Sunday, March 1, 2015

VORO

Sweet & Savoury

275 Fairmount, Ouest, Montréal, Quebec, H2A 0A1


VORO has been at the top of my list for a while now, so I decided to stop by for brunch on a Sunday. 

Tons of sunlight enters through the floor-to-ceiling windows and makes dining here in the daytime ever so pleasant and cheerful. The ceilings are high and the space is large and industrial feeling. 


The menu is not too large (and differs slightly from what is shown on their website), but has plenty of sweet, savoury, and sweet AND savoury options to choose from. We went with a simple poached egg on focaccia with portobello mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, goat's cheese and arugula as well as a more eccentric panko-crusted french toast with porchetta, poached eggs, and a MAPLE béchamel. Both dishes were exquisitely presented and tasted incredible. The star was the sweet and savoury french toast, which was unlike anything I have ever had before.

Portobello mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, goat's cheese, arugula, and a poached egg on focaccia
Panko-crusted french toast with porchetta, poached eggs, and a maple béchamel
Sit by the window and order a latté. It's easy to spend an entire Sunday afternoon at this spacious and inviting location. Highly recommended for brunch (their lunch dishes sounded great too!) I will definitely be back to try their biscuits and homemade blueberry jam with truffle honey butter! Yum!





Mind, Taste, Love.










Voro on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lavanderia

A Taste of Summer

374 Victoria, Westmount, Quebec, H3Z 2N4

 

Lavanderia was opened by THE chef Antonio Park just a few months ago-  a chef who has managed to create a name for himself in a city saturated with restaurants. Why all the hype? Because he knows how to bring a unique flare and story to the food served at his restaurants and you could literally taste his passion for what he does. Park, which has been visited by the likes of Katy Perry and Neil Patrick Harris, and where you could find P.K. Subban on just about any given day is located right next door- close enough so that Antonio Park could make his way between the restaurants within seconds!

The restaurant took a different route than most in terms of décor-  brightly lit and almost tropical feeling, rather than the usual dim and romantic. I loved it. The bar (where we sat) was set under a large tree, and menu items and art were hanging on the walls by clothes pins- a nice touch going along with the theme of the restaurant (Lavanderia translates to Laundromat from Spanish- Park grew up living in his family's Lavanderia in Argentina where they would prepare Argentinian specialties with ingredients from their yard). The walls are white, but the space still manages to feel warm. We ordered a Pineapple cocktail and a grapefruit and chili cocktail...at this point I was convinced it was summer in Montreal. Our seats at the bar gave us a direct view into the kitchen where we watched chefs grilling seafood and meat. A sweet escape from winter.



What We Ordered

A delicious and comforting muscle soup in a coconut broth with carrots, corn, and other vegetables. A great start to the meal!


The soup was followed by a tasty appetizer of Queso Fundido Chorizo- melted cheeses and chorizo served with flat corn bread.


Next up- a grilled calamari with capers, tangy peppers (I don't remember what they were called, but they were absolutely delicious), and sun dried tomatoes.


Finally, the fish of the day- a long and thin sardine-like fish, grilled whole and served with lemon. The fish was grilled to perfection. (Other options for the grill included lamb, chorizo, and several cuts of steak)


For dessert, a lemon curd cheesecake served with passion fruit sorbet and a chocolate coulis. Not too sweet, and a refreshing end to the gorgeous meal.


If you're looking for an escape from winter, or just for some damn good food- I highly recommend Lavanderia. Reserve, reserve, reserve!




Mind, Taste, Love.













Lavanderia on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chef on Call

Indulge for a Good Cause


Anyone who has been a student in Montreal, or who has lived Downtown at some point, has heard of Chef on Call. Whether to fulfill those late night cravings, or to keep you awake during exam cram sessions, Chef on Call has been there. As if that wasn't enough, they have now decided to team up with local charities around the city by introducing the Donator Burger. The burger and charity will change each month to benefit both our appetites and different causes.

Chef on Call is a very community-oriented business that has become well-established and loved in the city. It is only fitting that they have decided to give back to the community that means so much to them.

In February they will be teaming up with Dans la Rue, which provides assistance to homeless youth and youth at risk. $1 of each Donator Burger will be donated to the cause. Order yours with an Oreo milkshake. Trust me. You need it to focus.

So in support of late night cravings and study grub, let's all indulge in a Donator Burger for a good cause! Who knew a burger could feel so guilt-free?

Oh So Crispy Burger **FEBRUARY DONATOR BURGER**

The Basic Burger



Mind, Taste, Love.














Chef on Call on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 9, 2015

Balsam Inn

Downtown Montreal: Better with Balsam Inn

Downtown Montreal, the heart and soul of this city has just about everything - shopping, beautiful architecture, businesses, entertainment, universities, and some of the coolest pedestrians in the world (seriously..Montrealers are awesome). But one thing has been missing as of late-  trendy restaurants. With Vicolo having just popped up near the Bell Center, and the reopening of Queue de Cheval, it seems that the city is gaining some momentum in this domain. So imagine my excitement when I heard that one of my ultimate favourite spots in the city, Tavern Square Dominion, would be opening a sister restaurant right next door- smack in the center of Downtown Montreal. I knew I had to try it out immediately.





