Highlights of a Chic Summer in Montreal 2011

This summer I decided I had to plan a trip to Montreal and experience all that I had heard about the Chic women, the well-known night life, and amount of options of things to do.

The original highlights of my trip

– Just for Laughs festival – Russell Peters
– Jean-Paul Gaultier Exhibit
– Montreal Cycle Tours now known fitza and follwell company
– Fireworks
– Cavalli on Thursdays
– Smoke a Cigar at the Whiskey Cafe
– Jet Boat Water Ride

Thursday

I arrived in Montreal and checked at the St. Paul Hotel, which was a 4 star boutique hotel. Before I arrived I received exceptional service from the manager Eric Pouliot. He volunteered to help pick up my Russell Peter’s tickets before I arrived. The hotel was a Chic boutique hotel, but Eric’s service left a stronger impression on me than the hotel to be honest.

I went over to the Just for Laugh’s festival. I purchased a group of tickets and had to sell a pair with 2 hours to go. I decided to go straight to the source of the highest demand, which was the box office and sold them.

Just for Laughs festival 2011
Just for Laughs festival 2011

I decided to celebrate this small victory with a drink at Cavalli’s as it was a Thursday and the Montreal’s insider blog recommended it. I found the restaurant initially pretentious, but once I sat at the bar it was just a temporary passing. Cavalli’s wasn’t as busy as I thought. There were some people enjoying dinner, but the majority of the crowd were loitering around the bar. My chat with the bartender revealed that there was a music festival called Osheaga that featured Eminem and Lupe Fiasco. This was like a dream match up for me.

The Russell Peter’s show was very good. He introduced some new comedians and he held his own. Poking fun of the crowd and cultural stereotypes. He is entertaining, confident, and amazing what he can get away with saying and spark and still spark a positive reaction from the crowd. What a talent.

Friday

The next day I went to the Montreal Museum for the much anticipated Jean Paul Gaultier. The exhibit was very interesting with striking pictures and fashionable dressed mannequins with animated faces. I felt that my fashion education increased at the end of the visit and vowed to get a sweater with horizontal stripes soon. Photos of the pictures and video footage was not permitted, but I’ve decided to take a risk for you to share this talent with the world. So please enjoy this while you can. More pictures on facebook. I also had the pleasure of meeting a beautiful women and her friend Zina. She provided an exclusive insider interview on Montreal’s hot spots and restaurants in the first release from ChicVoyage productions

After I went to visit Au Pied de Cochon, A French restaurant that had the highest reviews on Yelp so I had high expectations. I was helped by a cheerful naturally beautiful brown haired women named Sarah Jane. She was a good sport and helped introduced the dishes I had in the Montreal video. The food was amazing and felt my still developing palette had been treated to some of the best food that Montreal had to offer. See her in our video.

To top off the day I decided to check out the Eminem. I had to cab to a park island I think it was called La Ronde that resembled Vancouver’s Stanley Park. I somehow managed to get the SLR in without any problems, which you can’t usually do at music concerts. I then tried to make my way to the front, but the crowd was dense, young, and the price for claustrophobia and getting crushed was not worth it. I decided to take the highest point and struck it lucky at the Bacardi bar where I got amazing views of the entire concert and the immense 32,000 plus crowd with a landscape of downtown Montreal.

A scene from Eminem Osheaga Festival Summer Montreal 2011
A scene from Eminem Osheaga Festival Summer Montreal 2011

Saturday

I decided to soak in some culture and exercise at Montreal Cycle tours, the highest rated activity on Montreal according to Tripadvisor. I ended up being the only single in a group of thirty something aged couples from the US. The ride was good some of the highlights of our ride were Mcgill, Montreal Public market, La Canal Lachine waterfront, and the Latin Quarter. Our tour guide was knowledge and an interesting character. The lunch served pizza with a beer. The ride went a hour or two longer than we wanted, but overall I felt it was good value. I highly recommend the tour for exercise, to meet people, cultural education, and to see a lot of Montreal which you are at it. Thanks to Shea, the owner for his generosity. I’m sorry my pictures and videos from the cycle tour must have been damaged on my SD card.

I took the train over to watch Lupe Fiasco. This concert was in the hot summer day with a fraction of the energy and the crowds of the previous night. I expected more from the witty introspective lyrics of Lupe Fiasco. The beginning of his performance began with putting down the United States, and he went through some new material and some of his original hits.

It was the night of the fireworks and I decided to try watch it from a restaurant with a cool rooftop terrace called Suite 701. My view wasn’t the best because some buildings were blocking it, but it sure beats fighting crowds at the park to watch it.

Suite 701
View from Suite 701 Montreal Summer 2011 with the Fireworks

I went for a walk down St. Laurent and stopped at a spots bar to watch an MMA fight with Dan Henderson and Fedor. I had a great time here. They played great music, it was a great fight, and I met a friendly group of guys from New Jersey that were there for a stag. I was recommended by the sports bar owner to go to Stogies to smoke a cigar at Crescent St. Stogies was a great time. I was greeted by the owner and explained that I had come from the sports bar. He introduced me to the bar where there was comfortable seating, a well stocked great looking bar, and a energetic bar tender. They had outdoor patio seating that overlooked the buzzing crescent st , but I remained inside and drank real stiff scotch and smoke my Cohíba Siglo. This was the life. I stopped by a restaurant across the street for a delicious chicken schwarma before heading back to the hotel. By this time it was 3am in the morning and I had to wake at 5am to catch my 7am flight back to Vancouver. Great experience. It was too short, but I plan to have a Chic tour in Montreal in the future. Catch the highlights in our video.

