February 10th, 2012
Chocoholics unite at Marché Bonsercours this weekend.
Forget the grocery store’s tacky, red tin foil aisle: The Je t’aime en Chocolat event is the perfect place to source some luxe sweets to share with loved ones Valentine’s Day next week. (Or stash in the emergency stockpile – our little secret!)
And because we’re always craving a fashion fix, we’ll stick around until 4:30 p.m. to see the work of chocolatiers and designers (including Dinh Ba and Ralph Leroy) walk down the runway.
Have your chocolate – and wear it too! – Christine Laroche
350 St-Paul St. E., 514-872-7730, www.jetaimeenchocolat.com
February 9th, 2012
Princess isn’t hiding in the tower anymore. In the modern era, the fair lady prefers something a little more down to earth (literally).
Follow the dark wooded road, past the white birch stumps, down the enchanted stairs, and enter into Hotel St-Sulpice’s hidden gem: Restaurant Sinclair. This Baroque-styled quasi dungeon, accented by sleek red banquettes and Paris landscape sepia wallpaper, is instantly charming.
But the pièce de resistance—an imaginative menu of “earth meets sea” pairings—is a feast for the palate, not the eyes.
We started with the raw Albacore tuna with button mushrooms and “La Quercia” ham ($13), which was a lovely mix of spicy, sweet and (surprise!) crunchy. Not to be outdone, the oven broiled Gooseberry cod with eggplant paste, grilled scallions and crosnes ($27), also proved delish.
With all meals covered and a post-10 p.m. $22 menu, there’s always a good time to escape to Far, Far Away. – Nina Mourin
Restaurant Sinclair, 125 St-Paul St. W., Montreal, 514-284-3332, www.restaurantsinclair.com
February 6th, 2012
If you see a few more stilettos and double-cheek air kisses than usual around Marché Bonsecours, it’s because Montreal Fashion Week, is on. The best thing about this sartorial affair is that everyone is invited: Tickets to shows including Tavan & Mitto and Duy (pictured) are on sale for the public
Want to fashion week like a pro? Don’t leave home without:
1. Bright lipstick, especially if you want to attract the street style shooters.
2. Snacks, e.g. granola—glamour girls gotta eat!
3. A fancy iPhone case, because if you don’t tweet it, it never happened.
Follow all the action by following us: @MTLVitaminDaily. —Christine Laroche
350 St-Paul St. E., Montreal, 514-872-7730, www.montrealfashionweek.ca
January 20th, 2012
Our idea of “racy” these days is wearing undies instead of long johns.
For sexy time tips and tricks, we’re grabbing our best (19+) gals and heading to the Salon de l’amour et de la Seduction, where we’ll check out the burlesque demos, blush with the best of ‘em at a racy conferences and collect as much boudoir-ready swag as possible.
Here’s to bringing sexy back, and hopefully getting inspired to swap the Sorels for something like these perfect-for-V-day Charlotte Olympias ($875). – Christine Laroche.
Salon de l’amour et de la Seduction, Place Bonaventure, 800 de la Gauchetière St. W., Montreal, 1-866-929-7399, www.amouretseduction.com
January 12th, 2012
We’re speed-dialing Mom this morning with a special request: We need to borrow her lavender one-piece ski suit for the weekend.
Igloofest is back from today until January 28 and we’re donning the quétaine winterwear to not only win top prize in the One Piece Snowsuit Contest but also to stay warm while we soak in the sounds of the world’s top electronic music artists.
And for extra incentive to brave the cold, we’re picking up a $33 Happening Gourmand meets Igloofest ticket that includes dinner at Méchant Boeuf, Modavie, Vieux-Port Steakhouse or Taverne Gaspar, as well as admission to the event.
Buh-bye, winter blahs! —Christine Laroche
Quays of the Old Port, Montreal, 514-496-7678, www.igloofest.ca
Photo: Miguel Legault
December 2nd, 2011
There’s nothing like bacon to cure what ails you, but we like to see it served up with a bit of style.