I made a reservation on a busy Saturday night. Upon arriving, I noted that the décor was as I expected: lots of wooden details, quirky touches, and dim lighting. The bar is the stunning central feature of the space and is the reason that I highly recommend Balsam as a date spot. 

I was happily surprised to see their flat breads (a must-try) being made right in front of me. A nice touch! So we sat down at a table and ordered a couple of their unique cocktails as well as a flat bread with roasted tomatoes and a gallette au four (almost like a cheese fondue) to start. I would highly recommend both and also heard that the flat bread with prosciutto and another with mushrooms are delicious. For a main we ordered the Squash Agnolotti (heavenly pillows of pasta with a smooth squash filling) as well as the fried chicken and cabbage (soaked in buttermilk for hours before being fried to perfection- moist and delicious!).

Flat Bread with Roasted Tomatoes and Gallette au Four


Squash Agnolotti

Fried Chicken with Cabbage

Unfortunately we had no room for dessert, but I will be back soon to give it a try!

Overall the food and drinks were delightful and I would highly recommend you pay this new spot a visit.  


Mind, Taste, Love.














Balsam Inn on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dolce et Gateaux

Will you be my Valentine?


Cupcakes are now seen as passé, with macarons having moved into the spotlight recently. But how could a pint-sized cake topped with a dreamy icing, be considered passé? After tasting Dolce et Gateaux's cupcakes, I declare cupcakes back in style. The cake itself is what stood out to me. Perfectly light and fluffy-  it could stand on its own. But of course it is iced with a creamy and buttery frosting that is smooth and not too sweet.



Valentine's Day

With Valentine's day just around the corner, I am sure tons of you are scramming to have something delivered to your loved one at work or at home, and I have just the thing. Dolce et Gateaux has created a beautiful bouquet made up of.......wait for it.........red velvet cupcakes. What's better than a bouquet of roses that you can eat? (Seriously...let me know if you think of anything.) And if you're looking to make a little less of a statement, the boutique also has a large variety of v-day themed cupcakes as well as XO shaped sugar cookies.





Fresh and Delivered to your Door

Unlike some other cupcake shops in the city, this one delivers (anywhere for a price). Just call and inquire to see how much it would cost to deliver to your area!

Most importantly in my books, their cupcakes are freshly baked DAILY. No cupcakes on display are form the previous day. Every evening, leftovers are brought to the nearby mission.





Nutella Cupcake with Nutella Filling

Special Events

If you're hosting a bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, or wedding, they also have incredible cakes and specialty cupcakes. We were shown an album full of impressively decorated baked goods for a wide-range of events. Contact them with your ideas...they can make them happen.




Summer Treats

In the springtime, Dolce et Gateaux starts serving their homemade Gelato. They have tons of flavours and use only natural ingredients. Spring/summer can't come soon enough....


The boutique itself is adorable. It's a great place to go grab a latte and a cupcake, and catch up with friends. Check out their boutique and café on Bernard, or grab some cupcakes to go at their location downtown. Check out their website for more deets!







 

Mind, Taste, Love.














Dolce & Gateaux on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 25, 2015

L'Entrecôte Saint-Jean

Paris à Montréal

2022, Peel street, Montreal, Qc, H3A 2W5


Montreal is packed with restaurants serving French cuisine. Bistros line the streets of Old Montreal and we are known for our modern French restaurants serving classics with a twist. But aside from the trendy, fusion restaurants, we also have some more traditional and authentic French restaurants. Par exemple, on Peel right below Sherbrooke lies a true Steak-Frites brasserie serving steaks the way they have always been served in Paris. 

This restaurant is purely for meat-eaters because, well, there is nothing else on the menu. Whether you order it À la Carte or as part of the Table d'Hôte, you will be having steak. If you order the Table D'Hôte you will receive a soup of the day, or tomato juice, a simple walnut salad, strip loin steak in an herbed butter sauce with fries (steak cooked exactly as you request it and fries perfectly crisp and golden), and finally some profiteroles au chocolat. All of this for the very affordable price of $29.95. 

Steak-Frites

For a taste of Paris in its simplest form, head to L'Entrecôte Saint-Jean, grab a seat for two by the window, a bottle of wine, engage in some people watching, and enjoy a perfectly cooked steak-frites in the heart of Montreal. 



Cream of Leak Soup

Walnut Salad



Steak-Frites

Profiterole

Reservations: Reservations are only accepted at lunch.
Date night: 100% yes.
What I wore: Black jeans, turtle neck with leather shoulder detail (Karen Millen), and leather booties.
The damage: $$


Mind, Taste, Love.









Entrecote St-Jean on Urbanspoon