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Found 11 results

  1. Repairs to Hélène de Champlain building force eatery to shut Restaurant's owner plans to close it down when lease expires at end of 2009 ALAN HUSTAK, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago The building that houses the Hélène de Champlain restaurant on Île Ste. Hélène needs massive repairs, and the restaurant will close for good in 16 months when its lease expires. Pierre Marcotte, the French- language television personality who has leased the red sandstone building from the city since 1983, says the property needs between $3 million and $5 million in repairs. "We have no choice but to close," he said. "The city has decided not to renew its lease after 2009 in order to undertake the repairs. That could take a year or more to complete. The electrical and heating systems are outdated, and major repairs to the building itself are necessary." Initially meant to be a sports pavilion, the island chalet was built during the Depression as a Quebec government make-work project. It was designed by Émile Daoust to resemble a Norman château, and the grounds were landscaped by Frederick Todd. It was turned over to the city in 1942 and in 1955 became a municipal restaurant, but didn't get a liquor licence until 1960. In 1966, Mayor Jean Drapeau had the building redone as the official residence for Expo 67's Commissioner-General, Pierre Dupuy. It also had a hall of honour next to the main dining room that was used by Drapeau as a reception centre for visiting dignitaries and heads of state. The reception for French President Charles de Gaulle was held in the chalet after he delivered his controversial "Vive le Québec libre" speech. Even though the restaurant proved to be a money-loser, Drapeau kept its five dining rooms open until 1977, when they were closed because of a labour dispute. They reopened in 1981. Marcotte said he does not plan to renew his lease, and no one is certain what will happen to the building once the repair work is done. In the past, there has been talk of converting the site into a hotel for high rollers at the Montreal Casino. [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com
  2. Montreal's moment Stylish, historic and full of great dining options, this Québécois hot spot has evolved into North America's own City of Light. Co-owner Alison Cunningham at Joe Beef Stay Our favorite hotels are clustered around Vieux-Montréal. Hotel Le St.-James (355 Rue St.-Jacques; 514/841-3111; hotellestjames.com; doubles from $400), housed in a former 19th-century bank, is a Gilded Age fantasy of Oriental carpets, antiques and paintings, and outsize four-poster beds. The fauxhawked staff at Hotel St.-Paul (355 Rue McGill; 514/ 380-2222; hotelstpaul.com; doubles from $279) might be off-putting if the rooms weren't so comfortable and stylish, with playful fabrics brightening the dark walnut floors and white walls. Although the era of the minimalist design hotel may be ending, Hotel Gault (449 Rue Ste.-Hélène; 514/ 904-1616; hotelgault.com; doubles from $209) shows no signs of losing its edge. The exposed brickwork and cast-iron columns feel as of-the-moment as when Gault opened five years ago. Set among the port's converted warehouses, Auberge du Vieux-Port (97 Rue de la Commune Est; 514/876-0081; aubergeduvieuxport.com; doubles from $280) offers water views and a lively rooftop terrace. Shop Old Montreal has been quietly resurrected from its tourist trappings. Yvonne and Douglas Mandel, pioneers of the new Vieux, showcase their sharply tailored menswear at Kamkyl Urban Atelier (439 Rue St.-Pierre; 514/281-8221). If you go ... Montreal has great bike trails throughout the city and along the water. (Try the one that follows the Lachine Canal.) In Old Montreal, Ca Roule Montreal (27 Rue de la Commune Est; 514/866-0633; http://www.caroulemontreal.com) offers both bicycle rentals and guided tours. Nearby, Espace PEpin (350 Rue St.-Paul Ouest; 514/844-0114), a women's label, features a kimono-meets-tuxedo-shirt dress called the Écuyère. Rue St.-Denis, up in the Plateau neighborhood, is filled with charming boutiques. Couleurs Meubles et Objéts du 20e Siècle (3901 Rue St.-Denis; 514/282-4141) stocks a smart selection of Midcentury housewares, equal doses Scandinavian and Canadian. Proof that Montreal is an epicure's dream: Les Touilleurs (152 Ave. Laurier Ouest; 514/278-0008) in Mile End, where marble counters are piled with cooking implements, including Quebecer Tom Littledeer's maple spoons and spatulas. Visit the expansive Le Marché Jean-Talon (7070 Rue Henri-Julien; 514/937-7754) for regional cheeses and maple candies, and 53 kinds of sausage at William J. Walter. Eat At Joe Beef (2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest; 514/935-6504; dinner for two $140), the interiors (a boar's head trophy over the bar; rustic wooden tables; checkered napkins) verge on irreverent, but the food is anything but. The emphasis is decidedly Québécois -- heavy on meat, with healthy doses of foie gras and boudin. Don't Miss T+L: Montreal destination guide T+L: The next design city T+L: Mountain magic Club Chasse et Pêche (423 Rue St.