Ham is definitely on the menu at Le Gros Jambon Diner in Old Montreal, where even the plates and pepper shakers have a pig theme. You’ll eat like an oinker, too, with delicious brunch specials like herbed eggs benedict served on a parmesan biscuit ($14.50) and to-die-for pumpkin cinnamon pancakes drizzled with brown butter and bacon caramel ($11.50). The dinner menu features upscale takes on casse-croute faves, like a lobster grilled cheese ($10), duck confit mac n’ cheese, as well as creative variations on dogs and burgers.
This little piggy went home very satisfied. —Jennifer Nachshen
Le Gros Jambon Diner, 286 Notre Dame W., Montreal, 514-508-3872
November 3rd, 2011
Last week marked the 10th anniversary for Mortimer Snodgrass. To celebrate, we picked out a few special things to ensure that we’ll hit that milestone with our current special someone.
First up is a faux-moustache kit ($8) to save him (and us) from doing Movember for real. We also picked up a pretty sleep mask ($8) to wear during Monday night football, some sticky notes ($6.50) for subtle reminders (Buy milk! And presents for me!), a welcome mat ($36) to offer fair warning of our current mood, and a set of cupcake bath bombs ($21) for when nothing else will do.
Happy anniversary, Mortimer! —Jennifer Nachshen
Mortimer Snodgrass, 56 Notre-Dame St. W., Montreal, 514-499-2851, www.mortimersnodgrass.com
October 13th, 2011
We’ve come a long way from the days of being barred from bars on account of our ladybits. Luckily bars have come a long way, too.
Newly opened Old Montreal eatery, Taverne Gaspar, sports a saucy subtitle “Bienvenue aux Dames,” along with the original stone supporting walls of the old potato distribution site overlooking the Old Port. But that’s all the history you’ll get at the newly renovated space, with modern fare mixing British gastro pubs with French flair. We started with a refreshing Moscow Mule that finished with a hot ginger kick, along with a trio of flaky meat pies, including beef and blue cheese, Tourtière and chicken pot pie ($9) before moving on to a satisfyingly earthy asparagus and mushroom salad with truffle vinaigrette ($10). If you love fried chicken, the juicy and well-seasoned crispy legs and breasts served alongside a buttermilk biscuit, fries and coleslaw ($19) will more than satisfy. Finish with a densely delicious pecan pie, and you’ll agree...
Women are more than just welcome here. They’re treated like queens. —Jennifer Nachshen
Taverne Gaspar, 89 Rue de la Commune E., Montreal, 514-392-1649, www.tavernegaspar.com
August 26th, 2011
We love to curl up with a good old-fashioned Diana Gabaldon-esque bodice-ripper. But this weekend we’re planning on going back in time the easy way.
Old Montreal is kicking it old school August 26 to 27, playing host to the annual Pointe-à-
Callière's 18th-Century Public Market. The square will be bustling with farmers, craftspeople, storytellers, musicians and even a sheep shearer, as well as some historical figures, including the Governor of La Jonquière. Perhaps we’ll find ourselves a nice coureur des bois to treat us to a spruce beer!
Now to decide whether to play sailor, strumpet or serving wench. —Jennifer Nachshen
Pointe-à-Callière's 18th-Century Public Market begins at 10am, Saturday and Sunday, in Place Royale and area around Pointe-à-Callière Museum, 350 Pl Royale, Montréal, 514-872-9128
August 22nd, 2011
We tend to think of luxury online shopping as an extreme sport. You have to hold a ready position for sales, jump on hot deals and valiantly return ill-fitting serves.
Now Montrealers have a hometown advantage when it comes to our favourite fashion website, SSENSE, with a new Ssense boutique in the heart of old Montreal. We tried on frocks by Matthew Williamson, tops by Marc Jacobs, leather pants by Lanvin and discovered a stunning skull-adorned clutch by McQueen. The store is stocked with only a selection of the more high-end offerings, but you can also order from their online catalogue on-the-spot at their electronic shopping stations. Items will come to the store for you to try on, with no obligation to purchase.
Game, ssense, match. —Jennifer Nachshen
SSENSE Boutique, 90 St. Paul W., Montreal, www.ssense.com