One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn as an entrepreneur (especially one whose focus is on working out in the cutest active wear - like the Climawear sets I am wearing in these shots) has been building a structure that works for me into my daily life. I left corporate for the reason of not having that 9-5 structure. Everything about it makes me afraid of a habit driven lifestyle. That may totally works for so many people and industries, don’t get me wrong, it just was not what worked for me. I wouldn’t change anything about having learned the benefits and professional approach from such structure, but looking back now I am more completely myself than I have ever been.
It may be cold in the city, but with a list like this it doesn't leave us without health options to indulge in for the rest of the winter. From overnight oats, soups and warm veggie dishes, this list of 20 of Toronto's cold weather clean eats is a great guide to eating out clean in TO.
Don't stray from your dairy free, sugar free, grass fed (or what ever else your mood of the season may be) just to hit up a lunch date. Here are some of my faves in and around the city and hopefully some become go to's of yours as well.
Breakfast & Lunch
Mary Be Kitchen
iQ Food Co.
ELXR Juice Lab
Greenhouse Juice Co.
Early Bird Cafe
Labora @ Campo Food Hall
Live Organic Food Bar
The newest hot spot in town is actually healthy. YAY! Barley Cereal Bar may have been popping up on your Instagram feed the past few weeks since opening and rightfully so. With a menu that includes lots of healthy appealing options to us TFF type girls, I had to check it out for myself (and all of you!). Seriously though, so many of the new trendy places that open up in Montreal aren't always the healthiest options, so I rarely get to rave about them but after trying Barley and gracing them with my usual skepticism (the overly enthusiastic healthy investigation, what has sugar, dairy, gluten etc), I am happy to say not only did Barley pass the test, but I was actually rather impressed by the menu.
Not only was the staff very patient & knowledgable, the space is also dog friendly and welcoming of all creative minds to enjoy a peaceful but trendy atmosphere to work, chat or simply enjoy. The cereal bar has much more than cereal with a menu that includes the likes of open faced toasts, salads, chia and smoothie bowls as well as their newly launched oatmeal which we had the pleasure of getting a sneak taste of. They also offer an array of healthy lattes like matcha and turmeric (my faves) and also beet that I was happy to try (and pink anything I am a fan of).
The space also includes old school cartoons playing in the background, wifi if you need a place to park and get sh*t done, an open space that acts as an office/ sporadic pop up shop and an event space below. The pop up shop over the weekend was put on by a Montreal local with her brand Her Must, an online store for women featuring her own brand Her Must Swimwear. Huge fan of the line and the creator FYI so check it out.
You should absolutely pay this spot a visit on your next St Henri adventure. My suggestions on the menu; the new castle smoothie bowl, orange zest oatmeal, and a beet latte.... preferably along side a puppy and good company. The recipe to a happy life!
Check the out on Instagram here or via their contact information below.
BARLEY CEREAL BAR
2613 Notre-Dame W,
Last month I celebrated my twenty sixth birthday with a big Greek dinner party packed with all of my favourite things, people and food. If you don't know this about me, I love to host dinner parties for any occasion. I'm a big fan of holidays because they give me the chance to share recipes and food I love, entertain and spoil those I care for and bring everyone together for memories and laughter. The best health remedy!
On my birthday I had the chance to do just that with some incredible help and healthy eats from Mouton Vert catering and Gallery MV (my mom's photo art gallery and event management company). I wanted all my closest friends together to celebrate. I wanted it to embody me, healthy food, great music (mix of greek and hip hop of course!), lots of laughs and plenty of wine to go around.
This may have been the best birthday yet, and I always say the way you start your year sets the tone for whats to come. Its all in the energy your welcome into your life. I was lucky to be surrounded by all of those things I love and then some. We danced all night, drank and ate, and even broke a plate or two... A La Greek!
I always think right before an event why am I doing all this and throwing together a huge party / sit down dinner for 30 of my best friends. Then I remember... because they turn into the best memories with the absolute best people I could have ever wished to be surrounded by. It meant the world to me to look around and see all those people I love in one room.
Everything was perfect from every pile of shattered plates down to the last ouzo shot.
For ideas on how to style your own greek dinner party visit my pinterest board: Greek Dinner Party.