-Claude; 514/861-1112; dinner for two $125), on a cobblestone lane in Vieux-Montréal, is marked by an antler-and-fish crest hanging outside the door. Dishes (striped bass with asparagus and sorrel; rabbit and lobster gnocchi) pay homage to both gun and rod, but all are refreshingly light. Leméac (1045 Rue Laurier Ouest; 514/270-0999; lunch for two $60), in the fashionable Outremont neighborhood, has all the tropes of a perfect French bistro: efficient staff, a long brass bar and a menu that ranges from a creamy blanquette de veau to a fresh salmon tartare. Part restaurant, part underground nightclub, Garde Manger (408 Rue St. -François-Xavier; 514/678-5044; dinner for two $9) offers innovative seafood (General Tao lobster), and a seat at the coolest party in town. After 9 p.m., the rock sound track comes on and the dining room fills up. Do There's plenty to explore in the city, but save time for a walk through Frederick Law Olmsted's wooded Parc du Mont-Royal (lemontroyal.qc.ca) -- views from the summit are spectacular. The municipal-looking Belgo Building (372 Rue Ste.-Catherine Ouest), the hub of the city's contemporary art scene, brims with more than 30 workshops and galleries. Two of the best are Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain (No. 216; 514/395-6032) and Galerie René Blouin (No. 501; 514/393-9969). For a deeper look at Canadian art, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (1380 Rue Sherbrooke; 514/285-2000; mbam.qc.ca) has contemporary Inuit sculptures, early-20th-century landscapes from Ontario's Group of Seven and Serge Lemoyne's exuberant 1975 "Dryden" -- a 7-by-11-foot painting of legendary goalie Ken Dryden's hockey mask. Montreal's nightlife is centered around Rue St.-Laurent, in the Plateau. Try Pop! Bar à Vin (250 Pine Ave. Est; 514/287-1648), which resembles a Danish living room circa 1966; Bily Kun (354 Mont-Royal Est; 514/845-5392), specializing in local microbrews; and Bar Plan B (327 Mont-Royal Est; 514/845-6060), a favorite among the city's restaurateurs.E-mail to a friend
  3. Montreal's restaurants fluent in French BY RAPHAEL SUGARMAN Saturday, December 1st 2007, 4:00 AM Europea's chef, Jerome Ferrer, prepares a fine French meal. New Yorkers looking for the perfect destination to tantalize their palates needn't spend hours traveling overseas to Paris. They should instead make the relatively short jaunt to Montreal and enjoy a culinary tradition that is just as passionate and arguably more exciting than that of France. "The food [in France] is very good and very classic, but here we are more open-minded," says Normand Lapris, executive chef of Toque, a highly rated Montreal restaurant. "When I am cooking, I don't think to myself, 'I can't use this recipe or this spice because it is not French,'" adds Lapris. "If I like curry, I put curry in my food." Fostering classic French cuisine - while remaining open to North American eclecticism - makes Montreal an ideal city for food lovers. More than half the city's 20 top-rated restaurants are classified as French or French-Canadian, and the cuisine - and its Quebecois influences - undeniably inspires the greatest passion in Montreal's kitchens. A very good case can be made that the city's top French restaurants - including Chez L'Epicier, L'Express, Au Pied de Cochon and Toque - offer every bit as delectable and memorable a dining experience as any spot in Paris. Because Montreal is, by nature, a French city, dining in a bistro here offers a much more authentic experience than similar establishments in New York or other North American cities. "When you are dining at L'Express, you feel like you could be in Paris, like you are in another world," says Lesley Chesterman, restaurant critic for the Montreal Gazette. Much like France, the quality of restaurants in Montreal is driven by the superb food markets. At the Atwater Market in the Saint-Henri district, and at the Jean-Talon Market adjacent to Little Italy, locals and tourists alike marvel at the bounty of luscious, home-grown products. At Jean-Talon, make sure to visit Le Marche Des Saveurs du Québec (The Market Flavors of Quebec), a pair of shops that feature a staggering 7,000 delicacies produced in the province. "The small producers make all the difference here in Quebec," says Carl Witchel, a local food historian. "The difference between Montreal and New York is that here you can go into a really inexpensive bistro with 20 or 25 seats and have something really remarkable." IF YOU GO ... Where to stay: Le Saint-Sulpice: Cozy boutique hotel in the heart of Old Montreal, a block from Notre Dame. (877)-SULPICE. Hotel Le Germain: A gem in the city's downtown business district. (514) 849-2050. Where to eat: Nuances: Jean-Pierre Curtat's wonderful French fare, irreproachable service and ethereal sunsets. (514) 392-2708. Club Chasse Et Péche: You have to love a place that lists "Six Oysters with Charisma" on the menu. (514) 861-1112. Europea: The Lobster Cream Cappuccino with truffle oil is just one of chef Jerome Ferrer's inventive offerings. (514) 398-9229. Beaver Club: Located in the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, this opulent stalwart has been serving classic French cuisine for decades. (514) 861-3511.
