Tonight marks the first of the Cabaret Saturday series going down at New City Gas. Watch the teaser trailer and you will know right away that its something new fresh and tantalizing that you do not want to miss out on. Whose going? Well be there!
With a mix of virtual and in-person celebrations, this year's Pride festivities continue to look a little different because of public health and safety measures. Happily, Montreal's performance troupe, Le Monastère, is set to come through with its annual Pride Circus Cabaret.
If you're unfamiliar, Le Monastère is a non-profit organization that stages year-round circus cabarets throughout Montreal. The annual Pride Circus Cabaret show is intended to celebrate Pride in a truly unique way. The aerial arts and aerobics performances are all about self-expression — delivered in a gravity-defying fashion, no less.
While it's not every day you get to see people swinging and dancing dozens of feet in the air, the Pride Circus Cabaret's goal goes beyond putting on an entertaining performance; it's about bringing people together to take Pride to new heights (literally).
The Pride Circus Cabaret will feature 10 acts, each showcasing a different artist. Each performer has been given full creative control over their set, ensuring that you'll be experiencing their performances how the artist intended them to be enjoyed.
In collaboration with XP_MTL, this year's Pride Circus Cabaret will be hosted in Le Jardin, at the foot of the St. Jax Church bell tower in downtown Montreal. Along with jaw-dropping performances, there will be an on-site bar offering the best of Quebec's wine, beers and spirits, plus live beats from a Montreal DJ.
If you can't make it to the Pride Circus Cabaret this year, you can attend its year-round cabaret shows. The tickets for the September shows are already on sale.
Le Monastère is also hosting Picnic at the Circus: a summer special happening every Tuesday until August 31, featuring three different acts, a DJ set and an on-site bar. Just bring yourself, your BFFs and a picnic basket full of goodies to enjoy while you watch the show.
With the Pride Circus Cabaret, the circus really is within your reach. This year's Pride Circus Cabaret takes place at 9 p.m. on August 5-7 and again on August 12-14 at Le Jardin. Tickets are $34.95 for the hour-long show (plus intermission), with the celebration set to continue on with a live DJ set.
Pride Circus Cabaret At Le Jardin
When: August 5-7 & 12-14 at 9 p.m.
Address: Le Jardin, 1439, rue Ste-Catherine O., Montreal, QC
Details: Head to Le Jardin for Le Monastère's Pride Circus Cabaret and watch acrobats and aerial artists perform their Pride season show, then stick around for the on-site bar and DJ set afterward.
I must admit, I had never been to New City Gas (I moved here during the pandemic — please forgive me), so I had no idea what to expect. The first thing I thought was, "WOW, this space is so cool!" We walked into the lobby-bar and I was instantly taken by the exposed brick and hanging lights, which created a boho-chic Mykonos-esque aesthetic. Of course, that included a hanging bed.
We stepped inside and walked through the mysterious yet cozy and inviting interior complete with mirrors and candles galore. Before entering the restaurant, we passed through the artisanal marketplace, featuring goods from Meraki, a Laval-based boutique filled with handmade goods and imported treasures from Greece.
Next, we headed into the restaurant, which is so spectacularly done that it feels like one of the most high-end, chic spots on the Island of Montreal but with a totally relaxed and laid-back vibe. Thanks to the decor — complete with hanging baskets, long tables, neutral tones and vibrant greenery — you truly feel like you're in Tulum or in Greece.
We tucked ourselves in for a four-course meal by Chef Massimo Piedimonte of Le Mousso. We were told that the menu was "a tour through the Mediterranean": tapas, a fish course, a meat course, and dessert. Paired with drinks prepared by sommelier Maxime Laliberté of Maison Boulud and mixologist Lawrence Picard of Nectar & Co., I was in absolute heaven.
Between courses, we checked out the open-air gallery outside by S16 and the NFT Gallery by 0x Society, which is actually the first of its kind in Canada. Both of these will be available all summer long.
When the sun went down and the lights came on, the ambiance was even more spectacular. Co-owner Alex K. told me the team was inspired by their travels to places like Tulum and Mykonos, not just for their food and culture, but for the way they exude positive summer vibes. And that's exactly what I got from Bazart from start to finish!
Bazart at New City Gas
Address: 969, rue Wellington, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: For a taste and the vibes of the Mediterranean right in the heart of Griffintown.
Why It Feels Like Paris: Owner Lysanne Pepin told MTL Blog the idea for the alleyway setup came from visits to European markets. The magical and elegant vibes have Paris written all over them. It's also right in the heart of Old Montreal, which has that historical Parisian charm to it.
Why It Feels Like Paris: You can't think of Paris without thinking of the Eiffel Tower. The Montreal Tower may not look much like it, but both architectural marvels are emblematic of their home cities. And, in both cities, locals have been known to roll their eyes as they complain about these "eyesores" — so we at least have that in common.
Why It Feels Like Paris:Fountains are a thing in Parisian parks, and Montreal's Parc La Fontaine puts its fountain in its name, not to mention that it's a beautiful 40-hectare green space with two linked ponds and waterfalls.
Plus, it's in the Plateau, home to French immigrants and architecture, making it the perfect place to bring a charcuterie board, as you enjoy a picnic on the grass while wearing a beret.
Why It Feels Like Paris: What trip to Paris would be complete without macarons? Sweet, light colourful little bursts of meringue and icing sugar.
Christian Faure, the chef, was actually born in France and trained in France, having worked in multiple Paris patisseries. This location of Maison Christian Faure is in the Old Port, which will make the experience all the more Parisian.
Why It Feels Like Paris: This Parisian-style bistro on Rue Saint-Denis is a Montreal classic, having been in business since 1980. Reviewers rave about the food, the service and the French ambiance. It's a little taste of Paris.
Why It Feels Like Paris: This Outremont restaurant and café is an ideal spot to people-watch as you sip on a café au lait, just as you might in Paris. The website says it "will give you the impression of being in a pretty little 'coin perdu de Paris'" and reviewers agree.
"Beautiful terrasse and the inside feels like a Paris café. Croissants are die for, especially the almond cream or paste ones," wrote G V on Foursquare.
Why It Feels Like Paris: To be "in Paris," you need traditional French bread, and you need it to be fresh.
"After living in Paris, I learned what great bread should taste like so I'm a bit of bread snob now [...]. I have been hunting everywhere and I can say that Guillaume is my little bakery heaven in Montreal," wrote Min C., a reviewer on Yelp.
Why It Feels Like Paris: Writers are drawn to Paris. Great American novelists, including Hemingway and Fitzgerald, flocked there in the 1920s. And we can't forget the French natives... Do names like Voltaire, Balzac, Victor Hugo and Proust ring a bell?
Take in some of that literary culture at French-language indie bookstore Gallimard.