After a rainy week here in Montreal, it looks like the sun will be rejoining us for another mild weekend. This edition of the Weekender encourages you to spend a casual weekend out-and-about in Montreal’s diverse Plateau neighbourhood.
Friday after work, head right over to the increasingly popular 5 a 7 happy hour at Brasserie Rachel Rachel. The bustling bar has a mill-about vibe, great for networking and meeting new friends. Although Rachel Rachel does offer an extensive tapas menu, save room for dinner and instead satisfy your after-work hunger with their bloody Caeser cocktail, served with a large bubba shrimp and rimmed, of course, with Montreal steak spice. Before dinner, stop by the SAQ located on St. Denis to grab a bottle of your favorite wine. Head next the quaint BYOW Vietnamese restaurant, Le F’ou D’epices. The unassuming, perfectly located restaurant offers fresh authentic dishes, such as the always-delicious General Tao chicken, ginger beef, and shrimp in peanut sauce. We recommend starting with a portion of sweet and salty fried spinach and a crisp imperial roll. After dinner, step out onto the town and partake in some good old-fashioned Mont Royal pub hopping. We recommend Bar Inc., Taverne Normand, and Edgar Hypertaverne, for the ultimate Plateau pub experience.
Saturday afternoon, make your way to the Montreal institution known as Le Banquise. Although it is open 24 hours a day, still expect to wait in line, as the poutine served here is legendary and worth the wait. Grab a classic, or a more daring selection like the Mexican or the “T-Rex”, to go, and head across the street to lovely Lafontaine Park. Relax your afternoon away amongst the Plateau’s resident dog-walkers, musicians, and Frisbee-throwers. For dinner, we suggest another charming BYOW, Restaurant Ambala. This Indian restaurant has some of the richest butter chicken and spiciest beef vindaloo in town. Grab a seat by the open front window to enjoy a nice evening breeze and some entertaining people-watching. After dinner, step into the mysterious Bar Salon La Porte Rouge (you will need to actually look for a red door). The narrow, dark bar, geared specifically for the 25-35 crowd, has more of a small club vibe, with great dance music, enveloping fog, and sultry red lighting.
On Sunday, spend the day recouping and prepping for your productive week ahead. Grab a rejuvenating David’s Tea on L’avenue Mont Royal and stock up for your week’s healthy lunches at the Fruiterie Val-Mont market.
Photo courtesy Edgar Hypertaverne