Monday, June 29, 2015

Le Serpent

An Obscure Treasure

257 Rue Prince, Montréal, QC H3C 2N4

We started off the night by walking right past the restaurant 3 times. Le Serpent is practically unidentifiable from the outside, but visually stunning on the inside. The space feels quite unique in both its shape and décor. The room is long, narrow, and L-shaped and its ceilings are adorned with large industrial lighting fixtures.

As part of the same group as Le Filet and Le Club Chasse et Pêche, it is a given that service will be impeccable. The waiter explained the menu and specials in detail and suggested wine pairings for several dishes. We started with the ''Kit of 3'' - a dish featuring three types of raw fish, each served in a distinct fashion. The salmon and jalapeno combination was my personal favourite, while my date preferred the hamachi.

Foccacia with Mushrooms, Olive Oil, and Garlic
Kit of 3 (We doubled up on the salmon!)
For the next course we went with their famous Lobster Risotto. It was creamy, but still light and had plenty of lobster for a portion of its size.

Lobster Risotto (Whoops! Took a bite pre-photo.)
We ordered the Sea Bream with Mussels, Fennel and Fregola (a tiny round pasta) in a saffron broth. The dish was light and flavourful and the broth perfectly complimented the mussels and pasta.

Lobster Risotto and Sea Bream
You cannot pass up dessert at this establishment- their pastry chef has a reputation for producing some of the best desserts in the city! In terms of both taste and presentation, they hit the nail on the head. The La Scala had multiple layers of cream and hazelnut. It was sweet, crunchy, and smooth and each bite was better than the next.
La Scala - Hazelnut Dessert
I will definitely be returning to Le Serpent to sample the rest of the dishes on the menu. Perfect for an occasion, drinks at the bar, a few small plates, or even just for one of their delectable desserts. I HIGHLY recommend that you make an appearance at this obscure Montreal treasure.

Mind, Taste, Love.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mix It!

There is nothing more exciting than getting to personalize an item. When that item is food, the anticipation is amplified...times 10. I was invited to create my own cereal mix on and could not WAIT to receive my custom cereal at my doorstep.

Click START on the Mix It website and enter a world of endless cereal and granola combinations. Worried about your granola getting too expensive? A tracker on the right of the screen will keep you in check. Choose from granola, cornflakes, shreddies, bran, gluten free options, or pre-made mixes, then move onto the dried fruits tab. Select from an assortment of dried and freeze-dried fruit that you may not be accustomed to finding in your typical grocery-aisle cereals (papaya, freeze-dried raspberries, and freeze-dried blackberries, just to name a few). The nuts and seeds tab is my personal favourite- I love the crunch and protein that they add to the cereal. Finally there are some Extras to choose from including cinnamon, crushed vanilla, dark chocolate flakes, Matcha almonds, yogurt covered raisins, and the list goes on.

Once you've created your ultimate mix, you can name it and select the packaging (a tube to avoid crushing in shipping)- making this a great gift idea. Your cereal will arrive well-packaged and ready to eat with some milk, or yogurt!

If you haven't found your perfect cereal or granola at the grocery store yet, maybe it's time you try your own mix on!  

Mind, Taste, Love.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pointe Nord Media Brunch

Not Your Grandmother's Nuns Island


I got a glimpse of a very different Nuns Island this past Sunday. If I'm being completely honest, I have always pictured Nuns Island as a remote and isolated haven for retirees. I was painted a very different picture by developer of the project, Ilan Gewurz, who spoke to a table of media over brunch at Les Enfants Terribles Nuns Island regarding the future of Pointe Nord. Pointe Nord is actually a "Quartier" or development at the Northern point of the Island with unparallelled views of downtown and Mont Royal. He explained that Pointe Nord is distinct from the rest of Nuns Island due to its proximity to the downtown core and to the extraordinary detail that has gone into its planning and development.  A visit to one of the Evolo condos gave us a feel of the Pointe Nord lifestyle: fully equipped gyms, spacious condos, spectacular views, roof-top pools overlooking the St-Laurent River, and top quality facilities.

Each restaurant, café, salon, or boutique that has, or will be setting-up shop in this area has been selected specifically in order to adhere to the community feel that Gewurz and his team are aiming to build. Mamie Clafoutis was the first bakery and café to open in the area and was designed in a way to create a space that promotes lingering and allows residents to get to know their neighbours.

Les Enfants Terribles is another resident of the neighbourhood. This trendy spot, which already has multiple locations throughout Montreal serves brunch over the weekends, lunch, dinner, and has a full bar. However, at the Nuns Island location, you get a completely different feel. It is right by the water and offers magnificent views, plus the waffles, french toast, and eggs benedict are decadent. Throughout brunch and the rest of the day I felt as if I were up north by a lake. A real oasis only 10 minutes from bustling downtown.

