Monday, May 25, 2015

Notre Boeuf de Grace

NDG Welcomes NBG


5732 Sherbrooke W, MontrealQC H4A 1W8



NDG, a family-friendly neighbourhood that is quickly becoming inhabited by a younger demographic, is facing one small problem. Aside from local hot spots like Lucille's and The Tavern on Monkland, where will these young and trendy NDG residents eat?

Enter Notre Boeuf de Grâce. Becoming better known around town as NBG. Nestled on Sherbrooke (west of Decarie), this spot offers everything you could possibly need for the summer: a terrace to chill on, grub to satisfy all of your cravings, soft-serve ice cream, creative cocktails, and the most delicious affogato to sip on in the sunshine.

I visited on a night that was a tad too cold to sit on the terrace (of course there were people eating outside anyways.....Oh...Montrealers.....), so we grabbed a table inside. The space is casual, but wooden tables, and a large central lighting fixture add some ambience. Bold red and black writing on a statement wall gives the room a rock and roll vibe.



Start off with the Devils on Horseback: Dates wrapped in bacon that are deep fried and served with hot sauce. An unlikely combination that just works.
Devils on Horseback
Wedge Salad
Customize your burger, or choose from one of their suggestions that are even offered with the perfect drink pairing.

Vegetarians have the option of a veggie burger. Non-beef eaters can go for a chicken burger. And those of you on a health-kick can opt for a lettuce wrap.

The burgers themselves are thin, tasty, and juicy- as they should be. There are plenty of toppings and sauces to choose from, so go wild!

Beef Burger / Tandoori Mayo / Etc.

Chicken Burger / Lettuce Bun

Beef Burger / Lettuce Bun

Beef Burger / Salami / Fried Egg
The potato skins are crispy and topped with a combination of sauces and chives. Think loaded baked potato in finger-food form. And of course fries and poutine are always a good option as a side. P.s. coke is served the classic way- with syrup (cherry coke is available!).

Potato Skins
Fries
Poutine
You should definitely go if you live in the neighbourhood. NBG is the only of its kind in NDG, and I predict it will be a hit with locals and Montrealers alike this summer!

Mind, Taste, Love.









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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bois et Cuir

St-Hubert Street....Not Just for Wedding Dresses

6320 rue Saint-Hubert, Montréal T. (514) 270-7444


There are certain areas of the city known for furniture stores- St-Laurent street, St-Henri, and Griffintown to name a few. Of course there are also larger chains like Structube and even some stores from the US that are popping up around the city.

What if I told you that a 16,000 square foot furniture store filled with tons of industrial and vintage-style pieces is located on St-Hubert street. You would probably respond with: "Isn't that where you're supposed to shop for wedding dresses?"



Well this decorator's dream does in fact exist in the form of Bois et Cuir. Us bilingual Montrealer's know that Bois et Cuir translates to Wood and Leather, and you will see an abundance of these two materials throughout the store. If you're more of a suede guy or gal, I suggest you stay home. Find two floors of wooden/leather desks, couches, headboards, coffee tables, and a selection of head-turning lighting fixtures. You will also find pop art, metal skulls, and other unique vintage items to set your sights on. Pricing is variable depending on the nature of the item, but I was impressed with how affordable many of the pieces were!






Even if you're not looking for furniture, there is still reason for you to visit. Have you ever been to a dinner party and envied the host/hostess for their adorable serving platters, cups, or cheese boards? They may have found them here! Chalkboard cheese boards, adorable place mats, beautifully painted mugs (my favourite are the toile), and other home décor items make great gifts for dinner parties, or house-warmings (I LOVE the Archipelago diffusers and scented candles). Stop by to pick-up an item to warm up your home, or invest in a unique piece of furniture that will transform your space.


Check out their Facebook Page and Instagram for cute gift ideas and décor-inspo!

https://www.facebook.com/boisetcuir/timeline

@BoisEtCuir


Mind, Taste, Love.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Escondite

Cerveceria, Tequila, FIESTA

1206 Avenue Union, Montréal, QC H3B 3A7


Downtown now has an actual selection of diverse and trendy restaurants to choose from. Escondite (which translates to hiding place) has recently been added to the roster and is bringing a totally fresh concept to Montreal. We're used to basic tacos served at whole-in-the-walls, and the odd cute Mexican establishment, but this spot is chic in every way and serves up tacos and other Mexican-inspired dishes with flair.