If you haven't had a chance yet to check out Mouton Vert and their delicious food, they make a wide range of fresh vegan and vegetarian greek dishes. They have a selection of items flown straight in from Greece like Olive Oils and seasonal items like my fave, figs. You can eat there or grab take out. They are open 7 Days a week!
6000 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H4A 1X9
If you're a native to Montreal chances are you feel pretty connected to our city. As Montrealers, we love Montreal. We’d go to bat for this city. But more importantly we LOVE Montreal summers. I teamed up with Ombrelle Canada to showcase a few of my fave destination to visit this July… sunscreen not optional!
Food trucks hit the streets of Montreal rolling a few years ago, but one of the best places to enjoy these food trucks is at the Olympic Stadium every first Friday of the month. That means this Friday! The other awesome part about the trucks is you can also find them scattered throughout the city around parks and town squares like Square Victoria in Old Montreal, park in front of Bell Center, around Mont-Royal and so many more.
Montreal now has one of the largest ferris wheels in Canada located on bonsecours island in the old port. It was designed to be used as an observatory to the city. The ferris wheel takes you 60 meters high, with views of the river, the city and the mountains. The ferris wheel is new this summer, but is said to be remaining throughout the colder months with air-conditioned cabins in summer and heating in winter. Explore the area around the wheel for coffee or sangria since they are open everyday from 10am-11pm.
If you ever feel like skipping the gym just because its beautiful outside and you don't want to miss those days of rays, think again. Trekfit has over 10 locations in the Montreal area where you can do outdoor circuit training. How perfect! Access to the space is free and in line with Trekfit’s mission, to promote a healthier lifestyle through regular physical activity by offering accessible, safe and comprehensive training circuits. Their website also offers access to different training groups and information on circuits at a Trekfit park near you.
One of the best spots in Montreal to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon, Village au pied - du - Courant is a new take on summer activity parks, said to be a “experimentation and development of new practices in design, entrepreneurship and the arts. Located right at the edge of the Saint Laurence River and the island of Montreal, this location is meant for the lounge loving, sun soaking, easy summer days. With local food, beverage and accessory vendors on site changing year after year, you never know what is in store. Thelocation is accessible Thursday-Sundays. Check out their website for activity scheduling as they often have yoga classes, specialty vendor events, and the best part, everything is Free!
Because one of the only things Montreal is missing is a beach, we build one. Back for all the beach festivities this year after a summer on strike (this is Montreal after all) the clocktower beach is open again for summer 2017. We may not be able to swim at this man made beach in the Old Port, but you can certainly tan and sip a cocktail or two at some of their swanky summer festivities…. with your sun protection of course!
Plant Food + Wine is a blissful restaurant-bar escape in downtown Miami, and a vegetarian restaurant like no other. The PlantLab group has a few restaurants around the world in cities that also include LA, New York and London. Their reputation and level of hospitality lives up to every expectation.
This Miami spot sources their incredible food from local farmers markets to bring clients the freshest alternative cuisine. The quality of fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and wines is evident in every dish on their plant-based menu.
Everything the waitress recommended was nothing short of how wonderful she said it would all be. The Kimchi Dumplings, made with cilantro coconut wrapper and ginger foam to start, followed by the Cacio E Pepe made with kelp noodles, peppery greens, green olive puree, and sun-dried olives. They do not use any starches here so all the noodles are kelp. Daikon is also seen throughout the menu in various ways. One of my faves!
The staff was friendly and kind. Both settings inside and outside were luxurious and comfortable. I had the pleasure of staying and enjoying the breeze on the terrace as I worked and dinned. It is one of my favourite things to do while traveling… to find a location that is welcoming where you can take your time to eat, work, drink and relax. This is how I work-travel and I would certainly return to Plant Food + Wine. In fact, I plan on visiting some of their other locations, especially those in L.A., so stay tuned for more from this group.
Say Hello to Allo Vélo!
A newcomer to the Griffintown area, but a local to Montreal, Allo Vélo has moved to their newest location right in the centre of all the hustle and bustle off Wellington.
The shop is a coffee and bike shop in one.
One of the only places to get authentic luxury European style bikes to rent or buy in Montreal, Allo Vélohas tapped into a niche market. One that is very appropriate for Montrealers and visitors looking for the Montreal style experiences.
