August 9th, 2012
On a quest to expand our horizons beyond cheap meatballs from Ikea, we checked out a cute Scandinavian café.
We’ve been warned not judge a book by its cover but we couldn’t help but swoon for Ellefsen Café Scandinave’s looks: its cute outdoor awning, airy interior and blackboard menu are right up our alley.
Thankfully, we grabbed a Ektorp (um, maybe not) seat and found that the offerings lived up to the aesthetic, with the Norwegian poutine ($10) and classic coffee and fresh scone ($2.50) coming out on top.
Vær saa god! —Christine Laroche
414 St-Zotique St. E., Montreal, 514-274-6969, www.cafeellefsen.com
Photo: Nancy Pevan
August 3rd, 2012
Gilford is a tiny street that thinks big.
The itty-bitty block between St-Denis and Rivard streets (now open to pedestrians only) has long been destination for grilled cheese lovers: L’Emporte Pièce whips up one of the city’s best.
Its new neighbour? Montreal’s second Müvbox, a solar-powered lobster roll restaurant housed inside a shipping container.
And the festivities aren’t just about food: the Gilford en Vacances installation also features a shady spot for lounging in lawn chairs, a sandbox, historical lectures and a Givebox: Put something in, take a treasure home.
Great things come in small spaces. —Christine Laroche
Check Gilford out on Facebook.
July 13th, 2012
As if the serene spa facilities and picturesque setting weren’t enough, Balnéa is raising the spa experience to delicious new heights for the summer.
Every Sunday until September 8, Montreal chefs – including S’Arto Chartier-Otis from Enfants Terribles, Nick Hodge from Kitchenette and Eloi Dion from Van Horne - will be bringing their culinary prowess to Bromont for the third edition of Balnéa’s Été des Chefs, and their respective menus will be available all week long.
Also on offer are chocolates from Geneviève Grandbois, ice cream from Bilboquet and cider from La Face Cachée de la Pomme.
Balnéa isn’t just ahhhh… it’s yum, too! – Christine Laroche
Balnéa’s Été des Chefs, Bromont, 319 Chemin Lac Gale, Montreal, 450-534-0604, www.etedeschefs.com
June 7th, 2012
Tartare fans rejoice! Marché 27 has opened an express counter on Phillips Square.
We couldn't wait to pull up a seat at the sleek bar and dive into our salmon tartare, Japanese style (with wasabi, soy sauce, tempura, ginger, shallots, and chives). From tuna and lobster to beef and duck, the possibilities are endless (prices range from $8 for 100 grams of beef to $24 for 200 grams of lobster).
Between the office catering and lunch or dinner takeout options, it’s all about tartare à go-go. –Karin Eldor
Tartares Du Marché 27 Express, 1241 Phillips Square, Montreal, 514-419-8834, www.marche27.com
May 25th, 2012
This gorgeous gal can sing, act, design and, of course, eat. Where does she love to dine? Here’s what she told us:
“Montreal has so many amazing restaurants it is hard to choose, but if I had to say, I would choose Les Enfants Terribles. To me, the combination of delicious food, rustic urban décor and cozy chic atmosphere is superb! Couple that with the fact that you can sit outside on a nice night, nibble on fresh oysters or foie gras, while watching people stroll by… What can I say? It’s magical!”
A Delicious dinner is divine, but no magical evening is complete without some serious sparkle. See our top three picks from Caroline Néron’s SS12 collection on the blog. —Christine Laroche
Les Enfant Terrible, 1257 Bernard St. W., Montreal, 514-759-9918, www.lesenfantsterriblesbrasserie.ca
May 16th, 2012
It’s noon. We’re downtown. Are we doomed to dine on food court falafel?
Thankfully not, now that we’ve discovered Vinizza Osteria. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this Italian eatery’s original outpost is near Jean Talon Market.
So rather than heading up north to Little Italy, we’ll happily pop into the Metcalfe location and indulge in some surprisingly light Calamari Fritti ($12) and a Pizza di Buffala ($18), which is topped with melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella and baked fresh in the wood-burning oven.
Simple, delicious food, a sophisticated atmosphere… Ciao, food court! —Christine Laroche
Vinizza Osteria, 2044 Metcalfe St., 514-849-2044, www.vinizza.com
March 2nd, 2012
We were disappointed when our post-Victoria Park lunch spot closed, but what opened in its place more than makes up for it.
Chef Antonio Park helms Park, now open in the former Vic Market.
For lunch, we loved the Asian salad ($8 - $12) and Yam noodles with salmon ($16). With Bento Box meals ($15) and sushi lunch ($19) also available, there are always healthy options on the menu to enjoy.
And come evening, Park serves up dinner and signature cocktails in a low-key yet elegant backdrop.
So is Park our new favourite pre-morning workout, after-yoga, 5 à 7, or dinner place? All of the above. – Karin Eldor
Park, 378 Victoria Ave., Montreal, 514-750-7534, www.facebook.com/parkresto
February 23rd, 2012
We’ve fallen in love with a new coffee joint, and when we got word that the kitchen was set to open (and that a liquor license was on the way), we braced for a full-on obsession.
Café Sardine only opened a week ago but its to-die-for latte ($3.25) and homemade doughnuts (two for $2.25) have quickly earned a spot in our morning routine. Now open evenings and with a kitchen pumping out more than just sweets and sandwiches, we’ll be hitting this cozy, rustic-chic space for dinner, too.
As word gets out, we predict being packed in the compact café like the namesake fish. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. —Christine Laroche
Go Fish!, 9 Fairmount, Montreal, 514-802-889, www.facebook.com/Café-Sardine
February 17th, 2012
We like Mexican food as much as the next girl. Singing waiters in sombreros? Not so much.
Enter Ta Chido, a charmingly kitschy resto that is the polar opposite of the seedy downtown eateries that dominate the Mexican scene in Montreal.
The specialty is the torta, a Mexican flatbread sandwich garnished with mayo, cheese, black beans, tomatoes and onions. We chose the chipotle chicken ($8) and loved its fresh flavour.
Other scene-stealers include the cucumber margarita ($7), served in a mason jar, of course, the black and white mural, and the elaborate collection of toys on display.
Olé!. – Christine Laroche
Ta Chido, 5611 Parc Ave., Montreal, 514-439-093, www.facebook.com/ta-chido
February 3rd, 2012
If we were heading to the Quartier des Spectacles area during the '40s, we’d probably be seeing burlesque sensation Lili St-Cyr. Today, we’re heading to the all-new restaurant that bears (half of) her name.
Located in the grime-meets-gentrification 'hood, St-Cyr is the latest dining option for festival and showgoers alike. But with fab French-inspired fare, a great lunch table d’hôte and outstanding desserts, we may be headed there sans ticket stub.
And sweet lovers be warned: St-Cyr’s chef has worked at Michelin star restaurants, and is known for his desserts. Au revoir, resolutions! —Christine Laroche
St-Cyr, 22 Ste-Catherine St. E., Montreal, 514-586-6222
For photos of last night’s pre-opening night, please see our Editor’s Diary.