Latest Articles

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

[Tradutor] 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..

Pastry Heaven at Patrice Patissier (Montreal, Canada)

[Tradutor] 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..

Fantastic Ice Creams at Le Bilboquet (Montreal, Canada)

[Tradutor] Le Bilboquet is an artisan ice cream institution in Montreal. It opened in 1983 by Carole Lavallée and Yves Lebuis and eventually in 2004, Pierre Morin took over, with the hope of serving ice cream that feels like home but cares about using the best ingredients possible. The brand uses only fresh 3.25% milk, 35% pure cream, and 100% fruits and juices without additives or artificial colorants. Cookies, brownies and other confections that are incorporated into Le Bilboquet ice creams are mostly produced by an in-house pastry chef. The sorbets contain up to 80% fruit, and there is no..

Excellent Loaves of Bread at Boulangerie Guillaume (Montreal, Canada)

[Tradutor] Boulangerie Guillaume is a popular Mile-End bakery on St-Laurent Boulevard. The proprietor Guillaume Vaillant learned his craft on the job and opened this bakery in 2010. He combines traditional methods and artisanship to produce a unique selection of loaves, baguettes and savory treats. When you enter this small bakery (on the retail front) on an early Saturday morning, you’re greeted by the delicious aroma, the sight of beautiful shades of golden brown deliciousness of fresh baked bread and the sweet ladies at the front with a gentle bonjour. There were at least thirty different loaves when I arrived and..

Delicious, Vegetable-Forward Fare at Le Café Bloom (Montreal, Canada)

[Tradutor] I wanted to eat outside of Downtown Montreal since it would be too easy for me to be complacent to not explore. I headed out in Point St. Charles, Montreal. If I had to compare this neighborhood to New York, it reminds me of Williamsburg before 2010 when gentrification is taken over but it’s not totally gotten insane with the luxury condos that’s springing up all over NYC. Le Café Bloom is a charming, welcoming café outfitted with lots of vintage, wooden tables and chairs, an open kitchen in the back. There’s even a small area for children to..

Exquisite Lunch at Restaurant Les 400 Coups (Montreal, Canada)

[Tradutor] I recently went to Montreal, Canada*. To those of you who have been there before, you know it’s pretty accessible by train and it’s doable if you want to drive in about 6 hours but I took the plane. Generally, you’d think it’s an easy ride in since it shouldn’t take more than an hour to fly in. But your presumption is wrong. I would anticipate flights being delayed if it’s terrible weather despite the fact it was perfectly blue skies and my flight was delayed just because we’re waiting for the plane from Columbus, Ohio to arrive. My..

Travel

The Purple Pig, Chicago

[Tradutor] Gate to The Purple Pig; Interior shots; A purple pig; The menu When I was doing my research for places to eat around Chicago and asking friends about this question, many mentioned The Purple Pig. Even I asked the friendly baristas and staff of La Colombe Torrefaction (Chicago) and they even said, “This place is awesome.” With both tourists and locals loving this restaurant, this should be fail-safe to have a meal here. The Purple Pig is located in the neighborhood of The Magnificent Mile where it is tucked away in between the glitzy, middle to high-end boutiques and..

La Colombe Torrefaction in Chicago

[Tradutor] La Colombe Torrefaction, Chicago: Exterior, Interior, delicate flowers by the window, baked goods display As probably most of you might know, I am a die-hard coffee nerd/addict. I do admit that I’m pretty spoiled by the coffee culture as I’m coming from New York City, I have access to a lot of very good to excellent coffee shops here. When I was planning my trip to Chicago, I was mildly freaking out thinking there might be a lack of my essential need in the morning. I don’t want my travel companion to face the ugly side of me when..

Visiting Vosges Haut Chocolat in Chicago

[Tradutor] Exterior, Interiors of Vosges Haut Chocolat in Lincoln Park, Chicago When I visited Chicago, I had to visit Vosges Haut Chocolat mostly because this company is started and based there. I came with a friend to their Lincoln Park, which is considered Vosges’ flagship. It is much larger shop than the one and looks more of a glamorous romantic than the darker, bohemian chic than New York’s SoHo boutique. I find it quite interesting that each store has its own personality rather than having a “cookie cutter” template of how each store should look like. (more…)

Floriole Cafe & Bakery, Chicago – A Great Rustic, Elegant American Bakery

[Tradutor] Exterior of Floriole; Interior; Galette des Rois; Chalkboard listing local, organic sources used; Owner and Head Baker of Floriole Sandra Holl One of my other pastry stops in Chicago was Floriole on a bright weekend morning. The minute I walked up to this bakery with my friend, I had a feeling this was special. The large, welcoming, warm wooden space feels like a second home to me. Local residents lined up the counter waiting to order their cup of coffee or tea and a couple of beautiful golden brown pastries for themselves or family. The gentle scents of butter..

Lunch at Blackbird, Chicago

[Tradutor] Blackbird (exterior), At the dining room, Floral centerpiece at the hostess stand When I was planning for my trip to Chicago, I had was under the presumption that this city’s fine dining lunch is like New York – you have a lot of restaurants who would serve prix fixe menus. Except when I did my research, there’s barely any at all but the little glimmer of hope was Blackbird, a 1* Michelin restaurant and their Executive Chef Paul Kahan was nominated for the James Beard Award (2011). For that kind of esteem, I booked a reservation. (more…)

Alliance Bakery, Chicago – Bakery Meets Pâtisserie

[Tradutor] Alliance Bakery’s Exterior, Old-school neon sign, One of its display cases Alliance Bakery located in Wicker Park, Chicago looks like an old-school American bakery with its neon sign but it’s a bakery as well as a pâtisserie. This two-personality bakery, so to speak,  is owned by Peter Rios. Mr. Rios was trained as a hotel pastry chef (his previous title and employer before owning this bakery was Executive Pastry Chef at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago) and had his skills sharpened by working through many well known pâtisseries and in France like Ladurée and won a number of awards..