  4. http://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/dining/a5818/montreal-restaurant-scene/ Asked to name the best restaurant city in America—meaning the United States—I offered the only reasonable answer: Montreal, a city with the culture, the cooks, the restaurants, the provisions, and the hospitality. (Also of significance is Canada's nicely diminished dollar, which makes dining a deal.) Such a welcome package was neatly summed up by a Canadian pal, Mike Boone, who worked with me at the Montreal Star in the 1970s. He said, "We're not just nice, we're cheap." Of course, Montreal isn't exactly in the United States, should you be hung up on such details as international borders. (Obviously, I am not.) The city is in the province of Quebec, a part of Canada as long as there has been a Canada. My belief that Montreal is really a lost colony of the United States is strengthened by the indisputable fact that our Continental Army captured and briefly held it in 1775. One need only glance at a map from those days, when the province of Quebec was nestled just north of the 13 colonies, to admire the logic. Allow me to add this: The citizens of Quebec practically exhausted themselves trying to secede from Canada in the latter half of the 20th century, only to fail when a 1995 referendum lost by a few thousand votes. To me Montreal is spiritually a part of the U.S., a kind of New York City in miniature, although it's even more like an independent city-state. OLD MONTREAL AT NIGHT. DENNIS TANGNEY JR./GETTY IMAGES The restaurants of Montreal are the attraction. Their evolution, which started in this century, has been swift. They are modest in size and technically proficient, and they provide a sense of casual fine dining that is embraced more wholeheartedly here than anywhere in the U.S. The dining culture is descended from those of both France and England— thankfully, more from France—leaving Montreal a sort of culinary orphan, free to seek its own path. New York, which was considered the best American dining city in most eras, but no longer, has become ground zero for casual dining. (A restaurant critic for the New York Times recently announced his top dish of the year: a sticky bun.) Montreal has developed an engaging dining personality at the same time that New York has been losing the one it had. Famed Montreal restaurateur David McMillan (Joe Beef, Le Vin Papillon) says, "I'll tell you why Montreal is the best restaurant city, and it's not about the skill of our cooking. We have the most advanced dining public in North America. I serve lamb liver cooked rare to 17-year-old girls. I sell tons of kidneys and sweetbreads. Manhattan is one giant steakhouse. Everybody there wants steak, or red tuna. I don't want to know how much red tuna is sold every day." Chef Normand Laprise, the grand old man of Montreal chefs (even if he is only 54), adds, "I visit pastry shops in the States, and I know Americans are not open- minded customers. It's hard to sell any- thing other than cupcakes and macarons." Montreal has had multiple culinary revolutions in the past 50 years. When I worked for the Star the restaurants primarily served French cuisine, albeit not quite what you'd find in Larousse Gastronomique. The Beaver Club at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel featured such fantastical dishes as Le Coeur du Charolais Soufflé aux Splendeurs du Périgord. The top chefs, who came to Canada from France following World War II or stayed in Montreal after working at Expo 67, were a little too fixated on flambéing and melting cheese. After the financial debacle of the 1976 Olympics, which almost bankrupted Quebec, the restaurants declined precipitously. The only noteworthy and enduring establishment was Toqué!, operated by Laprise. In 2001 came Au Pied du Cochon, which was informal and inventive. Chef Martin Picard embraced local products and reinvented old, somewhat primitive dishes such as jellied pig's head and poutine, an ungodly assemblage of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy that arose in rural Quebec in the 1950s. Picard created a regional cuisine and, more important, prized local products as few before him had. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW Joe Beef, the next great restaurant, did away with tablecloths and menus (using blackboards instead). That was followed by Les 400 Coups (in the French tradition) and Lawrence (quite Anglo), establishments embracing either side of the local language divide. They were among the places that made Montreal the best for restaurants in this hemisphere, one where fine dining has been transformed into a modern ideal. No other city does it as well. DAY 1: FARM FRESH MEETS CRAZY GENIUS Daniel Boulud, who has a restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Montreal, tells me that a visitor can grasp the essence of the dining culture before arriving, simply by looking out an airplane window. "Twenty minutes before you land, you pass over the farms, the greenhouses. This isn't California. Here you have really small farms next to each other, not industrialized." So as I fly in I peer out the window. First I see mountaintops and lakes, then silos and barns. Boulud is right. After we land, my traveling companion and I head to Les 400 Coups for lunch. The room is primarily in shades of charcoal and black, understated. The clientele, like most people in this city, dresses stylishly. The food is auspicious. Our squash soup is not like other squash soups. No bulk. No boredom. It's speckled with drops of olive oil, as though they had floated down from a cloud. The duck croquette is precisely as duck should be: rich, savory, skinless, and easy to eat. If there were such a thing as a wagyu duck burger, this would be it. AN ARRAY OF DISHES FROM LE MOUSSO, WHICH FEATURES A NEW TASTING MENU EVERY DAY. @ONDEJEUNE Les 400 Coups also has a pastry chef, a category of professional disappearing from American restaurants. I don't mean to overdo the compliments, but the desserts are notable as well: