October 14th, 2010
There’s nothing like receiving a Birks box to make a girl feel like royalty. Add sweet treats for a combination that will win our hearts.
We stopped in at Birks Café par Europea for an afternoon tea ($26.50) fit for the Queen of England. Dining on Birks own china and glassware, we started with scones, fresh baked and smothered with Devonshire cream and preserves, dainty cucumber-shrimp and smoked salmon finger sandwiches, and finished with a melting macaron.
Then it was just a short trip down the stairs to pick out our tiara.
Birks Café par Europea, 1240 Phillips Sq., Montreal, 514-397-2468, www.birks.com
May 8th, 2009
When the first pair of thong sandals hits the sidewalk, we’re all for slipping away from our desk for lunchtime picnics in the sun.
But after blowing our curfew watching Drew and Jessica go Grey Gardens, we don’t have time to brown bag-it. Luckily, our favourite downtown staple just had a makeover. We loved the original Anton & James but the urban cafeteria’s new layout (complete with extra cash registers) gets us in and out even faster.
We’re noshing on the Urban Hipster Salad ($9.99), and washing it down with Wildberry Iced Tea ($2.29). Tapping into our inner Bouvier, we’ll treat ourselves to an oversize carrot spice cupcake ($2.29) for dessert. We think Big Edie would approve.
Anton & James, 1414 Stanley St., Montreal, 514-843-0555.
February 27th, 2009
Watch Top Chef, and you’ll soon learn that culinary prowess can be judged on the basis of a perfectly cooked egg.
When it comes to our own breakfast we’re not quite so fussy, but it’s near perfection at Toi Moi et Café. After Sunday morning trips to the Atwater Market, refuel with the divine Le Parisien which includes mouillettes (strips of baguette) dipped into soft-boiled eggs, or the mouth-watering crêpes et gauffres enveloped in fruit and cream (from $6.50).
And, with four pages of fair trade tea and coffee concoctions to choose from, you’ll be infused with enough energy to plan your own cook-off (minus the nasty eliminations).
Toi Moi et Café, 2695 Notre Dame W., Montreal, 514-788-9599, www.toimoicafe.com
February 4th, 2009
You can’t throw a stick in this city without hitting an artiste. It’s an embarrassment of riches, yet a slog for those trying to get noticed.
Sleek gallery-cafe Zone Orange is helping bridge the gap between artists and buyers by renting shelf space to local designers. Our favourites include Velvet Moustache’s Canadiens-themed dolly ($35), a pretty spotted silk scarf by Atelier Movement. and Cokluch’s adorable recycled leather mittens ($73.50).
Orange you glad to support the arts?
Zone Orange, 410 St-Pierre St, Door 100, Montreal, 514-510-5809, www.galeriezoneorange.com
September 6th, 2008
Recovering from an oh-so-very-bad-day requires an emergency comfort kit of flannel pj’s, Beverly Hills 90210 re-runs, and a giant bowl of rice pudding.
But don’t expect to find grandma’s traditional recipe at the new Riz en Folie café. It’s kicked this comfort food up a few notches, serving 16 yummy flavours in colorful, re-usable containers. Take home a batch of passion fruit, white chocolate or butterscotch pudding, or better yet, get your dessert delivered, leaving more time to find out what shenanigans Donna Martin has gotten into (from $4).
Delivery to downtown-core on orders of $10 or more. Riz en Folie, 2153 Mackay, 514-750-3415, www.rizenfolie.com
January 13th, 2008
Some people travel the world in search of the perfect espresso. All we had to do was head up the road.
Parc Avenue’s Caffè in Gamba has become de rigueur for aficionados of the mighty bean. Proprietor Jean-Francois Leduc carefully chooses his blends like a sommelier chooses fine wines. Take home a bag of Verignano from Milan ($5/100g), Intelligentsia from Chicago ($3.75/100g) or 49th Parallel from B.C. ($3.75/100g).
Enjoy a demitasse on the big red couch by the fireplace or sip it like a true Italian: leaning against the bar. It’s like your very own la dolce vita.
Caffè in Gamba, 5263 Parc Ave., Montreal, 514-656-6852, www.caffeingamba.com