I remember the first time I walked by the Nota Bene store on Avenue du Parc in November, 2004. A series of colorful German-made notebooks with aluminum edges were shown in the display window and I immediately thought “I am going to spend a lot of money here". And sure enough, over the following three years, I did...
Nota Bene sells an amazing array of imported designer stationery items – mostly of European and Japanese origin. If you're the type who prefers to think with a pen or a pencil in their hands, chances are you're going to love this store...
Read the rest of: "Nota Bene
Like every good European, I am fond of food and like it to be as fresh as possible. I've
always looked for the best ingredients to make my cooking exceptional for my wife, friends
and family, as that's whom I usually cook for. Getting my groceries fresh from the market
or straight from the farmer has always been my goal, because everything tastes better from
the people who take care of their produce and work hard to bring the raw ingredients to our
In Montreal, I was overjoyed to find that there's more than one farmer's market open seven
days a week. One of my favorites (not only for its nice building, which I really like) is
the Atwater Market, situated very close to the Lachine Canal path, making it the perfect
stop after a walk or a bike ride...
Read the rest of: "Marché Atwater
If you know anything about Ottawa you probably know it as the capital of Canada and not much else. That's most of the story. Unless you work for the government, there's not much to do in Ottawa, particularly after sunset, aside from an all-you-can-eat lobster dinner and a cozy bed...
Read the rest of: "Ottawa: I came, I saw, I left
Quick, where to go in Montreal on a Thursday night?
Think beer, pool, conversation and a little live music by a good local band on a miniscule stage – not to mention the spirited roar of Canadiens' fans.
Located right in the middle of
Plateau Mont Royal
L'Inspecteur Épingle is a bar where a variety of
characters congregate to drink affordably priced pints of beer. Patrons are often perched on bar stools or lounging at corner tables beneath plasma TV screens, either listening to or ignoring the game and raising their voices just above the clinking of glasses and background music...
Read the rest of: "L'Inspecteur Épingle: Raise Your Pint, Follow the Puck
I am amazed and grateful at the variety of cafés in Montreal. It is a city where people love to bring their office or school work to coffee shops, since most of them offer Wi-Fi. Hot beverages are essential during the colder months, but there is a difference between hitting the chain coffee shops and arriving by chance to a café in the middle of the very eclectic Blvd. St-Laurent..
Pi Café (Café π) is basically a mixture of coffee shop, workplace, gallery, chess venue and a place for tranquility. I've been there a few times, and it is a wonderful place to enjoy a café latte or tisane while you pull out your book, computer or schoolwork in a reasonably quiet environment.
Read the rest of: "Café π: Coffee, Tranquility and One Hip Bathroom"»
Somebody on the site mentioned that Le Grand Comptoir
is one of the few restaurants in Montreal with friendly,
non-pretentious “single person" table service and I would
agree with them. What I mean by that is that going there by yourself doesn't necessarily present you with the typical dining-alone nuisances, like having to sit at the counter and thus forgo being able to relax in a chair, or being subjected to attitude from the host(ess) and the server. (After all, you're taking up a whole table and you'll only leave one person's tip!)
Like I said, Le Grand Comptoir
is a fortunate exception to those experiences.
You can go there alone at almost any time of day
(except the lunch hour: too busy) and find more
than a handful of individual tables to choose from...
Read the rest of: "Alone at Le Grand Comptoir
When I say the words "General Store", what do you think of? I bet
it's the television show "The Waltons", isn't it? And then maybe the
image of a dusty-shelved, small-town shop with some outdated products
in faded packages and maybe one of those huge jars of pickled eggs on
the counter, surrounded by locals, gossiping and chatting. Not
exactly the kind of thing you'd think you'd ever find in downtown
Toronto. And on that count, you'd be both right and wrong...
Read the rest of: "Good Catch General Store
I was always under the impression that "tapas" was a Spanish word
meaning small bites or small plates. In Spain, tapas is something you
eat after work with a drink or two before heading off to dinner,
sometime between nine or ten o'clock. Those little bits of snacks and
olives, maybe some bread, are meant to tide you over until the big meal.
Not so in Toronto, where tapas bars have morphed away from Spanish
snacks and drinks to full meals of every genre, at high-end prices.
Problem is, you've got to eat a lot of little dishes to come up with
the equivalent of a meal.
When Boom Shiva opened on the West Queen West strip last summer, they
were the hit of the season -- finally, a bar with exclusively
vegetarian food. Local critics sang the praises of the crusty old bar
revamped into a fun and funky space with live music, tasty cocktails
and a knowledgeable beer menu...
Read the rest of: "Boom Shiva