delicious and artistic, a little Georges Braque, a little forest tableau; the lemon cream dessert includes sea buckthorn. I would not be surprised if the pastry chef forages when off duty. I feared that our choice for dinner, Le Mousso, an all-tasting-menu restaurant that had just opened, would be like all the tasting-menu joints in America, the chef desperately seeking to express himself. Such food is occasionally brilliant. Too often it's awful. My friend was intrigued, certain it would be different here. She was correct. The restaurant is very Brooklyn, with an array of seating options at tables and counters, plus hanging lightbulbs and a chef, Antonin Mousseau-Rivard, who sports a short beard, a knit cap, tattooed arms, and Adidas shower sandals. He is self-taught, mostly via Instagram, and he says, "I didn't even work at a good restaurant in my life." We are handed a printed menu. It looks weird, but tasting menus always do. We eat seven dishes, all marrying ingredients never previously combined. But the wagyu beef from Quebec accented with slightly salty sturgeon caviar is masterful, as is the cool arctic char nestled in what appears to be a paint box of colors and flavors. Even the desserts are arresting, and desserts prepared by savory chefs are rarely that. The first is labeled sang, which means blood. I'm frightened, as I'm sure the chef means me to be, but it's blood sausage ice cream as Häagen-Dazs might make it, plus Quebec cheddar crumble in an apple-vinegar reduction. (Yes, Quebec has a flourishing cheese industry.) I suggest to Mousseau-Rivard that he might be a crazy genius, and he replies, "I like the word crazy more than genius." DAY 2: LOCAL HEROES A few blocks from the Parc du Mont- Royal, a revered green space designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, sits Beauty's, a luncheonette owned by Hymie Sckolnick, 95. He is always there. Hymie bought the shop in 1942 for $500. He is nice enough not to brag about his investment prowess. BREAKFAST AT BEAUTY'S, A LOCAL FIXTURE SINCE 1942. MICKAEL BANDASSAK Breakfast at Beauty's followed by a park stroll serves two vital purposes: The park provides visitors with an aware- ness of the physical glory of the city, as it's built on the slopes of the multitier hill Mount Royal, and Beauty's remains a notable example of Montreal's enduring (and somewhat inexplicable) fascination with Jewish food, most famously its bagels—smaller, sweeter, and superior to New York's—and its pastrami-like smoked meat. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW At Beauty's, bagels from the St.-Viateur bagel shop (officially La Maison du Bagel) accompany the "famous mishmash," a kind of omelet that would be scorned by French chefs, inasmuch as it is not golden yellow or elegantly contoured. It consists of eggs, scrambled and browned a bit, the way my grandmother made hers, plus hot dog, salami, green pepper, and fried onion. You will sigh. You will burp. Unmatched in Montreal (or anywhere) is Le Vin Papillon, owned by David McMillan. The food is casual, mostly vegetables. The place takes no reservations and for a long time was nearly impossible to get into, although recently it doubled in size and the struggle has subsided. I recommend arriving at 3 p.m., when it opens, although take care not to wait by the wrong door, the permanently closed one, or you'll feel as if you've been locked out. We have celery root ribbons bathed in bagna cauda, a Piedmontese sauce made with garlic and anchovies; charcoal-roasted white turnips with housemade pomegranate molasses; and the best dish of all: a curiously savory hummus of hubbard squash with homemade focaccia. LE VIN PAPILLON'S CHALKBOARD MENU. RANDALL BRODEUR We don't leave until 6 and decide to skip a formal dinner, choosing instead a late smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's, which seems to be open day and night. Schwartz's never changes, although the ownership has. The original proprietor, a Jewish immigrant from Romania, is long gone, and Schwartz's is now the property of a consortium that includes Céline Dion. I order my smoked meat fatty—most customers request medium or lean—and the waiter says, "Good for you." Maybe the place has changed: That's a long speech for a Schwartz's waiter. The rye bread continues to be tasteless, the smoked meat is still really good, the cole slaw reminds me of North Carolina, and the fries aren't as great as they used to be, but they're not bad. DAY 3: OLD FRENCH, NEW BRITISH Maison Boulud is admirable for who owns it (Daniel Boulud), for where it resides (in the historic Ritz-Carlton), and for its lovely location adjoining a small garden and duck pond (request a table overlooking both). The restaurant is among the last of its kind, a French one (well, mostly French) in a city where French cuisine is vanishing. (This is happening everywhere in North America; it just seems more baffling in Quebec, where more than half the population is French-speaking.) I order a lunch that spins me back in time: housemade pâté of startling freshness and eminent richness, and confit of guinea fowl leg in a miraculously silken foie gras sauce. The kitchen sends out lovely ravioli stuffed with sheep's milk cheese. It doesn't taste French, and shouldn't—the executive chef, Riccardo Bertolino, is from Bologna. THE MAISON BOULUD KITCHEN. Dinner that evening is entirely anglophile, at Maison Publique, an appealing tavern that offers only Canadian wines (and somehow pulls it off) and plates of mostly meaty foods that sound peculiar, as British cuisine almost always does. I never miss a chance to eat here. We order andouille sausage (reddish, dreamy, and fiery) spread on toast, and tender lonza, or salumi, made from free-range piglets raised for the restaurant in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The main room has an old wooden floor, dark paneling, and mounted deer heads with soccer scarves wrapped around their necks. The menu is a well-lit corkboard to which is pinned a list of food and drink. Folks gather around it to discuss the dinner choices, a sign of changing times. When I lived in Montreal in the 1970s, during the separatist movement, concerned young people gathered in bars and pubs to sing protest songs demanding freedom from Canada. Now they chat about the origins of local meats and vegetables. DAY 4: A POUTINE CHALLENGE We have made no lunch plans, but when desperate I always call the nearest hot dog joint. On Saint Lawrence Boulevard is the Montreal Pool Room, which opened in 1912 in a different location not far from the current one. (Other changes have occurred: no more pool tables.) In case you have trouble finding it, directly across the street is the garish marquee of Café Cléopatre, which features stripteaseuses and danseuses à gogo. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW My friend calls the Pool Room and asks, "Are you open? Are you serving food?" A sweetheart of a counterman replies, "Yes, madame. Hot dog, hamburger, cheeseburger. You come, you eat." She has her first Montreal hot dog. They're famous, even if they're bland compared with New York's. Here they're served correctly: steamed and topped with mustard, relish, and mild chopped onions. She also insists on poutine. I await her disappointment, but she loves it, saying, "It filled my every poutine expectation." If you're from New Jersey and enjoy disco fries, you might love poutine too. Hot dogs followed by poutine can be filling, which makes Hôtel Herman—it's not a hotel and there is no Herman—an excellent option for dinner. It offers small plates that are unusually small. The food is unexpectedly elegant, given the rough-hewn decor (wide plank floors that look as old as Montreal itself, tin ceiling, bare lightbulbs). Little logs of housemade foie gras are brilliantly composed, topped with crumbs and cranberries. The chef, Marc-Alexandre Mercier, bakes his own bread, dark and earthy and easily worth the $2 surcharge. The sweetbreads come with mashed potatoes from a variety called Ozette, grown in Quebec. They are mesmerizing, and it's not just the added buttermilk and cream. Mercier tells me his way with vegetables is a result of childhood trauma: His mother made him eat a bowl of rutabaga so awful it made him cry. DAY 5: GENTRIFICATION FLAMBEE Lawrence, among the most Anglo of the Anglo establishments, is blessed with big windows that allow in an abundance of light, a major reason I love to have lunch there. The staff is sweet, the wine list just right, the crockery seemingly from a church basement sale, and the menu filled with dishes you might never have eaten before. Fried endive topped with snowy crab, an unlikely concoction, is crunchy and juicy, impeccably fresh. The desserts are simple but superlative, the "burnt" chocolate pudding much like an all chocolate crème brûlée, and the warm ginger cake is topped with a crème anglaise that I'm tempted to drink. In the evening we set out to see two new restaurants with unusual appeal. Both feature wood-burning ovens, which are unusual in Montreal, and both are in newly gentrified sections of the city. A TRAY OF OYSTERS AT HOOGAN & BEAUFORT. ALISON SLATTERY PHOTOGRAPHY Hoogan & Beaufort is in a former industrial park in Rosemont where the Canadian Pacific Railway once built locomotives. An excellent consequence: It has stunningly high ceilings. William Saulnier, one of the partners, says that in the restaurant's opening days many of the calls they received started out, "Where are you?" Foxy is in a neighborhood once largely populated by Irish immigrants. Both of these spots are following an established American trend, moving away from midtown to more remote locations where rents are cheaper and space more generous. We weren't able to eat at Hoogan & Beaufort, only peek in, because we were dining with Lesley Chesterman, a friend who is the restaurant critic for the Montreal Gazette, and she was reviewing Foxy. She seemed to like my theory that Montreal belonged to the U.S. She said, "Montreal has never felt less Canadian to me." I leave the analysis of Foxy to Chesterman, enthusiastic about everything except the two dishes prepared in the wood- burning oven. About my favorite she wrote, "I loved the flatbread we ordered. Covered in melted raclette cheese, red onions, potatoes, and house-smoked ham, it was reminiscent of an Alsatian tarte flambée. We scarfed it back in minutes, the only problem being that one of the pieces of ham popped off my slice and, as I discovered the next morning, fell into my purse under the table." DAY 6: END ON A SWEET NOTE For me, departure days begin with a trip to the St.-Viateur bagel shop, where I buy a few dozen to take home. The price these days is 80 cents each. Hymie Sckolnick told me they used to cost two cents. When I complain to the counterman, he laughs and tosses in a few extra. Hymie's is a good name to drop in Montreal. PATRICE DEMERS WORKS HIS MAGIC AT PATRICE PÂTISSIER. MARC KANDALAFT Our getaway meal is lunch at Toqué!, which is run by Laprise, that most essential of Montreal chefs. His new establishment is a member of Relais & Châteaux, and his kitchen is a marvel, overflowing with cooks. The food isn't what I think of as new Montreal cuisine—it's too precise and luxurious—but it's up there with the best haute cuisine in North America. An appetizer of arctic char is creamy and silky, tasting of smoke and lemon. My Montreal Star pal Boone, joining us, calls it "the cotton candy of fish." Chicken, prepared sous-vide, is so moist there's beading on the breast. My friend has what the waitress calls "a perfect egg," cooked slowly, with a sauce made from a long-simmering duck reduction. Dessert is so ethereal—mostly honey, jelly, and cream—that on the way to the airport we stop at Patrice Pâtissier so I can pick up a few stuffed-on-the-spot chocolate-banana cream puffs. Patrice Demers, the owner of this new shop on Notre Dame West, was the first pastry chef at Les 400 Coups and thus is a hero of mine. But then, so many Montreal chefs are. Alan Richman is a 16-time winner of the James Beard Award for food writing.