TaiwanFest in Vancouver Sep 5th 2011

ChicVoyage decided to provide a little flavor of the Taiwanfest. I decided to provide footage and spotted local celebrity and NBA point guard for the Phoenix Suns, Steve Nash, in Jugo Juice in Yaletown.

Steve Nash and Greg Hung Jugo Juice

There were plenty of tents set up on Granville St. The prominent tents were sponsored by TELUS giving away the sunglasses with green rims that have been seen around town. In my opinion it is the food that is one of the main reasons to check out this event. In our upcoming video you’ll see squid on the BBQ, a local bubble tea stand, and an interview from Oscar providing a reason to check out Chef Hung’s famous Taiwanese Beef Noodles. There is no family relation, so there is no bias for my love of Taiwanese beef noodles. There are no Taiwanese Beef noodle restaurants in downtown Vancouver so this is a great opportunity to try some. I personally didn’t try them at the time of writing, but my friend texted my that this batch was extra special so I’m personally making a second trip to try them out tonight. Chef Hung does have a restaurant in the Aberdeen mall located in Richmond, which is accessible from the Canada line.

Vancouver is home to some good Taiwanese noodle options. Some important qualities are a good and tasty broth. The beef should be tender and lean with minimal fat. Thirdly, the noodles should be firm, but tender and your choice between thin or thick noodles. I like the thick noodles.

More information about Chef Hung’s restaurant.

Another great family owned restaurant to try for beef noodles. It is recommended to pick up if you prefer to sit in a restaurant with a nice atmosphere.
Haung’s Beef Noodle House

Cigar Lounges, Scotch, steaks, in Montreal. Where is the best cigar lounge?

So I discovered on the weekend that Montreal has been grandfathered by the city’s changing law, luckily Cigar lounges in Montreal have been spared. I first discovered the cigar during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  On my way through Yaletown, I stopped at a cigar store called Reveluction. I wondered in there and a guy named Neo helped me pick out a cigar and allowed me to light it in the store. Very cool.

I didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning— all I can say was I  had a good experience and I would try this again when I was at home. On my patio one day, I light a cigar up and I decide to go for a stronger draw; the result was I got a good burn happening.  I could actually taste the flavours of the cigar and I didn’t feel like I was inhaling smoke. I knew I was doing something right. I didn’t finish the cigar that night, but I was hooked.

Now that you have the background on how I discovered cigars Iets look at our options for chic cigars lounges in Montreal. I followed up some suggestions from google  by checking out good old Yelp. I got the list and filtered out for the highest rated lounge. The lounge was a restaurant called “Queue De Cheval”. It had 35 reviews and averaged about 3.5 stars.  I decided to check the website out myself to get an idea of how established they were.

Queue De Cheval
Cohiba Robusto Starbucks
Cohiba Robusto Starbucks

 

 

  • Well reviewed on Yelp. 35 reviews averaging 3.5 stars. Could be higher, but not other options with 35 reviews
  • Meat lovers paradise. Prime selection of dry-aged steak cuts and home made sausage.
  • Great experience on the website makes it. With a level of detail down to their own customized Jazz track in the background, they have thought about the details to increase the chances of a great customer experience. Other things going for it include great presentation an educational, yet enjoyable experience learning about their cigar selection.

Cons

  • Numerous reviews on Yelp stating that that the good and wines were overpriced
  • Review describing the food as not very good.

http://www.queuedecheval.com

http://www.dailyxy.com/daily-xy/city-survival/top-cigar-lounges-montreal/

For now   based on the information available on the internet Queue De Cheval appears to be the best option to try. We ask any insiders what their thoughts are?

Another cigar lounge Stogies

Another Montreal Lounge i was interested in was called “Stogies” on 2015 rue Crescent. Out of the restaurants on the link below, Stogies seemed to meet the profile for my first cigar lounge in Montreal. Stogies only had three reviews on Yelp, but I decided to check the website nonetheless. The website seemed quite simple— I clicked on cigars to see what they had and got a message basically telling me I wouldn’t be able to see their vast cigar collection because I was accessing the website from outside of Quebec. There was a number to contact. With three reviews a lack of transparency (that Queue De Cheval was able to provide) I decided to move on.

Pros

  • Diverse selection of Cuban and Dominican cigars and cigarillos
  • Great drinks. 101 different martinis and more than 20 brands of single-malt scotch
  • Forefront of the cigar scene in Montreal
  • No cutting fee

Cons

  • Claims of poor service
  • Lack of information

Whiskey Cafe  

I checked the Whiskey Cafe on Yelp, which had four reviews . I visited the website curious to see the cigar selection; I click on their cigar lounge. Very disappointing. Only photos of the cigars, no educational explanations or accompanying pictures to get me excited.

More information
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g155032-d710637-r15204010-Whisky_Cafe-Montreal_Quebec.html#REVIEWS