Fall Getaway at Esterel Resort Hotel and Spa

nature, lake and hotel

Esterel Resort

Looking for a fall getaway around greater Montreal that matches your definition of relaxation? As temperature slowly drops, it’s the perfect time to escape and enjoy the fall foliage! Let us introduce you to Esterel Resort located in the Laurentians less than an hour away from Montreal city center.

Esterel Resort offers two accommodation experiences both with spacious suites, a Nordic Spa and three restaurants in the heart of nature. The resort is a veritable playground surrounded by two beaches, three navigable lakes and miles of forest. This fall, you will find here a wide range of fun outdoor activities to practice alone, among friends or as a couple.

hotel room

Esterel Hotel Evolution

Among the two accommodation experiences offered at Esterel Resort, Hotel Emotion suits best for a romantic getaway with warmth vibes while Hotel Evolution evokes soothing environment that showcases nature.

During our weekend at Esterel Resort, we stayed in a front-lake suite on the 4th floor at Hotel Evolution. The view was breathtaking and allowed us to make a good use of the large balcony overlooking Lake Dupuis! As shown in our Instagram stories, our elegant suite was spacious and equipped with a king-size bed plus a queen-size murphy bed, a fireplace, and a practical kitchenette. If you plan to stay for a long period, you will have enough place to cook in the kitchenette and enjoy your meals in the dining room.

nature, water and spa

Esterel Resort Spa

Esterel Resort Nordic Spa features a four-season panoramic pool, steam baths, hot tubs and Finnish sauna. The best way to relax and rejuvenate is to alternate the hot, cold and rest circuit a few times.

If you have never experienced sauna, here are few tips for you: before the sauna, take a shower and then dry off; in the sauna, select a place on the middle or upper bench and lay down on a towel for 10 to 15 minutes (you should spend the last 2 minutes sitting upright); after the sauna, proceed with cold water application by taking a cold water shower or plunging into a cold bath for 10 to 15 seconds, then breathe deeply to fill up with oxygen and have a rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat the circuit as needed and stay hydrated by drinking the beverage of your choice.

nature, lake and sauna

Esterel Resort Sauna

After the Nordic Spa experience, dive into a world of well-being and relaxation at Amerispa’s health and beauty centre. Your body loves being pampered, take time for yourself and complete your Nordic Spa experience with quality massage therapy, skin care and body care treatments.

table, chairs and large windows

Esterel Resort – Bistro à Champlain

Esterel Resort houses three restaurants for fine dining, all with stunning views: Bistro à Champlain, Rok Restaurant, and 260° Restaurant Bar Terrace. Please note that bookings are mandatory for each restaurant, otherwise Esterel Resort is not able to guarantee availability of the restaurant.

food and rose wine

Bistro à Champlain – Vegetarian Menu

We had a reservation at Bistro à Champlain which recently moved at Esterel Resort and were very excited to taste the new four courses vegetarian and vegan menu. As vegan food enthusiasts, it’s always hard to choose items on the menu when we suddenly have plenty of choices. This is the reason why we make sure to choose different items so we are able to share together and taste more dishes.

food

Bistro à Champlain – Fresh Spring Rolls Creation

We had a great dining experience at Bistro à Champlain, the food was delightful and very well presented. Also, the service was warm and the waitress pleased all our requests. We strongly recommend to taste the fresh spring roll creation, and the chick pea and eggplant brick. Furthermore, the vegetarian menu is available at the three restaurants.

food

Bistro à Champlain – Chick Pea and Eggplant Brick

We thank Esterel Resort for taking care of us last weekend! Still wondering where to escape this fall? Catch a break from Montreal and taste the quiet life at Esterel Resort. Book your fall getaway for less with their last minute offers currently displayed at esterel.com. Hurry up, it’s for a limited time only!

Wines of Provence – 5 Things You Should Know About Rosé Wine

bottle of Rosé wine - bouteille de vin rosé

Wines of Provence – Rosé Wine

Vineyards in Provence are blessed by nature to produce a variety of unique wines from Red to White. Due to the climate, the main production of the Provence region is Rosé wine. From the French Riviera to the Hamptons, Rosé wine is the it wine of the hottest summer parties!