  5. Une chaîne américaine que je ne connaissais pas. Trouvé sur le Twitter d'Allison Lampert http://www.solutions-emailing.com/i/?id=09vcDkuA4auvj46wHXUNVh9gW7Rc1AAY5C55s956nkbAf16yxk7HTFuFk7XwI1nYD12zNZ0LylE_3d
  6. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/look+Moishes/4889398/story.html#ixzz1OFxMp0Np
  7. Lawyer’s Survival Guide to Montreal By Larry Markowitz Montreal is the most European of North America’s cities, blessed with a joie de vivre that makes a visit worth your while at any time of the year. Although the majority of Montrealers are French-speaking, English-speaking visitors will have no problem getting by, especially if those visitors begin their conversations with a courteous “bonjour.” Entertainment Montrealers enjoy life. Lunches are longer, foods are tastier, and the seasons are filled with festivals of all sorts. In the summer, Montreal is renowned for its international jazz festival, featuring hundreds of free outdoor shows, as well as its comedy festival, known as the “Cannes of comedy.” Many a Hollywood sitcom star has been discovered by the talent scouts who frequent the Just for Laughs comedy fest. Even during its cold and snowy winters, Montreal holds festivals such as February’s Montreal High Lights Festival, which features performances, gastronomy, and activities for the whole family. Of course, one cannot ignore Montrealers’ passion for their Montreal Canadiens hockey club, which sells out the 21,000-seat Bell Centre for nearly every home game. Hockey is like a religion for the people of this city. Many local drivers fly a Canadiens’ flag from their automobile, as they encourage the “Habs” to win their twenty-fifth Stanley Cup. During the summer, the hometown 2009 Grey Cup-champion Alouettes of the Canadian Football League play their home games in the open-air Percival Molson Stadium located on the slopes of Mount Royal, the mountain in the center of this island city, from which Montreal takes its name. Visitors who are less interested in sports can visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal museum of contemporary art (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal) or the leading-edge Canadian Centre for Architecture. Alternatively, visitors may simply go for a stroll atop Mount Royal, along tree-lined pathways designed in the 19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted, who is best known for designing New York’s Central Park. The pathways of the Old Port along the Saint Lawrence River and the narrow cobblestone streets of adjacent Old Montreal are also pleasant places for a walk, especially when the weather is warm. Visitors from the United Sates should remember to bring their passports, as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency now requires a passport to be presented by all those entering (or re entering) the United States. A taxi ride to downtown Montreal from Trudeau Airport costs C$38 (approximately US$36 at the current exchange rate of C$1 = US$0.96) and usually takes less than 30 minutes. Once you’ve arrived in the city center, you’ll discover that Montreal is a very walkable place, with its “underground city” that links numerous office towers, shopping malls, and hotels and provides shelter from inclement weather. Because of its four major universities, three of which are located in the downtown area, and the fact that many residents both live and work downtown, the central core retains an active vibe at all hours of the day and night. The city also features a safe and visually appealing subway (metro) system. For those in a rush, taxis are plentiful, readily available, and quite affordable. Montreal is one of the oldest cities in the “new world.” Old Montreal, the area adjacent to the Old Port, has the largest concentration of 17th, 18th and 19th century architecture in North America. Those buildings are well-maintained and in them, one can find quaint boutique hotels and fine dining restaurants. Accommodations In addition to the boutique hotels, downtown Montreal also has all the usual chain hotels that meet the needs of business travelers and are located in proximity to the office towers that house Montreal’s law firms and corporate head offices. For a trendy boutique hotel in Old Montreal with exposed brick walls in your room, try the Hotel Nelligan (http://www.hotelnelligan.com). If you wish to be pampered in the same chateau-like surroundings as Madonna and the Rolling Stones, try the ultra sumptuous Hotel Le St-James (http://www.hotellestjames.com). For a major downtown business hotel, try the Queen Elizabeth. As an added bonus, 1960’s pop-culture history buffs will be interested to learn that room 1742 of the “Queen E.” was the site of 1969’s famous “Bed-in for Peace” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, during which they recorded their timeless song “Give Peace a Chance” (http://www.fairmont.com/EN_FA/Property/QEH/). Farther uptown and closer to the shopping of Sherbrooke Street (Montreal’s “Fifth Avenue”), and not far from Sainte-Catherine Street, Canada’s busiest shopping thoroughfare, is the luxurious Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile (http://www.sofitelmontreal.com). Dining For cuisine, Montreal’s multiethnic population, combined with its residents’ propensity for going out to dinner, has resulted in a multitude of high-quality restaurants, featuring every imaginable type of food. In fact, Montreal lays claim to having the most restaurants per capita of any North American city. At the basic end of the food spectrum, some local dishes that you might want to sample include poutine, a surprisingly tasty artery-blocking concoction of French fries and melted cheese curds doused in thick brown gravy. You should also sample a smoked meat sandwich with a side-order of kosher dill pickle at Schwartz’s on “The Main” (aka Saint-Laurent Boulevard, which is the traditional dividing line between the more anglophone western half of the city and the more francophone eastern half). Montreal smoked meat is a uniquely spiced and tender smoked brisket that is hand-sliced and served on rye bread with mustard. After sampling a smoked meat sandwich, stop by either Saint Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel for a uniquely Montreal tender hand-rolled bagel, cooked to perfection in a traditional wood-burning oven. There’s no rush to buy your bagels, as both of these institutions remain open 24/7. For more sophisticated cuisine, the absolute top of the top include Toqué! and Club Chasse et Pêche. A top-rated genuine French bistro experience may be had, without the need to fly to Paris, by dining at L'Express, located on Saint Denis Street, a broad avenue lined with numerous eateries. It has been said that Montrealers work to live, rather than the other way around. Hopefully, your travels will give you the opportunity to experience some of the joie de vivre of this “Paris on the Saint Lawrence” sometime soon! Larry Markowitz ([email protected]) is a partner in the Montreal office of McMillan LLP. His practice focuses on securities law and competition/antitrust law. http://www.abanet.org/intlaw/pubs/Montreal/montrealLSG10.html Drôle de hasard : je ne connaissais pas le restaurant Club Chasse & Pêche jusqu'à ce que j'y reconduisse huit de mes clients pour la première fois il y a deux jours !!