The Quartier's newest occupant is M Salon. M Salon has already become a neighbourhood favourite at their Griffintown location, so it was only natural to open a second location in another community-oriented part of the city. The salon is the perfect place to go for a mani/pedi, or haircut especially if you live in one of the nearby buildings, OR if you happen to work at the Bell head office! We had such a great time at their launch event and look forward to returning for more pampering. I am currently running a contest with M Salon- see below for details!

Pointe Nord has plans to open an outdoor farmers market, other restaurants, the EvoloS waterfront condos, and more. A lovely bike path circumvents the water, and you have the ability to rent kayaks or pedal boats to take out onto the St-Laurent River. If you have not been recently, I urge you to pay Pointe Nord a visit for brunch or dinner by the water at Les Enfants Terribles, a little pampering at M Salon, some adventurous kayaking, or even just a walk, or bike ride. See all that they have to offer and hear about their exciting plans for the future!

Mind, Taste, Love.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Natura Juicery

Best of Both Worlds

212 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2T 1P4

Mont Royal street is one of my favourite stretches of payment in the city. It is the perfect stop to grab a coffee or bite to eat at one of its quaint cafés after a walk on the mountain. Enter the mountain at Peel and exit at Rachel O to take a stroll down the packed promenade.

I was recently made aware of a great spot to quench your thirst and feed your hunger on our very own Mont Royal. Despite its name, Natura Juicery has more than just freshly pressed juices to offer. A full brunch menu, make-your-own salad bar, and lunch menu aim to provide something for everyone.

When we walked in, the space appeared small and was fairly quiet, but I'm pretty sure a yoga class finished next door and filled up the entire place. There are many tables inside as well as a cute wooden terrace for that Montrealer in you. 

I opted for brunch choosing the not-so-nutritious french toast bagel, with eggs, ham, bacon, and sausage, covered in a generous pouring of maple syrup along with a green smoothie (in an attempt to redeem myself). My friend opted for the healthier option- a grilled chicken sandwich with alfalfa sprouts and avocado along with a freshly squeezed OJ.

We grabbed some juices to go! One beet, apple, orange, carrot, grape, and the other a lemonade with agave and chia seeds. Both were refreshing without being TOO sweet. As long as my drink doesn't taste like a vegetable in liquid form, I'm happy. :)

Are you super into the latest juicing craze, but have friends that just want to go for a yummy brunch? Natura Juicery offers the best of both worlds and should definitely be given a try!

Mind, Taste, Love.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Studio X


4937 Rue Levy, Montreal, QC, H4R 2N9

Look like I'm gearing up for battle? Wrong. I was invited to try out the latest fitness craze - EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) Training. I think the owners saw my Instagram feed and thought I could use a good #WERKout ;).

In all seriousness, maintaining a balanced lifestyle in today's society is hard. Even with alternative work arrangements like telecommuting, work days are longer than ever and employees struggle to compete in this cut-throat workforce. The result? Less time to cook healthy meals, sleep, and workout. Becoming a pro at juggling work life and a healthy lifestyle takes dedication and commitment.

Studio X has PART of the solution to this everyday juggling act. I must admit, I was skeptical at first, but after my first trial I was converted into a believer.

20 minutes once or twice a week is all it takes, and the workout is said to be equivalent to hours at the gym. For the first session, you are provided with special workout clothes (which you could purchase afterward) to wear underneath the electrode vest. The super cool and knowledgeable staff will help you suit up and get you ready to sweat! You are then hooked up to a machine that controls the electrical impulses sent to your muscles and you are instructed (one-on-one with a trainer) through a series of exercises for 20 minutes. Intervals ensure that the muscles have a chance to rest and avoid over-exertion.

Being the skeptic that I am, I of course went home to Google the effectiveness and safety of EMS. I was delightfully surprised to find that there are scholarly articles on the benefits of EMS for local blood flow, circulation, and posture and that it is often used in physiotherapy sessions. Of course everyone is different and you should find a workout that suits your body best.

There is a Groupon offering a great deal for Studio X sessions over the next few days, so don't miss out:

This workout is extremely hard to explain in words. You really do have to try for yourself to understand it fully. If you work in the Ville St-Laurent area, head over during lunchtime to see what it's about-  all it takes is 20 minutes and trust me you will feel the burn! #WERK
Info on EMS

Check out their website for more info!

Mind, Taste, Love.