Having recently been invited to a Rosé wine tasting held by Wines of Provence, I had such a great time learning interesting facts about the pink drink in the presence of Marie-Hélène Boisvert (founder of L’Apprentie Sommelière). Let me share with you 5 things you should know about Rosé wine…

wine glasses

Wines of Provence – Wine tasting

1. temperature matters

Warm or chilled? The optimal temperature to serve Rosé is between 8°C and 12°C. Rosé from Provence is light yet rich in aroma which is explained by the diversity of vines used in its making. The assembly of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes gives scents of small red berries, black fruits, citrus fruits, flowers, and spices with mineral and saline notes.

If you have left Rosé in the fridge for many days, do not panic! 20 minutes before serving, put your bottle on the counter so the wine will slowly reach 8°C to 12°C.

2. the newest vintage, the freshest wine

Unlike Red or White, most Rosé wines do not improve over the years so it’s totally fine to drink a bottle from 2015 or 2016. The grapes are picked early to preserve a nice acidity, and the fermentation at low temperature is practiced in order to increase the fruity and floral aromas in the wine. To really experience these flavours, it is recommended to opt for a recent vintage.

3. Drink Rosé with food
food black olive tapenade

Wines of Provence – Black Olive Tapenade

Rosé is not reserved only for cocktail hours! Thanks to its versatility you can definitely bring your bottle to the table. With the crisp side of some dry White, and delicate tannin aftertaste of light Red, Rosé pairs well with Mediterranean dishes including fish and spicy Asian foods. Moreover, due to its acidity, Rosé will balance out the taste of tomato sauce which means you can drink Rosé with pizza.

4. Drink rosé All Year Long
picnic basket with bottle of rosé

Wines of Provence – Picnic

Even if Rosé is your favorite wine for picnics, be aware that Rosé season is year-long! According to SAQ Cellier blog, sales of Rosé slow down in August. That being said, this situation seems to be changing as exports of Provence wines to Canada increased by 38% in 2016. So why not break the gloom of winter with a sunny glass of Rosé?

5. Cook with Rosé
red fruit basket

Wines of Provence – Red fruit basket

Did you know that you can cook with Rosé? Here are 2 recipes to try this summer:

  1. Strawberry salad, kiwi, spinach and Rosé vinaigrette

List of ingredients: local fresh strawberries, fresh kiwis, baby spinach and soft goat cheese.

Rosé vinaigrette: 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of Provence Rosé, 1 pressed lemon, half of a pink grapefruit (pressed), finely chopped shallots, 1 tsp. sugar, salt and pepper.

Preparation: cut strawberries, kiwis, and cheese. Put all ingredients in a bowl, add the Rosé vinaigrette, and mix. Leave the salad in the fridge and serve at your convenience.

2. Rosé popsicle

List of ingredients: 1 ½ cups of ripe strawberries and/or raspberries, juice from half of a lemon, white sugar (dissolved in hot water), and 500 mL of Provence Rosé.

Preparation: mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Sieve to remove seeds. Add more sugar if needed. Fill your popsicle molds and leave at least 6 to 8 hours in the freezer. This recipe gives about 8 to 10 popsicles (depending on the size of the molds).

wines workshop, wine bottles and food

Wines of Provence – Tasting Workshop

More than 40 wines of Provence are available at SAQ but if you are not able to find THE Rosé, proceed with a private import. Journalist Ève Dumas explains the 3 easy steps to follow in an article published in La Presse.

Le Marché des Éclusiers in Montreal Old Port

market, nature

Marché des Éclusiers

For its second edition, Marché des Éclusiers is open everyday thanks to a partnership between restaurant owners environmentally conscious who want to support Quebec products. Located in Old Port on De La Commune West (corner McGill), Marché des Éclusiers is easily accessible by Bixi and public transit.

Every Thursday from 2 PM to 7 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM, Marché des Éclusiers welcomes 8 kiosks of local producers who sale their seasonal products such as vegetables, fruits, meat, cheese or bread. Among the local producers, you will meet Vega Delishhh, Les Jardins Carya, la Petite Boulangerie, Tout Cru! and many others.

market, bar, nature

Marché des Éclusiers

This year, restaurants located at Marché des Éclusiers are committed to use biodegradable or recyclable dishes. Moreover, you will have the choice between 5 different menus which will be available to take away or to be tasted on the terraces.

