Canada

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Dinner at Chambar (Vancouver, B.C., Canada)

Chambar a huge, gorgeous, casual fine dining restaurant in Vancouver. The dining area has the brick walls, wooden beams and vaulted ceilings, and wood and black leather tufted banquettes, strong and masculine, balanced by colorful floating light fixtures. The atmosphere is definitely lively and it sets up for a fun meal. The menu reads international cuisine. Chambar draws influences from various cultures while sticking to flavors they are familiar with. The menu is seasonal and culturally influenced while incorporating a little farm to table. We started with unique cocktails like the Beety Street (a not too bitter with a touch..

Delicious and Beautiful Pastries at Thomas Haas Patisserie (Vancouver, B.C.)

Thomas Haas is a fourth generation pastry chef who grew up in his family’s pastry shop in Germany. It was located in the Black Forest village of Aichhalden. It all began when his great-grandfather opened the Café Conditorei Haas in 1918. Every generation after that continued the tradition of the family’s Black Forest cakes and other local sweets. Following in their footsteps, Haas trained in his native Germany, and then headed to Switzerland, France, and North America to gain more experience. He worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe before moving to Canada as executive pastry chef at the Four..

Fantastic Lunar New Year Tea at The Urban Tea Merchant (Vancouver, B.C., Canada)

The Urban Tea Merchant is found along the glamorous and busy business district (I would say it’s an equivalent to NYC’s Madison Avenue in Midtown). The Urban Tea Merchant is well known in Vancouver since 2004 for carrying exclusively the line of teas and teawares from the luxury brand TWG from Singapore. On the ground floor, you’ll find the retail shop, where you can buy teas, gorgeous teapots and accessories, and even tea-infused macaroons. Toward the back of the shop upstairs is the hidden tea salon, where you can have lunch, brunch, desserts, cocktails, and, of course, tea service. (more…)

Tea Options in Montreal – Senthé and Birks Café (Latter Closed)

While Montreal is a serious coffee town, they do have some very good options for whole leaf teas. Senthé is a pretty new tea café out on a shopping strip in Rosemont. Senthé specializes in high quality Asian teas with a few tea blends for those who prefer to have other flavors besides the tea leaf itself and espresso, if you really need your caffeine in a different format altogether. There is a small food menu consisting of light sandwiches and pastries of the day are displayed at the counter. Senthé also doubles as a hangout for enthusiasts of the..


Fantastic Tiki-Inspired Cocktails at Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (Montreal, Canada)

If in Montreal, when you want to grab a serious cocktail but isn’t pretentious, Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (or Necessary Evil). I should add, you should like your tiki drinks. Le Mal Nécessaire is in a basement of a building between a small Chinese restaurant and an Asian shop of some sort in Chinatown. You will know you’re at the right place when you see a glowing, bright green pineapple-shaped neon lights at the stairwell. When you descend into the relative darkness, you hear old school hip hop playing not too loudly on the speakers. Patrons chatting amongst each other..

Wunderbar & Plateau Lounge at W Montreal (Montreal, Canada)

Part of my time in Montreal, I was at W Montreal. A very urban, sexy, sleek, luxury boutique hotel in the Ville-Marie area of Montreal. When you enter the glass doors, you’d see the cubic water fountain and glowing red walls of the lobby. One of my evenings I checked out Wunderbar that is located on the ground floor. It’s a cool looking bar that has a wall covered in curved panels set in a rainbow that meant to look like the distinctive seasons and magnificent natural surroundings of Montreal. (more…)

Great Coffee Spots in Montreal – Dispatch Coffee, Cafe Plume, Cafe Névé, Chez Boris

Montreal is sort of like New York City in regards to having very good to excellent third wave coffee shops. A few notable differences – they are truly indie shops and from a personal perspective as a New Yorker, it pains me to wait for good coffee at 9:00 AM on a weekend. Here’s a couple of coffee shops I’ve managed to visit during my stay in Montreal. Dispatch Coffee is arguably one of my favorite shops I’ve visited in a long time. Dispatch is founded by Chrissy Durcak delivering cold brew in mason jars before acquiring the truck that..

Pastry Heaven at Patrice Patissier (Montreal, Canada)

I’ve went to Patrice Patissier when I was strolling around and ogle at the gorgeous flowers and vibrant farm fresh produce at Atwater Market in the Little Burgundy neighborhood of Montreal. Chef and co-owner Patrice Demers is one of the prominent pastry chefs in Montreal. He became well known when he was the opening pastry chef for Les 400 Coups for three years and toiled in many other fine French restaurants prior to. He finally opened the doors to his own pâtisserie and cooking school in early spring 2014 with a team that included his wife, Sommelier and Director of..


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