Monday, January 19, 2015

Brasserie Central (Thursday Nights)

Oysters and Bubbly

4858 Sherbrooke St W Westmount, QC H3Z1H1


Having been to Brasserie Central before, I knew to set my standards high for their latest addition: Oyster Thursdays. The restaurant has a different feel at night than during the daytime. During the day the light shines in creating a bright and cheerful feel, while at night the space transforms into a quaint and cosy bistro. 

With oysters being ever so popular as of late, it was only fitting for Central to create a night centred around these simple pleasures. If you head to Central on a Thursday night, what can you expect to find? From 5 pm until closing you could order 12 oysters ($24), or half a dozen ($12), a suggested wine paring ($7), or a glass of bubbly ($8). I also highly recommend their Serrano platter served with honey truffle oil and parmesan cheese- so delicious. As for the oysters, they were served beautifully on a bed of ice with a classic mignonette as well as an exotic pineapple and champagne salsa.



Serrano Ham, Parmesan, and Honey Truffle Oil





We had a bit of an appetite and decided to order some other appetizers to go with our charcuterie, oysters, caesar, and wine. We decided upon a crab cake topped with an arugula, fennel, and orange salad, and a wasabi mayo and the octopus "a la plancha" with cherry tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, capers, and chimichurri. Both hit the spot.

Crab Cake



Octopus "A la Plancha"
Finally, every meal must come to a decadent end, and this one exceeded expectations. We ordered the sticky toffee pudding. To describe this dessert as heavenly would even be an understatement. Just trust me and try it for yourself.
Sticky Toffee Pudding

Next time you are looking for a 5 à 7 spot, dinner spot, or just a place to warm up with some bubbly in hand, definitely head to Brasserie Central.



Mind, Taste, Love.








Brasserie Central on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pullman Bar à Vin


Pullman needs no introduction. In my opinion, this is one of Montreal's top date spots. With a never-ending wine list, knowledgeable servers, and music that is at just the right volume for some good old-fashioned conversation, it is easy to see why Pullman's has been able to hold its own.

The atmosphere is understated and tasteful. Dim lighting and candles create a perfect ambience and the layout of the tables are just right. Order a cheese plate with the perfect wine pairing, or some mini burgers and let the wine do the rest.

In my opinion, Pullman also makes for the perfect GNO. When me and my girls go out, we want to be able to drink AND catch up (the latter is hard to do at other bars where music is loud and the space is crowded).


Cheese Platter

Mini Burgers

Churros


For a tamer night out of delicious tapas, wine, and (yes) conversation, I suggest Pullman Bar à Vin! 

Mind, Taste, Love.








Pullman on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Beatrice

This Montreal classic deserves your attention. Beautiful décor, consistently good food, and a great location on Sherbrooke. Come summer there is a stunning terrace. If you're looking for a glam spot to visit in the new year, I highly recommend Beatrice. There is no need for a long write-up for this elegant resto. Pictures are worth a thousand words- see what we ordered below!

Happy New Year!


Tuna Tartare

Shrimp Tempura

Tagliatelle Rosé with Buratta and Basil

Veal Cheek

Extravagant Dessert Platter

Extravagant Dessert Platter



Mind, Taste, Love.








Ristorante Beatrice (Bice) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Arts Café

A Fairmount Find.

201 Avenue Fairmount Ouest Montreal, QC H2T 2M8


On a mild Winter Sunday morning/afternoon, nothing beats brunching and catching up with good friends, but the brunch experience was recently taken to the next level at Arts Café. 

Windows are dressed with hanging light bulbs adding to the eccentric feel, while wooden floors and walls help keep the small space warm. Mismatched chairs and different-sized tables give the café a vintage vibe. The décor may be busy, but it works. Grab a latte (or a mimosa) and a seat by the window if you can for some natural sunlight and a view of this adorable plateau street. 




Brunch itself is delicious. The menu is not overwhelming, but still has enough choice that you will need a few minutes to decide on your target. Highlights included the breakfast poutine, sweet & savoury french toast, and the delicious coffee. See what else we ordered below!


Latté

Grapefruit Mimosa

French Toast with Apple Cardamom Chutney, Cheddar, Almonds, and McMillan Farm Maple Syrup

Breakfast Poutine: Duck Confit, Sarladaises Potatoes, Cipollini, Cheese Curds,  Poached Egg, and Hollandaise

A Fairmount Bagel with Salmon Gravlax, Organic Tomato, Arugula, Herb Cream Cheese, Fried Capers, and a Baked Potato with Crème Fraîche 


All I can say is GO (but go early because there is bound to be a wait and they don't take reservations).


Mind, Taste, Love.









Arts Café on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 18, 2014

iGo Electric FatBike

iGo Electric FatBike

Hi guys!