With the health aspect of riding around the city, staying active and enjoying the outdoors, I am all for it this way of visiting a new destination... or for just enjoying the one you call home!
Since Allo Vélo is located close enough to just jump right on the Lachine Canal and ride down to the market for all your other European PicNic accessories, you will be thrilled with such a fun afternoon. So stop in for wonderful coffee, grab an adorable bike (like my white and rose gold featured here) and spend your Sunday afternoon in bliss.
141 Shannon St. (Griffintown), Montreal H3C 2J2
Téléhone: +1 (514) 937-8356
Photos by Pantao Photography
Edited by Samantha E Cutler
If you are looking for a delicious meal with friends on a Tuesday night you have to head to Ferreira. Okay well any day really, but tonight is the last night of the half price on cellar wines.... exclusively for their summer wine night! So grab your friends and dress accordingly... (space for the incredible food and maybe something to shield the rain!)
Let's recap on Ferreira shall we.
Ferreira is a family owned Portuguese restaurant that has its own winery in Portugal. So, naturally their restaurant has an incredible wine cellar full of Ferreira wine.
The quality of food is no exception. Executive chef Joao Dias is so adorable and a very talented man. He was shy to speak on camera but of course I made him say hi on insta stories (for those of you who saw!) as we awed over his mouth watering dishes. We ate incredible seafood and sipped on outstanding wine... all night long. And I really do mean all night. We chatted for so long with the team that they ended up bringing us bread, cheese and surprise... more wine... to finish off our girls night.... it was certainly an indulgent night well spent.
The feel of the restaurant was also perfect! Not your typical trendy bustling restaurant, but more of a homy and comfortable feel in the highest of class and luxury... with incredible staff.
Sandra Ferreira, the daughter of Carlos Ferreira is the head babe in charge at this spot. What a girl boss! I wanted to ask her a few questions on her experience in the company and how her role came about in a flourishing family owned Montreal staple. Read more below...
Operations Director, Groupe Ferreira
Were you always in the culinary and wine industry?
I was pretty much born in the restaurant industry! Both my parents were owners of Vanhoutte franchises when I was really young. My father then opened Ferreira when I was 7 years old, I remember it like it was yesterday! I assisted to the first staff meeting... furniture was not even in!
I would stay with my mom during the week and then with my dad on weekends so Ferreira was my second home growing up. Lots of customers have seen me grow.
I then studied fashion marketing at Lasalle College followed by business and marketing degree at University of Pittsburgh. I worked for 2 years in New York City for Macy's and a tech startup before deciding to join the family business.
How did you end up working with the fam on Ferreira?
I was living a dream working in New York! Really loved the city but professionally I felt like something was missing. I wanted to work for something that I was really proud of and something I was passionate for. It only made sense for me to come back and assure a ''relève'' to my father's business.
What is your favourite dish on the menu?
At Ferreira I'd have to go for the seafood rice or simply a grilled fish! We now import once to twice a week line caught fish from the coast of Portugal. They are caught really early in the morning and transported by plane within a few hours of being caught. We get them around 11am our time the same day, can't get fresher than that!
I do spend a lot of time in our other restaurants as well! I eat breakfast at Vasco da Gama every morning, the omelettes are amazing!
The quinoa and grilled chicken salad at Campo is awesome and healthy! As for Taverne F, it's hard to choose between all our petiscos (Portuguese tapas) but I'd probably go for the grilled octopus or the tartares.
Do you personally cook?
Max once a week on Sundays! Love it but I am so rarely home to do it!
What do you like to make?
Pasta or any comfort food!
What is your go to work out or active activity?
Oh my! I am really not a gym person... but I love to dance! Zumba, latin, hip hop... Just don't do it often enough.
What is your fave pass time?
Whenever I can stay home, often on Sundays... I loveeee relaxing and watching movies! Good way to unwind and get ready for another week.
What charity do you support?
Probably the best part of my job! We get to help a lot of charities every year by either catering, giving auction prices, donations or by attending.
Most importantly however, I am co-chair of the McCord Museum's Sugar Ball. We raise funds for the educational program at the museum, which allows 10,000 kids to visit the museum with their school every year.
