No other food is as equally fancy and fun as oysters. A little on the ritzy side, oysters are typically reserved for special occasions. Eaten like taking a shot of juicy goodness, oysters are also fun to eat and share with friends. This Sunday September 8th, Montreal hosts an event that celebrates both aspects of the mighty oyster with the Montreal Oysterfest 2013. Making oysters affordable and featuring food, beer, and prizes, the fifth annual Oysterfest is a food event you won't want to miss.
On Sunday it will be oysters galore, with only the finest oysters the waters have to offer being served and prepared by the Old Port Fishing Company. And its not only oysters you'll be able to enjoy (although that’s already a huge pull) as some of Montreal's biggest culinary giants will be on the scene serving succulent seafood and other tasty eats. Look forward to food from big names like L'Orignal, Garde Manger, and Taverne Monkland, among many others.
It wouldn't be a fun festival without drinks on hand, and Oysterfest definitely has that covered. You'll be able to chug back a beer as you slurp down an oyster as Burgundy Lion and Philemon will make sure the beer is flowing. For those looking for an oyster-edge to their drank, Oysterfest is hosting the Mott's Clamato Caesar Throwdown, a competition to decide who in Montreal makes the greatest classic Canadian cocktail. Get your celery ready.
Keeping the competition focused on the mighty oyster, Oysterfest hosts the coveted shucking competition. Oyster shuckers from across Canada will converge on Sunday to decide who takes the top spot as the nation's fastest oyster shucker. I doubt you've ever seen a race like this, so be sure to check out what the hell an oyster shucking competition even looks like.
Aside from the oysters, food, beer, Caesars, and more oysters, there is another major reason to attend Oysterfest: all proceeds go to the Open Pier Foundation, a non-profit organization whose goal is to aid and sustain all aquatic life. Last year Oysterfest raised over $29, 000 dollars, so be part of the great cause to help the environment, while enjoying yourself with great food and fun.
Tickets are limited to this epic food event, so be sure to check out Oysterfest's official website and grab your ticket via evenko to get in on all of the food and fun. See you there, oyster and Caesar in hand.
Is there anything more nerve wracking than a first date? I don't think so, to be completely honest with you guys. There are so many factors going in to making a first date awesome, it's just really anxiety-inducing.
But, thankfully, if you're going on a first date during the holidays, you've got one less thing to worry about. Why? Because I'm here to save the day with a list of some pretty chill places to take your first date during the holiday season.
I honestly believe it's impossible not to love L'Gros Luxe (Especially when they are part of Grilled Cheese Month). Not only is their food and decor so, so, so on fleek, but their drinks are out of this world. Warm up to your new sweetie by sharing a Caesar... trust me, it's WORTH it. Plus, each time you buy a mac and cheese for the holidays, L'Gros Luxe is donating $1 to one of their 4 partner organizations.
Legit, you guys, there is no better first date place during the holidays than an actual Christmas themed bar. Expect Christmas drinks, Christmas music, and an amazing opportunity to get to know your potential new bae.
This cozy Verdun haunt has everything a good neighbourhood bar should: a cozy and welcoming decor, good music, good vibes, and pretty much the best cocktails around. AKA, the perfect ambiance to get to know someone.
If you and your date are down to get turnt AF, then have I got some awesome news for you. This Chinatown bar (that's legit like a little slice of Hawaii) is known to get a little rowdy towards the end of the night... so go ahead and grab a drink in a literal pineapple, and prepare to have the most fun first date ever.
There is no classier first date than a wine bar first date, friends. Unless you're going on a first date to this uber classy Montreal wine bar... during the holidays. Class all the way, guys. Class all the way.
Situated in Old Montreal, Philemon Bar is pretty much in the most romantic area in the whole city, TBH. It helps that this bar has pretty much one of the most romantic ambiances in the whole city, too, which makes it that much easier for you and your date to get to know each other.
My new absolute favourite spot in the whole city also happens to be an awesome place to take a first date, especially around the holiday season. It's got a really cool 1920s Gatsby vibe going on, which makes it an awesome spot to feel vintage AF during a first date.
Good food, good drinks, and a seriously welcoming-yet-party atmosphere? Yassss. Perfect for the couple who are just getting to know each other's wild side... or those of us who love eating good food and drinking good drinks on the first date.
This Griffintown bar specializes in tapas and seriously tasty cocktails. Which makes it the perfect first date restaurant: what could possibly be better than drinking awesome cocktails while sharing some seriously tasty food?
Located in Griffintown, Bird Bar is the perfect spot to indulge in some fried chicken and champagne. Granted, it's not strictly a bar - more of a resto/bar - but the decor, super trendy vibe, and amazingly huge bar (with awesome cocktails) make it a perfect place to get to know your new bae.
First we saw the commercials, then we saw the announcement that it was coming to Canada but unfortunately when we tried to buy one, we were heartbroken to find out the bacon wrapped pizza will not be coming to Montreal. This pizza is a masterpiece for one reason: It managed to find a new location for toppings. But it was hard to get excited about it once we discovered we were just about the only place in all of Canada where it would not be available.
Pizza has remained pretty much the same for years: crust, sauce, cheese and toppings. Then someone figured out you can stuff cheese and meat inside the crust and the world lost its mind. Then a few years later someone decided to stuff more toppings under a second crust layer. Again, absolute genius since we were convinced there was no where left to sneak in toppings.