  8. City Slicker: Winter in Montreal They're used to long, hard winters in Montreal. In fact, the locals even celebrate the season with a special festival. It's just one reason to visit now, says Sarah Barrell Sunday, 15 February 2009 Get your skates on: Montreal's Old Port is given over to ice skating during the long, hard winter months Quays of the Old Port of Montréal, Paul Labelle Photographes Get your skates on: Montreal's Old Port is given over to ice skating during the long, hard winter months Why visit? Montrealers, having made it to midwinter, congratulate themselves with the High Lights Festival (montrealenlumiere.com) an 11-day arts and culture event that this year celebrates its 10th anniversary with a gala line-up. The city is famed for high-profile summer festivals – such as the Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs – but sub-zero temperatures and banks of snow don't bring life, cultural or otherwise, to a halt, unlike in the UK. From Thursday until 1 March exhibitions, shows, street parades, and concerts take place across the city, including an "all-nighter" on 28 February when cultural venues stay open for 24 hours. If the thought of such blistering winter weather gives you cold feet, take comfort in Montreal's "underground city" a comprehensive 20-mile labyrinth of well-heated tunnels, malls and subway stations. And there are some truly great restaurants; a diverse and ever-changing ethnic population shapes Montreal's vibrant dining scene. The gourmet element of this month's festival will see more than 30 top chefs flown in from Paris and paired up with local restaurateurs to provide warming eats and winter treats. Don't miss ... Mont Royal (lemontroyal.qc.ca), the mountain around which the city is centred, doubles as an outdoor playground, come sun or snow. In the winter its lakes become skating rinks, its slopes toboggan runs and its wooded summit offers sparkling white panoramic views. Notre Dame Basilica (basiliquenddm.org). In a city founded by the church, visitors are not short of historic places of worship to visit, but Montreal's most impressive holy site is this vast masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture which looms over the lovely cobbled streets of Old Montreal; just one of the stellar sights of the pretty old town. The Museum of Archaeology and History (pacmusee.qc.ca). In the old town, on the site where Montreal was founded by the French in 1642, it traces the city's past with hi-tech exhibits and excavations. The Musée Beaux Arts (mbam.qc.ca), with its encyclopaedic collection of North American and international fine arts. Expansion work has begun on a new pavilion dedicated to French colonial art, and to convert the beautiful Romanesque Revival church next door into a concert hall. Atwater Market, a fabulous 1930s covered market (marchespublics-mtl.com), selling local farmers' produce, meats and baked goods, just a stone's throw from the new foodie hub of Little Burgundy (see below). What's new Little Burgundy Little Burgundy, whose colourful terraced houses were once home to Irish dockworkers, has been undergoing gentrification for some years now. Converted warehouses and new-builds have become the norm in this neighbourhood on the Lachine Canal. But alongside the shops that give its hub, rue Notre-Dame, the nickname Antique Alley, new design boutiques, delis and restaurants are popping up. Try McKiernan (001 514 759 6677; joebeef.ca), the latest offering from Montreal chef and restaurant impresario Fred Morin. This teeny, playfully rustic wine bar and luncheonette is a great place to come for cosy evening drinks bolstered by small but hearty bites. DNA A flash new dining spot called DNA has opened in Old Montreal headed by Derek Dammann, the original head chef at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant in London. This innovative west-coast Canadian serves up his own handmade charcuterie, cheeses and refined rustic Italian cuisine; experimental but very tasty and lots of fun. Can't get a table? Kill time in the buzzy lounge bar. The decor may be a tad too retro 1980s but, like the food, the creative cocktails are most definitely 'du jour'. Details: DNA, 355, rue Marguerite D'Youville (001 514 287 3362; dnarestaurant.com). Angus Shops Montreal's Angus Shops were opened by the Canadian Pacific Railways in 1902 to serve its locomotives, and by the Second World War some 12,000 people worked the yards, with residential neighbourhoods growing up around the site. It closed in the 1970s and was something of a wasteland until recent redevelopment brought new housing, shops, smart offices and, now, an architecturally stunning gym, Studio Locomotion, slotted into the original shell of this vast building. Come here for yoga, pilates or a state-of-the-art workout and don't miss the little exhibitions by local artists and photographs of the rail yard buildings through the ages. Details: Studio Locomotion, 2600 William-Tremblay 133 (studiolocomotion.com). Jenx & Cie Run by an expat Scot, this shop in the hipster enclave of Mile End sells stylish T-shirts printed with icons and expressions unique to Montreal, such as the neon Five Roses Flour sign that tops the Ogilvie flour mill in the Old Port, or an abstract of the Cubist-looking housing complex designed by architect Moshe Safdie, for the 1967 Expo. My favourite is a shirt that reads "tabarnac", an incomparable Montreal expletive derived from the religious word "tabernacle". Details: Jenx & Cie, 51 Rue Bernard Ouest (montrealite-tshirts.com). Quartier des Spectacles This downtown district, where most of Montreal's festivals take place, is being regenerated to the tune of C$120m (£67m). Some may bemoan the loss of certain red-light destinations, but by 2012 lights of all colours will shine under a project to illuminate the façades of some 30 arts venues. A new Westin hotel (westinmontreal.com) is due to open in May in an old newspaper press building. Details: quartierdesspectacles.com. Insider's secret: François Perre François Perre is a television news director for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "Atwater might be the Montreal market icon but, for me, the Jean-Talon Market is the best place in town for food shopping. And it's so much more than that. Deer burger, fresh calamari, foie gras or maple syrup cakes – the endless food stalls are the perfect place for a quick bite. This place is also my favourite Sunday destination; a hot spot for Montrealers seeking an easy lunch and a chance to bump into friends." Compact facts How to get there Sarah Barrell travelled to Montreal with British Airways (0844 493 0758; ba.com), which offers return flights from £388. Lofts du Vieux Ports (001 514 876 0081; loftsduvieux port.com), a new annex of the lovely old Auberge du Vieux in old Montreal, offers lofts ranging in size from studios to two bedrooms, all with kitchens and dining areas, from C$195 (£109) per night. Further information Montreal tourism (tourismemontreal.org). http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/americas/city-slicker-winter-in-montreal-1622138.html
  9. (Courtesy of the Montreal Gazette) I have been wanting to check this place out for 3-4 years now, I should totally go now.