We are also very involved with CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation. My father has been on the board for 10 years. I help organize a fundraiser at Ferreira every year and participate in other activities throughout the year.
What are your next steps and goals coming up?
I ask this question to myself everyday!
I opened Campo last September, that was my first restaurant concept ever from start to finish (although it is never ''finished'')! My goal for the next year is to manage the most effectively possible our 4 restaurants and our 2 catering services. As for expansion, we will see what the future holds.... but Campo would be the concept I would like to grow if the opportunity comes.
To find out more on Ferreira's wine night click here.
1446, Peel street, Montréal, Québec H3A 1S8
A little gem of a spot tucked away somewhere between Flywheel and Barry’s Boot Camp in Miami Beach, lies Dreamer.
Dreamer, an acai bowl and matcha latte bar (also known as Cloud 9, which explains the ‘dreamer’ title) opened its second location in Miami Beach. You guessed it - right near a few of my fave studios on the beach!
To anyone who likes banana leaf wallpaper and pink flamingos (everyone, right?!!!!) this aesthetically pleasing spot is the perfect place to grab an après-workout snack, breakfast, brunch, lunch and heck, even dinner.
Their specialty: Tons of matcha latte varieties, even with turmeric, which I love. Their other specialty is acai bowls, packed with plenty of healthy, yummy goodies and lots of different combos to choose from. Finally, last but not least, the adorable concept of a fridge filled with empty juice bottles, all labeled with the juice and its contents. What you do is order with whatever bottle you want, and they’ll make it fresh for you right there. Talk about cold pressed! They also have a few protein milks like date, cashew, and espresso mixes. Yum! Some of my fave!
If you don't want anything, I still suggest stopping by for a visit. Dreamer has some chill summer vibes that’ll leave you saying matcha gracias.
No problem babes. I gotchu!
I found a new spot in the Mile End that is délicieux. But, really - it's called Délicieux Veg Fusion Cafe. It’s owned by Elias, a trained chef, who decided to make simple and easy on-the-go vegan eats that were equally delicious.
He only uses whole food ingredients and has produce delivered to him several times a day. Seriously, several. Now that's a dedication to fresh.
The commitment to health goes a long way here… I'm a big believer that it all starts with what you eat. It’s how your body builds its cells. When cells aren’t exposed to as many chemicals and processed foods they are less likely to turn into disease. By feeding your body healthy, whole ingredients you change your life.
Luckily, we have spots like Délicieux Veg Cafe growing in popularity because you can’t find places like this everywhere. You won’t have turmeric buns for your vegan egg sandwich on a Sunday morning just about anywhere. The places that do are worth the shoutout.
I had the pleasure of brunching at this yummy spot with a friend last weekend and yummy it was!
We ordered a vegan crèpe, acai bowl, a vegan omelet burger and a smoothie. Clearly, we went all out! And it was worth every bite. Another benefit to vegan food; no matter what you eat here the level of guilt is limited - it's all natural and all healthy.
Délicieux Veg Cafe also has vegan donuts, which I hear are the bomb, plus insane vegan gelato. You guys HAVE to try the watermelon kind. I was blown away. Most are literally made with 2 things: water and the actual fruit. Some have a bit of added natural sugar like stevia or maple syrup, but wow are they ever good. The mango gelato is so sweet and 100% fruit. You won't believe how good something with so little ingredients can be.
Another fave was the smoothie. Packed with dates and other yummy power proteins that are perfect to start your day off right.
Rumours of more locations were amongst our chit chat, so fingers crossed they'll hit us in the old port soon!
5718 avenue du Parc
AU COIN DE RUE BERNARD Montreal QC H2V 4H1
Check it out in the pics below.
Liv Salades is a new spot on Saint-Laurent in Montreal that offers healthy salads, bowls, raw balls, with plenty of vegan and veggie options. They have now kicked off their brunch for the healthy city chic crowd and it's delish! Of course some of my fave reporting is on brunching in my go to cities, but finding locations that are packed with tons of healthy options is like hitting gold... and not always the easiest!
