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Seafood-Focused Lunch at Joséphine (Montreal, Canada)

Bar area Indoor meets outdoor seating Menu Sardines, gribiche, grilled bread If you are craving the feel of the beach, seafood-forward cuisine but set in a nice restaurant that isn’t stuffy, and in Montreal, I’d suggest Joséphine. The restaurant has a beach meets modern decor with the streamlined chandelier lights that hangs over most tables, the contemporary, minimalist artwork and the touches of palm type plants strewn on parts of the restaurant. (more…)

Lovely Lunch at La Fabrique (Montreal, Canada)

Interior of dining room Toasted bread and house made rhubarb and yuzu soda Beef tartare, watermelon, jalapeno and house made cumin breadstick One of my lunches while I was in Montreal was at La Fabrique. It’s right on the popular Plateau/Mont Royal neighborhood and about a 12-minute brisk walk from my hotel.  During the weekday afternoons, La Fabrique serves brunch and a 2-course table d’hôte, a fixed price menu with an option for dessert that’s a la carte. (more…)

Comfortable Stay at Boxotel (Montreal, Canada)

Reception /lobby area called Box Office” My Studio Queen Room Kitchenette inside the Studio Queen I was invited to a press trip to Montreal last week to explore this charming city that has both the Old World and modern. It has been about five years since I’ve been to this city and even though it’s generally familiar in terms of where are the popular neighborhoods are but life always moves on and certain trends pick up or went away since I last visited. I will write a general overview post of this trip soon but I’ll start with the individual..

Art-Is-In Bakery (Ottawa, Canada)

One of my other favorite stop/meals in Ottawa was at Art-Is-In Bakery. This bakery was buzzing with energy and excitement over the food and baked goods served the Saturday morning we were there. The scent is pure toast and crispy pig fat. A growing lineup stretches right out the door from the pastry counter, winding past a display of fine French tarts, beyond metal cooling racks filled with pizzas, signature rustic breads, and baguettes that have become recognizable fixtures at farmers’ markets and sandwich shops all over town. It’s a downtown detour into the parking lot of an industrial warehouse..

Luxurious Dining at Le Baccara at Casino du Lac-Leamy (Gatineau, Canada)

We had dinner at Le Baccara. It might seem a little unusual to have dinner in a casino that is about 10 minutes away from downtown Ottawa but I couldn’t help but be curious how is it like to dine there. It is a five-star French restaurant where service is first class, from the choice of complimentary spring or sparkling water to the fresh linen napkin waiting every time you return to your table. We had a table by the window with a lovely view and see kayakers paddling around. (more…)

Wonderful Stay at Fairmont Le Château Montebello & A Visit to Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site (Montebello, Canada)

If all of you are wondering why did I go to Montebello? It’s because it’s close to Ottawa (about an hour away by car) and I wanted to be away from the city (any, not just New York). Fairmont Le Château Montebello Montebello is located on a bank of the Ottawa River with its own marina. This grand log-built hotel provides rustic luxury, local flavor, beautiful grounds, great views, and heaps of activities to do for both summer and winter. It’s an annual family destination for many well-heeled Canadians (or tourist within the northeastern part of the U.S., it seemed)...

Great Stay (and Good Food to Boot) at Andaz Ottawa Byward Market (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market was our home base when we were staying in Ottawa. This hotel juts up as the most prominent new high-rise in the ByWard Market, a 19th-century commercial district that now hums with both artisan goods shops and venerable Canadian department stores like Simon’s and Hudson’s Bay. Trendy bars and a few of the city’s best restaurants round out the mix. Art also meets power in this area between the National Gallery of Canada and Parliament Hill. All of these locations are within a fifteen to twenty minutes of walking so a car isn’t needed to explore..

Afternoon Tea at Zoe’s Lounge at Fairmont Château Laurier (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

If there’s a hotel that is famous in Ottawa, it is the Fairmont Château Laurier. Not only for the stunning architecture but there’s so much history involved in this hotel. It was built as one of the classic railroad hotels by the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada a century ago, it is a massive turreted structure, a venerable castle that is remarkably spacious and very lovely inside. A friend and I decided to have afternoon tea here despite the fact it was still in the middle of a heat wave. (more…)