Do not miss Velish salad bar who serves a large selection of cold-pressed juices, smoothies and vegan salad at affordable prices. Also, if you are a real coffee lover, stop at Volcanic Organic micro-roaster who buys its green coffee directly from small producers of Guatemala.

bar, nature

Marché des Éclusiers

Marché des Éclusiers wants to feature the best of local products. The objective is to create a community of producers, retailers and consumers conscious of their food, their ecological footprint and the sustainable development of Quebec products.

Marché des Éclusiers
400 De La Commune W. (corner McGill)

Opening hours: Sun to Wed 8 AM – 11 PM/ Thu to Sat 8 AM – 2 AM

Photo credit: Caroline Thibault

Le Blumenthal: new Montreal brasserie in Quartier des Spectacles

dinning room

Le Blumenthal

On May 15th, Le Blumenthal opened its doors at the Maison du Festival in the heart of Quartier des spectacles just right on time for summer season. This new Montreal brasserie hot spot is well located for a pre-show drink and meal.

We were invited last week for the opening cocktail to taste a glimpse of the menu headed by chef Rémi Brunelle (Leméac, Albert Bistro) and a selection of wine chosen by sommelier Jean Benoit Hinse. Le Blumenthal is the oasis of Quartier des spectacles and here are three reasons to try it!

1. THE DESIGN

You can’t miss the tree in the center of the dining room and the leaves all around the lounge, it’s so refreshing! This decorative touch where the city meets the countryside has been conceived by the Gauley Brothers, the ones behind places such as Foiegwa and Atwater Cocktail Bar.

dinning room

Le Blumenthal – Dining Room

dinning room

Le Blumenthal – Lounge

2. THE VIEW

Just steps from the Place des Festivals, the Blumenthal offers a stunning view day and night in the heart of the action. Moreover, during summer, the terrace has a capacity of 150-seat to welcome you!

dinning room

Le Blumenthal – Place des Festivals

3. THE MENU

You can enjoy “a cuisine that reflects our values” said chef Rémi Brunelle! In fusion with the green design, the menu includes choices of vegetarian dishes from starter to main course.

healthy food

Le Blumenthal – Starter: beets, ricotta and cress

food, burger

Le Blumenthal – Main course: Vegetarian Hambourgeois

Countdown to summer time has officially begun, see you on the terrace 🙂

Le Blumenthal

305 Ste Catherine Street West, Montreal

Open everyday from 11 a.m to 11 p.m

Photo credit: Patricia Brochu

Tartarefest: Vote For The Best Tartare of Montreal

Tartarefest 2017

Restomania launched the 4th edition of Tartarefest at Rosewood restaurant on May 19th. More than 20 restaurants have created tasty tartares for the occasion, and you are invited to vote for the best tartare of Montreal by May 28th.

Tartarefest offers the chance to enjoy a gourmet fine dining experience at participating restaurants without the hefty bill: a tartare plus drink from 10$. Among the restaurants competing in the Tartarefest, Êat and Caribou Gourmand are innovating this year by offering vegetarian tartares.

Vegetarian Tartar – Caribou Gourmand

Vegetarian Tartar – Caribou Gourmand

At the restaurant Caribou Gourmand, the vegetarian tartare, made of fennel, apples, goat’s cheese, walnut, honey and lemon, comes with a generous portion of homemade French fries. I recommend a glass of Pinot Gris Leon Beyer (2014, France) to accompany the vegetarian tartare. As a foodie, I always have space for starter and dessert: here are my choices…

Quebec Cheese Plate – Caribou Gourmand

Blueberry Crumble – Caribou Gourmand

As you can guess, my vote goes to Caribou Gourmand for this 4th edition of Tartarefest. During the final day on May 27th, the Best Tartare of Montreal 2017 will be announced at the Fish Market La Mer. All the profits of this day will be donated to the Douglas Foundation (Mental Health University Institute). Visit Tartarefest to vote and Restomania to reserve your tickets. Enjoy 🙂