Here is why I personally love weekends .... because you get to refresh and plan your week ahead! I enjoy thinking in advance, so instead of stuffing myself with the last of the weekend's regrets I prefer to hit up a healthy spot, do my healthy groceries for the week and take a few hours at night to prep meals and plan out my days.
Naturally visiting beautiful spot with healthy meal options like Liv Salades is perfect! Plus totally cute... so if you wish you can double up your brunching and week planning in one. Hang out for a while....
The food is delicious and the presentation is on point. Trendy and perfect for instagram shots (lets be honest!). There is a lot of thought that went into the prep and beautiful presentation of the fruits in the dishes I ordered! There was a type of original effort we do not alway see here in Montreal... to me, looked like some of the great things I see in Autralia!
The space is quaint. Small and adorable inside. It is a mix of high bar seating, small bistro style tables and a long table perfect for groups. The bathroom wallpaper is a must see. Check it out!... The only thing, you will have to make your brunching here on a Saturday since they are currently closed on Sundays. Sorry folks!
5350 Blvd. Saint-Laurent
Montreal, Quebec H2T 1S1
How do you spend your weekend? Well I like to do what I love. So for me that can be an array of things....but it usually looks something like this..
Flowers from the market. In this case from The Pop Up Florist in NYC. She makes beautiful seasonal arrangements and does various events in Manhattan so check her out!
Wearing comfort and style. Here inLe Chateau's spring apparel, perfect for Saturday at the market. The look is comfortable yet stylist.... just incase your market going turns to brunching turns to never heading home until night. Thats the beauty of NYC. You must always leave your house like you may never return for the next 24 hrs. Ah that city is something....
Pick someplace fun to explore..... like theNew Gansevort Market. I love NYC. This city never stops blowing me away... this is the newest Gansevort Market which is absolutely perfect for your Saturday.
And last but not least, snapping a few photos in the process!
Photos by Travis Keyes
NEW GANSEVOORT MARKET LOCATION:
353 W. 14th StNew York, NY 10014
Let’s all give a warm welcome to the Golden Square Mile’s newest (and maybe one of the oldest) members in the area: The Mount Stephen Club and it’s long awaited luxurious Bar George.
The old gentlemen's club turned hotel has been a long anticipated project 5 years in the making. The hotel’s redesign, the selection of staff, their training, and the vivid, uplifting menu are nothing short of a solid reflexion of all of the intricate work that went into its launch.
Let’s discuss a few of the design details seen in the hotel and bar. The gold swan spouts are nothing short of spectacular in the women’s bathroom, and beyond fitting with the luxurious setting of the Mount Stephen Club. I have to admit, though, that my first reaction was how perfect they would sit in a modern, white marble tub!
You can also find the zebra wallpaper in the dinning hall of the Mount Stephen Club in Kate Spade’s home... the paper designed by Chef Gino Circiello, an Italian restaurantowner in New York City. The story goes that the wallpaper was inspired by his dream of going on an African safari, which he felt he would never be able to do. The wallpaper has also been featured in ELLE Decor.Say no more - you sold me at Kate’s home! And my last fave design charm; the pig coffee table near the bar. All this to say that the details of the club did not go unnoticed… for one second. Metaphore Design redesigned and restored the old heritage style and mixed it with modern twists of luxury - perfectly!
Friendly, knowledgable, multilingual and talented beyond your expectations! Let’s start with the fact that the restaurant scooped up one of Montreal’s food and bev sweetheart’s Marco Gucciardi (previously of the Burgundy Lion Group) as their General Manager. Good move, gang!
They didn’t stop there. The executive chef is Anthony Walsh from the Oliver and Bonacini group, and the Chef de Cuisine is none other than Kevin Ramasawmy previously of Maison Boulud.
The phenomenal food speaks for itself and definitely upholds their reputation. I’m totally a health nut, but also a big believer in eating whole foods as the healthiest option. My favourite dish on their brunch menu was the muesli with French cheese, try it!
The staff will help you pick everything to your liking, take your coat, find the perfect seat, drink, meal and answer any of the questions you might have, and have expert knowledge on the menu. It is far from your traditional Montreal restaurant.
Bartenders play up their mixologist skills, making drinks for every style & need, with far more options than standard menus. I asked for something with wine (since it’s the only type of alcohol I like), nothing sweet, something fresh, and said, “Surprise me”. Be sure to ask for Floriane behind the bar. He did nothing short of preparing me a special twist from their menu’s Lady’s Stephen cocktail which perfectly matched my brunching mood.