From the outside, you expect to walk into an ordinary and casual restaurant, but step inside to find a dimly lit space with ornately painted walls, interesting art, and neon signs that all work together to create a hip atmosphere. This is THE taco restaurant Montrealers have been waiting for.






Ok, so the restaurant is beautiful...but what about the food and drinks!?

Papi Chulo's pork ribs are a must-  sticky and sweet in a black cherry chipotle sauce. And if you're a truffle lover, you need to order the truffle and cheddar cheese quesadillas. I would go for the shrimp ceviche over the beet ceviche-  more zing and flavour. 

Papi Chulo's Pork Ribs

Quesadilla Sincronizada de Hongos
Beet Ceviche 
Shrimp Ceviche
All of the tacos we tried were great. My picks are the crispy cod and cauliflower tacos. The smoked meat tacos (a Montrealer's dream) were good, but not my personal favourite.
Crispy Cod Tacos
Crispy Cauliflower / Vegetarian Taco 
Smoked Meat Taco
Of course you should end your meal with CHURROS-  coated in cinnamon sugar and served with nutella for dipping.
Churros
Drinks were flavourful and colourful. I always love a good Michelada (basically the Mexican version of a Caesar with beer). The La Papaya with gin and papaya purée was another favourite. 
Michelada

Mojito del'King
Cartel de Santa (with Hibiscus Flower syrup and Hibiscus Foam)
La Papaya
Escondite is a real "hidden" gem. The restaurant is a good size allowing for bigger parties and they take reservations. Perfect for your next Mexican fiesta with friends or a date!!

Mind, Taste, Love.

Escondite on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 11, 2015

Buonanotte

Spring has Sprung on the Main

3518 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2V2


When I think of spring, I immediately think of perfectly ripened vegetables, in-season fruits, and light dishes. I don't want to go out for a heavy, or saucy dish.

So picture this instead: it's about 20 degrees and sunny out. You're sitting on a terrace, chilled glass of white wine in hand, cheers-ing to summer in Montreal, thinking about how it may just be the greatest city in the world. Where is this perfect scenario taking place you might ask? On The Main of course. At Montreal's longstanding hangout for food, drinks, dancing, and people-watching-  Buonanotte BKA (better known as) Buona.

An intimate dinner with fellow bloggers and the passionate chef Marco recently introduced me to their Spring menu. Plenty of in-season vegetables (ripe tomatoes and fiddleheads), and a light twist on typically heavy Italian classics, had me hooked.

The meal got off to a good start with some homemade mortadella, sliced mozzarella, and duck prosciutto. This was followed by two light and refreshing salads. One was a classic tomato and mozzarella di bufala, with some walnuts for added crunch. The other was topped with pomegranate seeds, shaved butternut squash, and goat's cheese, and was dressed in a light vinaigrette.

Mortadella, Mozzarella, and Duck Prosciutto

Tomato Salad with Mozzarella di Bufala, and Walnuts

Pomegranate, squash, and goat cheese salad



Next up, my personal favourite, the thin crust pizza topped with colourful roasted tomatoes, asparagus, translucent slices of meat, and drizzled with the best creation in the world...olive oil.
Thin-Crust Pizza with Tomatoes and Asparagus


The next dish was heartier, but still screamed spring. Perfectly al dente pasta, fiddleheads, and well-seasoned pork sausage.

Pasta with Saffron, Fiddleheads, and Pork Sausage


The protein was a seabass served atop a turnip purée with peas, carrots, and sliced asparagus. Simple and well-presented.
Sea Bass with a Turnip Purée, Peas, and Asparagus
No Italian meal is complete without salumi, and this platter was even more special since most of the meats were made by the owner's father at a nearby butcher.

Salumi Platter



OK, I LIED. No Italian meal is really complete without dessert- in particular, TIRAMISU. This one had a rich coffee flavour and was layered with decadent creamy filling. All the while, it managed to taste light and airy. We also tasted their addictive chocolate torte and homemade lemon gelato. Chef Marco aimed to impress and did not fall short. We thoroughly enjoyed each and every dish and would be back for more. Especially to dine on Buona's terrace! A big thank you to Fred Avertick, PR expert for organizing the wonderful evening at Buona!
Tiramisu

Chocolate Torte

Homemade Lemon Gelato
See you there MTL!

Mind, Taste, Love.









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