  10. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/saturdayextra/story.html?id=34389692-7401-4f72-8dc1-0193f394a578&p=1 A partir de samedi le 16aoùt 2008, une série de sept articles sur le patrimoine architectural de Montréal. Ce samedi, le restaurant du 9ième étage de l'édifice-amiral de l'ancien magasin Eaton. Aujourd'hui : le Wilder Block Luxury to the 9TH ALAN HUSTAK, The Gazette Published: Saturday, August 16 Like all cities, Montreal has its share of aging buildings that aren't architecturally significant but contribute to the texture of the streetscape and help identify neighbourhoods. Often, how a building fits into its surroundings is more important than how it looks. When old, familiar structures are torn down to make way for another overscale high-rise, the city is diminished, some say. A bigger problem is that many important buildings in Montreal have been allowed to deteriorate as real estate speculators, developers and politicians spar over profit margins, zoning regulations and height restrictions. Montreal is no longer a place where we tally up heritage losses, as we did in the 1960s and '70s, when sections of historic Old Montreal were razed and mansions in the Square Mile were demolished in the name of progress. Still, urban planners keep tabs on sites they consider at risk. We look at some of the properties on Heritage Montreal's list and invite readers to share their views on whether these places should be saved or surrendered. - - - WITH ITS OPAL GLASS WINDOWS, nickel steel railings, and pink marble columns with black Belgian marble accents, Le 9e dining room in the former Eaton's building downtown remains one of the most staggeringly beautiful art deco rooms in Montreal. But the restaurant has been off limits to the public since the Eaton's department store chain went bankrupt and closed its flagship Montreal store in 1999. Inspired by a trip company matriarch Lady Eaton took aboard the transatlantic luxury liner Île de France in the 1920s, the dining room was incorporated into the plan when Eaton's decided to expand its Ste. Catherine St. store to nine floors from six in 1928. The 650-seat dining room opened on Jan. 25, 1931, as Le François Premier, but the ladies who lunched there never called it that. It was always known as "The Ninth Floor." The room is the work of interior designer Jacques Carlu, the French-born professor of advanced design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was also responsible for the celebrated Trocadéro in Paris and the Rainbow Room in New York's Rockefeller Plaza. The restaurant is an elegantly proportioned space, 40 metres long and 23 metres wide, with a 14-metre ceiling. It has two smaller dining rooms off to the side, the Gold Room and the Silver Room. At either end of the main room are two allegorical cubist murals, Pleasure of the Chase and Pleasures of Peace, painted by Carlu's wife, Natasha. Initially, the Ninth Floor foyer offered a panoramic view of the city, but the vista disappeared as more skyscrapers arose downtown. Even before the restaurant opened, The Gazette enthused over its opulence. "Spacious and lofty, it is a room fit for a palace," an article in the paper said at the time. It was never a high-end gourmet restaurant, but the food was substantial, the ambience luxurious, and the wait staff attentive and motherly. After Eaton's closed, the building was sold to Ivanhoe Cambridge, a real-estate arm of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which invests funds from the Quebec Pension Plan. There were rumours the site would be incorporated into a luxury hotel - which was never built - and it would reopen as a swank supper club. It has been used occasionally for private functions. Even though the Ninth Floor has been declared a heritage site by the provincial government, that classification does not oblige the owner to maintain or conserve the space. An official of Ivanhoe Inc., which owns the former Eaton's building, confirmed the real-estate firm has entertained several offers but has not decided what to do with the property. What should be done? Preserve it: The Ninth Floor restaurant and the elevator shafts leading to it were declared a heritage site by Quebec's Culture Department in 2001. If that floor of the former Eaton's store continues to be mothballed, it might be forgotten altogether or converted into private offices, inaccessible to the public. Forget it: The plumbing at the Ninth Floor requires a major overhaul to meet health standards. And without nine floors of retail space beneath the restaurant to attract customers, the room might not be a profitable commercial venue for another 20 or 30 years. - - - Landmarks in limbo: The series Today: Le 9e, popularly known as the Ninth Floor, the art deco restaurant at the former Eaton's store downtown. Day 2: The Wilder Block on Bleury St. Day 3: The Redpath Mansion on du Musée Ave. Day 4: The Montreal Planetarium at St. Jacques and Peel Sts. Day 5: Grain Elevator No. 5 on Montreal's waterfront. Day 6: Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine House, at Overdale Ave. and Lucien L'Allier St. Day 7: The Guaranteed Pure Milk Co. bottle, overlooking Lucien L'Allier St. [email protected] montrealgazette.com Share your views Which historical and cultural sites in Montreal should be maintained? Which should be demolished? Give us your opinion at montrealgazette.com/soundoff A trip through the past Log on to our website to view a slide show of Montreal's threatened landmarks and hear the history behind them. Go to montrealgazette.com/galleries