The setting may be historical but you're welcome to kick it at the bar in any style. It’s a ‘come one, come all’ and ‘enjoy the club’ kind of vibe. From suits to sneaks, you’ll fit in. That’s the beauty of Montreal, after all! We trust our city slickers. They dress well and respect Montreal’s multifaceted culture… Bar George welcomes them!
The bar and restaurant service will be open 7 days a week. Dining rooms are available for private reservations, as well as their spectacular terrace that can hold up to 200 people.
To book a reservation call here:
Or go online here:
If you are just curious, which you should be, stop by and take a peak. You wont regret it!
Montreal, QC, H3G 1V9
SHOP MY LOOK
Where to brunch, oh where to brunch? A typical Sunday question in the city....
This week's suggestion is Ikanos in the Old Port of Montreal. You're welcome!
The trendy Greek spot in Old Montreal just launched their latest addition, Sunday brunch.
Well kudos to the delicious spot, just steps away from where I personally reside, but also from the ports water front. Perfect for your after brunch Sunday stroll.... Or as I like to call it, the mimosa walk before Sunday grocery shopping.
Their menu is filled with Greek fusion brunch options. Most impressive, their Orange blossom yogurt panna cotta, served with citrus salad, granola. A close second is the Baghir (basically mini semolina pancakes) with ricotta, honey, pistachios, confied plums.
Check out their whole menu here.
Their egg dishes all gave a mediterranean twist to more typical brunch orders, from their Frittata with grilled zucchini, feta, mint and dill and grilled green onion salad with herbs, arugula and cucumbers, ladolemono dressing, caraway yogurt to their Shakshuka Shrimps; Shrimps cooked in a tomato and pepper sauce, egg, chorizo, feta, fennel and caper salad, homemade foccacia.
With so many options on the menu, you may need to ask the friendly staff. But have no fear, they are well versed in their options and ready to help.
Ikanos is your next brunch spot. Enjoy!
112 McGill, suite #1 Montréal, Qué H2Y 2E5
A new spot in the Soho district of Manhattan, Miss Paradis, is known for their rosé and rosé spritzers. I repeat, known for their rosé spritzers..... umm yum.
If the fact that they go by the name of La Maison du Rosé, wasn't enough to convince you....their delicious brunch, both tasty and beautifully presented, will be the tipping factor.
The fresh pressed juices, acai bowls and avocado toast were very yummy to say the least... have a look for yourself below.
The ambiance, setting and vibe was great.
Big floor to ceiling windows overlooking Prince and Mulberry street.
You brunch and watch trendy Sunday Soho goers run to their gym glass or local matcha bar. One of my favourite things about NYC.... Act like a Parisien in the city that doesn't chill out for five seconds.... and you start to see something so beautifyul you've never seen... being still as all around you moves.
Seriously try it!
Take an afternoon or a brunch and chill out... extend your coffee and watch the crazies hustle by. Next time you're one of the crazies you'll think.... but what am I rushing to?
As I mentioned, the space at Miss Paradiswas just fabulous, welcoming and friendly staff and someone even said "merci, bonne journée" to me when I left.
I felt rather at home!
This spot was picturesque and the food was great. Recommend their fresh juices!
Add it to your NYC list for sure.
Eat by Chloe is the cutest healthy vegan spot in the West Village of NYC. This spot is a gem! Back when I lived in NYC I used to hit up other well known vegan treat spots with my best friend since childhood who I also happen to be adventuring the city with this weekend. She too is a big fan of the healthy veg eats. We used to visit healthy spots in the city once a week and grab faves like coconut dairy free swirls. Yum
Now a new fave, the by Chloe spots, Eat by Chloe and Sweets by Chloe. All sorts of vegan yummy eats are available. But did I mention how adorable and trendy all her spots are? From the menu to the inside design with wicker swings and black and white stripped details, this beach vibe in the heart of the West Village is totally for me.
They also sell fresh young coconuts. They'll just open them right there for you and you grab and drink. I love coconut water, but of course a coconut makes any picture just that much better! How fun, trendy and healthy! All the things on my check list...