Amazingly Little Caesars has managed to find yet another place for toppings on their pizza, but they've omitted one of Canada's largest bacon-loving places, Quebec! With much excitement, Little Ceasars contacted us to let us know that the bacon wrapped pizza is now available in Canada - without mentioning that Quebec is excluded...
It seems these days, you can't throw a stone on Notre-Dame Street without hitting a great restaurant. Everyone knows this area is home to the world-famous Joe Beef and Liverpool House, but Little Burgundy offers many other excellent restaurants serving up some seriously delicious eats not be overlooked, including quite a few already-popular newcomers. With so many tasty options out there to chose from, it's easy to see why many Montrealers are now making Notre-Dame Street West a primary foodie destination.
Tuck Shop continues to be a top pick for foodies and critics alike and for good reason. With its inviting country-style vibe like large common tables, washboards on the walls, and cloth towels in the bathrooms, Tuck Shop's menu can best be described as a mix of classic French bistro, Italian, and American comfort-food. The chalkboard menu constantly features new and highly creative specials, and the super friendly staff make you feel right at home.
You can find coffee/sandwich shops pretty much all over the city, but Campanelli does it with a fresh and unique style all of their own. More Italian neighbourhood cafe than proper sit-down restaurant, but passing over this place would definitely be a mistake. The coffee here alone is something exceptional, but it's the dreamy sandwiches with pillowy-soft bread and enough toppings to fill your belly and then some, that will keep you coming back for more. Campanelli also carry some pretty sweet threads and merchandise if you're looking to top up your style while grabbing some grub.
Chō, which is Japanese for butterfly btw, recently celebrated its first anniversary, and we're betting there will be quite a few more to come. This asian fusion tapas spot delivers on wild flavours and a cool, laid-back atmosphere. With multiple mind-blowing menu items to choose from, your taste buds will be thanking you with every bite.
In case you were wondering what it stood for, EVOO means Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the young, driven team behind this upscale bistro has definitely elevated the level of this particular block of Notre-Dame. A menu that strives to offer as many seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients as possible, and everything here is made in house. You'll find impeccable service thanks to a well-trained and experienced staff, and along with all the amazing cocktails and desserts they offer, EVOO does a stellar brunch that comes with their homemade NutellOO, totally better than the real thing!
If you've never grabbed some grub and a pint at the Burgundy Lion before, you need to get on that asap. Montreal's favourite British pub, the Burgundy Lion prides itself on a killer whisky selection as well as spot on, traditionaly British, pub-grub fare. The staff are friendly, the portions are generous and the Burgundy Lion is a great place to catch a rowdy Habs game with some friends.
Junior's is a relative newcomer to the Dame Street, only opening back in November 2014, but an extremely welcome addition to be sure. One of the few restaurants dishing up some legit Filipino food in the city, the vibrant colours and old Makati aesthetics will help draw you in, but it's the expertly prepared meals and enticing flavours that truly shine. If you've never tried Filipino food before, say hello to Junior.
As the name kind of implies, Grinder is definitely suited for the carnivores. Fat steaks, tasty tartares, clean carpaccios, Grinder also prepares a wide range of delicious fish dishes and offers a really decent wine list to wash it all down. The vibe and decor definitely fits the Griffintown crowd, think tattooed sommeliers and bearded waiters, which is maybe not up everyone's alley, but the great food and lively ambiance here always make for a good time
Another new kid on the block, since Sumac opened, it has pretty much satisfied every single client that's walked through the door. Quite possibly the best falafel in the city, but falafel aside, Sumac does exceptional, authentic Middle-Eastern food with amazing quality found throughout the menu. The best way to experience all the flavour is to order a bit of everything and share it family-style.
Ludger borrows its name from the early-1900s architect who designed the Atwater Market, and you'll find a few other historical nods infused into Ludger's decor. There's no real set style of food here, but instead a chalkboard menu full of rich and playful dishes we're sure you'll love. While it's easy to think that Ludger's casual setting borders on the dive bar, the attention to detail, quality ingredients, and fancy drinks list make it anything but.
Montreal is home to its fair share of celebrity chefs, including pastry pro, Patrice Demers. Having made some of the city's finest desserts at critically acclaimed restaurants such as Laloux and Les 400 Coups, as well as finding much commercial success with numerous pastry books and a cooking show, the skilled pastry chef decided to finally strike out on his own and open his own culinary boutique. Apart from the sublime desserts Demers is known for, you'll also find a tidy selection of gourmet sandwiches and salads that act as a worthy precursor.
A true hangover cure is hard to come by. You can go the food route, eating something carb-y and comforting to sop up any leftover alcohol and make your tummy feel all warm and fuzzy. Or you can do the hair of the dog thing, and lessen the pain with some drank. L'Gros Luxe, one of Montreal's newest and best bar-eats and Bloody Caesar spots lets you do both with the Montreal Bagel Caesar.
Montreal's iconic bagel got Caesar'd yesterday at L'Gros Luxe Mile End, as part of their Caesar of the Day special. The Bagel-Caesar features a sesame St. Viateur bagel, smeared with plenty of cream cheese, atop L'Gros Luxe's classic Bloody Caesar.
Not the first crazy Caesar concoction to come out of L'Gros Luxe, the resto-bar, depsite only being open for a few months, has gained a widespread reputation for being the city's premiere Caesar spot.
Get all the info and pics of L'Gros Luxe's food-drink combos at their FB page here.
For more on all things delicious in Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte