natural feel (birds chirping, vines along the walls, trees within the resto) – the ambiance almost seems surreal. For those of you looking for a good date spot in the Old Port, this is it!
Looking to catch up with a friend in Toronto, we were drawn to Fire on the East Side after hearing about some amazing fried chicken on waffles. Upon getting there and scanning the menu with no sign of the dish, it proved to be totally elusive. According to our server, the dish had never existed at the place. I won’t lie, we were pretty disappointed, as we had chosen the place based solely on the possibility of eating that specific dish. We contemplated leaving for a few seconds, but the thought quickly vanished as we took the first few bites out of the house made banana bread. Moist and soft, the little square of sweetness bolstered our appetites and we sat on.
Mâche restaurant is a newly opened casual spot on St Denis – in the heart of the Latin Quarter. The menu includes comfort foods like Mac and Cheese, Pulled Pork sandwiches and Poutine. We decided to try out Mâche on a hungry night when we didn’t want to break the bank – nearly the entire menu is under 15$. We started with a pint of beer and a glass of Sangria and sat out on the terrasse.
I don’t know why I don’t go to La Fabrique more than I do. This place is amazing. I just remember the one and only time I went for dinner, I was completely blown away. Looking for somewhere to brunch, La Fabrique came up in my search and rose coloured memories gently came floating back.
Terrase Nelligan is a restaurant and bar sitting atop the Nelligan hotel. The space and ambiance has a very 5 – 7 feel to it attracting mostly a late 20s to 30s affluent crowd. It is Old Montreal after all. Terrasse Nelligan is one of three restaurants in Hotel Nelligan, along with Mechant Boeuf and Verses. The menu is pretty basic and is comprised of mostly finger foods with some mains as well.
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!
Way back when I first heard the La Iguana was closing, I was sad to see one of the few good Mexican restaurants in Montreal go. But now, with the opening of Ice House in its stead (literally in the exact same location) I think I may have found something even better!Only a block away from all the action on St. Laurent street, Roy is surprisingly quiet which is actually kind of nice for a more intimate dinner on a hot summer night. The place has barstools, wooden benches, convenient napkin dispensers (no cutlery given!) and an eclectic sense of decoration, with for example, a mounted rabbit with antlers attached just by the cash.
Amidst a wealth of synagogues, Kosher grocery stores and smoked meat delis in Outremont sits the Bistro Le République. Advertising a deal for every day of the week, Tuesday’s special offered us $15 gourmet burgers, including two pints of Creemore Springs beer – not bad at all, if you ask me. Its enormous terrasse curves around the corner of the street, almost doubling the seating area inside. Raised on a platform, the wooden benches (softened by cushions) allow not only for a great view of the surrounding area but can also serve as an observation deck for some superb people watching (Shtreimel wearing Hasidic Jews, multiple children in matching clothes all riding scooters, well dressed and good looking youth etc).