You should check out all of them if you can by for sure Eat by Chloe if looking for some healthy eats and a great vibe. A new staple in my NY food trail. You go Chlo!
If you're in theNew York, Sohoareamy newest must visit is the Cali vibe inspired Cha Cha Matcha. A matcha bar unlike anything I've seen around, the easy to order, friendly and buzzing pink and green haven is an easy stop on your busy NY day. If you should choose to sit around and chill a bit, that's more than welcome as well. What ever your vibe, it feels more than welcome at Cha Cha Matcha. A little piece of Cali in the heart of the concrete jungle!
They serve up some bad ass Matcha lattes (of course!), Iced Matcha drinks, offer pretty much every kind of milk and also have some bites on the menu like Matcha Soft Serve (featured below in Matcha / Orange swirl), matcha macaroons, chia pudding and other goodness. My favourite was the classic matcha latte for the boost of bright eyed energy, the fuel to my afternoon city adventures.
They offer a frequent visitors card for locals who stop by often (although I could probably blow through one in a weekend, lets be honest), the staff was totally welcoming, and did I mention there was plenty of pink. It made my cali withdrawal a little less severe.
Owned by two 24 year old dudes... yes littleraly two 24 year old dudes... Matthew Morton and Conrad Sandelman met studying in NYU and decided "hey, you know what would do well here, a sick matcha bar!".
Sounds like something I would say to my best friend. Or maybe something that crosses any entrepreneurial mind often when they see an opportunity, but the two made it a reality, far from the norm for two guys just out of college. Very impressive!
Both are sweet and very welcoming. Usually hanging around Cha Cha Matcha, Matthew brings his Los Angeles vibe to the city, while Conrad plays off his understanding of the city's clientele, having grown up in NYC.
Cha Cha Matcha is for sure on my list of faves to hit in the city. It was one of my first stops on this trip and I told them no surprise, I'll be back before the end of the weekend ;) !
Can we talk brunch for a second? If you're looking for a spot to spend some time this weekend,LOV in the old port is your answer. Seriously spend your Sunday! I could stay here all day. From the friendly staff. Amazing food. Beautiful ambience and perfect location. LOV is true love. And they recently launched their brunch menu....
A combo of breakfast's best with an added list of their clients favourites from the regular menu, the selection is curated and perfect. My fave item on the menu, Vegan Yogurt with toasted coconut, homemade granola, berries, chia pudding and mint! It's not the easiest to find vegan yogurt and this bowl is delicious. A must try even for dairy eaters.
I also munched on Avocado Toast and their LOV Benedict. Delish! The toast of the avocado toast was delicious and whole grain. The way the avocado was prepared with spices and sea salt was perfect all topped with fresh cucumber.
I ordered a few dishes..... Pretty full but super healthy eats never leave you feeling low even on a lazy Sunday. It's the perfect combo for a healthy but casual weekend. Plus, no need to break your bank or diet here. Health eats for a great price. Just a phenomenal job well done.
Did I mention I love the staff? Very accommodating and I've been in a few times now... Since I live right next door! They always say hi and remember a familiar face. I could hang here all day. Enjoy your weekend and make sure to check it out!
Restaurant LOV 464, rue McGill, Old Montreal
Earlier this festival season at the Palm Springs International Film Fest I had the pleasure of interviewing Canadian Director Anne Émond. We chatted all things Nelly (her newest film), staying focused and healthy in the festival circuit, and what being a women in the film industry means today.
Anne is a 35 year old female director who's most recent film was short listed for best foreign film at the Oscars... kind of a big huge deal! Not only is she a Quebec native (and absolutely adorable may I add) but she is also a young female in an industry of directors which previously has been very male dominant.
In addition to this, being a Canadian in the international film industry is a whole other quest to conquer. Anne told me that being a Canadian director in 2017 was a great asset. There is a huge hype behind the Canadian film industry and the up and coming gang. If you're smart you are able to ride on that wave and let everyone else watch in curiousity.
Adding a whole other dimention to that, she is a Canadian female director. She wrote a film about Nelly Arcan the canadian writer who lived a short and troubled life as a female. "Women are artist and lovers by nature" Anne explained to me. It meant that to understand and to write the story of Nelly she naturally had to feel the suffering. We as women do this.... and in reality for both the story of Nelly and the career of Anne, what ever you produce as a women must be strong... good, great... no really great. Because as much as we try and think otherwise, women are still treated differently.
Anne told me, after writing this film she has critics constantly asking her, is this women you who you wrote about? How do you see this character in your life struggles? She told me, a man wouldnt have to face these questions... they write about a complexe character, great character or not. Thats all it comes down to.
Anne told me she was so proud to have taken her film Nelly around the world to different film fest. At each one viewers were curious but for different reasons. Everyone sees themselves in the story based on their own lives. There is a level of craziness that is sensible in the story line. Anne loved showing in the German film fest. She also showed in Bordeaux and India. Women have been crying and touched in each place. "People approached me saying I didnt know Nelly and yet this girl was me. Shes in hell and living it." Anne says.
I wanted to get to the nitty gritty lifestyle habits of the adorable Ann Emond though, so I switched up the topic from her nominated film to her.... what I was also super curious about!
So you have a pre festival ritual?
" I Drink a lot" - she giggled as she said this. We both know nerves and wine! "I party a lot to celebrate. Its a ritual, but really just being able to enjoy that its out and done!"
What has been your biggest career achievement?
"Being invited to festivals.... and coming to the festivals. Traveling the world. In reality I just started. I have three films and I'm 34! "
What is your biggest moment of happines each day?
"For sure waking up and having my coffee" .... I loved this part of the answer because it is totally one of mine as well. "I run on Mount Royal in Montreal 4 times a week. It brings me a lot of happiness and equilibrium" ... I couldnt agree more with Anne. Loved this answer. She continued "I live in the mile end so its close for me. Montreal is so scenic, but I also run as I travel. I'll run the street and I get to see each city I visit for the festivals. You see the real city, no one showing it to you but rather the experience through your own discovering."
She also added, "The children in my life bring big happiness to me as well... thats a major silver lining."
Anne finished out chat by sharing something a little more personal with me which I loved.
She doesnt have instagram and she actually felt that social media was giving her anxiety so she deleted it. I use social for my job, but I did love this part of what she shared. It's really important to disconnect as much as possible if you start feeling insecure or questioning yourself in any way. OR if you use it for business. Remember , it's business not real life. We had a good chat about this! She's an amazing woman with a successful career ahead of her!
Mandy's Salad Bar, one of my life long fave healthy lunch spots just opened their Old Port Montreal location and it's nothing short of a rosé, marble dream...... a California meet French bistro dream. I love a good salad, but nothing makes me happier than a combo of the perfect healthy meal in the happiest Cali setting. Let's just take a moment to say thanks for brightening our spring and changing the Old Port game forever! I was a Mandy's salad fan when Mandy's was a line of salad obsessed shoppers at Mimi & Coco on Sherbrooke St in Westmount. When I was working downtown they opened their crescent spot right next to my work, which took the brand to a new level and my obsession followed suit.
And now it's surprise the dynamic sister due has done it again. Mandy and Rebecca Wolfe opened their new Old Port spot today and not only have they upped the food game with new menu options, extended hours, wine, cocktails, coffee, year round smoothies, bowls, soups and wait for it.... my fave non alcoholic exlihers packed wth fresh herbs and fruit. They've also introduced new products like their signature bowls everyone loves for purchase, top bev brands we find in their other location and a variety of old faves and new coconut, chocolate and veggie treats in their grab and go market. If there was a bed, I would maybe just live here!
That being said this spot is a block from my condo (bless the location selection) and they won my heart with their rose coloured banquet table tucked in the back.... perfectly nestled inbetween rose gold framed black and whites and their palm tree wall paper.
Don't worry!! Pineapples didn't get forgotten in the making... with little details on the menu, pineapple hooks and decor around the marble bar, the trend lives on. On brand much?!
If your happen to work or live in the neighbourhood your dreams have just become a reality. Check it out. And don't be surprised if you spot me sitting & sipping on a rise and shine smoothie writing away ....like I am now!
The address of the new location is 432 Rue Saint Nicolas.
Check out their Instagram page here and some of my shots below!
See you there babes xx S