If you're a biking fanatic, or even if you've never ridden a bike before, I urge you to click the link below and watch this video. These days, almost everything is outsourced. To find a well-made, and high quality product both designed and built in Canada is rare. I am all about shopping local when it comes to smaller items like groceries, and clothing, so why not do the same when it comes to bigger ticket items like an awesome electric FatBike.

Two brothers (Montreal-born and raised) have taken it upon themselves to bring us top notch electric bicycles. There is nothing I love more than home-grown talent and entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more about the product and to see how you could help get it launched in Canada, see the Kickstarter link below.  In case you didn't know, Kickstarter is a way to get the consumer involved from the product design stage, to product launch, and when you support the products you love, you don't leave empty-handed, so please check it out and share with all of your friends! 


I love to support friends in their business ventures, but it's even easier when they are super talented and designing first class products for consumers like me. Plus, imagine riding this bike up Mont Royal. WOAH.


Montreal Entrepreneurs Matt and Zach Richman

Mind, Taste, Love.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ryu

Chef Kei takes the lead.


288 Laurier O, Montreal, QC, H2V 2K2



Ryu is like my favourite white tee. No matter how long its around, it can't be replaced. Ryu has been on the scene for a while now, but I have yet to get tired of it. With classics like their Ryu Tartare and spicy tuna crispy rice, they give Montrealers a taste of contemporary Japanese cuisine. Ryu definitely filled a gap when they entered the Montreal market a few years back and have been providing us with the most delicious tartares, makis, and Japanese-inspired dishes ever since.

So why am I talking about Ryu now you might ask?

With new head chef Kei at the helm, Ryu has blossomed into much more than just my favourite white tee. With a new focus on fresh nigiri, innovative maki rolls, and a creative cocktail list, their refreshed menu is just what this resto needed to take it to the next level. Don't fret, the classics are still their, but you will absolutely love the latest additions.

If you're looking for your next date night, they also offer a "dinner-for-two" option served in an elegant way. A great idea for a birthday celebration, anniversary, or just 'cause!

Delicious food, atmosphere, and location are just some of the reasons that Ryu will always be a favourite of mine. If you haven't been in a while, I urge you to go see for yourself what Chef Kei has in store.

Feast your eyes on what we ordered below!

First Row {Left to Right}: Edamame, Hamachi Jalapeño, Spicy Lobster on Crispy Rice, Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Second Row {Left to Right}: Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, Maki, Nigiri, Chocolate Lava Cake

Third Row {Left to Right}: Lemon Cheesecake with Pear, Lava Cake


Mind, Taste, Love.








Ryu on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Restaurant Review: Nini Meatball House

Nini Meatball House


Not your grandmother's meatballs.


1752 Rue Notre Dame West


When I heard of Nini Meatball House I thought, how could this restaurant have a menu built mainly around meatballs? Now that I've paid them a visit, I totally understand. Their menu is small, but full of cozy comfort foods. Meatball variations range from classic beef with tomato sauce and parmesan to salmon ginger wasabi sesame and soy. These are definitely not your grandmothers meatballs, but they are just as warm and comforting!

The best part is that you don't actually have to eat meat to try these. There are beef, chicken, shrimp, pork, vegetarian, and fish options-  something for everyone. If you're in the mood for something a little more filling, you could order your meatballs as a sandwich on a brioche bun, or ciabatta with a slice of mozzarella. We started with a delicious kale and spinach caesar salad, followed by a bunch of meatballs, and finished with a homemade ice cream sandwich (white chocolate cookie filled with caramel ice cream). Everything was delicious! My only note would be that the ice cream sandwiches' cookies could have been a little softer, but the caramel ice cream was HEAVENLY. When I go back I will definitely try the pumpkin cheesecake, or rosemary apple crumble.


Kale and Spinach Caesar Salad

Veggie Balls with Coconut and Curry Sauce

Shrimp Pork Thai Peanut Sauce, Veggie, Beef cheddar bacon & smoked BBQ sauce, Beef classic tomato sauce parmesan 

White Chocolate Cookies with Caramel Ice Cream


The space itself is lovely. It is all white-  from the walls, to the chairs, and tables. The décor and addition of fresh flowers and candles to each table keeps it warm and cozy (just like the food). Add a glass of wine, or one of their yummy-sounding cocktails, and you've managed to escape the cold!


For a night out of healthy comfort food, vino, and a place to escape Montreal's harsh winters, definitely try warming up at Nini Meatball House!

Reservations: Yes.
Date night: Absolutely.
What I wore: Jeans, beige sweater, chunky scarf, booties.
The damage: $$
Stay in the know: Closed on Sundays and they now do take-out!

Mind, Taste, Love.









Nini Meatball House on Urbanspoon