The Spring Standards

The song that's currently on replay on my i-Phone? Queen of the Lot by The Spring Standards. I love of all the instruments, the chippy beat, and the video is pretty cute too.

I dare you to only play it only once.


Kazu ▪ Montréal

1862 Sainte Catherine West
Montréal, Québec

I had visited Kazu once before to try out their ramen noodle (only served at lunch time). I had been itching to go back but going to Kazu takes a bit of organization as they're very busy and don't take reservations. They open at 5:30 PM and the best way to get in is to get there half an hour or so earlier and wait in line. We were lucky (back in October...) and were the last people in line to be seated at 5:30 PM. This meant the poor people right behind us had to wait for the next seating.

Kazu Kazu2

Kazu is probably Montréal's original izakaya. It offers a variety of Japanese fare on their menu and on white and yellow paper posted on the walls. Elle, our friend E and myself decided to share different plates. We started with the homemade tofu kimchi salad ($5). Anything with kimchi will get my attention. This salad was packed with flavours between the pickled vegetables and dressing, piled on the soft tofu.

Kazu - Kimchi Salad
Tofu kimchi salad.

We also shared a tofu hot pot soup. I really enjoyed the savoury soup, especially after waiting in the cold for half an hour.

Kazu - Tofu soup
Tofu hot pot soup.

The sea bass salad ($25) consisted of a piece of fried sea bass with a sweet and sour sauce, and topped with all sorts of crackly items.

Kazu - Sea bass Salad
Sea bass salad.

I had really been wanting to try the shrimp pancake salad ($10). It's pretty much the shrimp burger with less bread and topped with a salad. You can't go wrong with a homemade shrimp patty.

Kazu - Shrimp burger
Shrimp pancake salad.

The food at Kazu is totally worth the wait although arguably it would be nicer to wait in the summer than our cold winter months. The small restaurant makes it cozy and you won't be able to find food like this anywhere else. I also recommend ordering one of their ponzu drinks; we all really liked it.

Kazu on Urbanspoon


Rose gold is the new Valentine red!

To continue on yesterday's post, the other Valentine day colour would have to be baby pink, far from my favourite colour! But instead of incorporating it in an outfit why not let your accessories speak with some rose gold.

Rose gold is the new Valentine red Style Board
Rose gold is the new Valentine red Style Board by ellevee59 featuring a rose gold pendant
Jacket, Madewell; dress, Anthropologie, shoes, Cole Haan; clutch, Clare Vivier

Paired with some romantic florals, it would be perfect for a date.

Gentlemen, pay attention, any of these baubles would make your Valentine very happy.


Coral is the new Valentine red!

I finally got an account on Polyvore and it’s all I can do not to quit my job and pretend I’m a fashion editor making (awesome) fashion spreads all day long!

While Valentine’s Day is one of those commercial holidays I’d rather not celebrate, hubby this year made a ‘surprise’ (he surprised me a few weeks ago when he asked me to check my schedule) reservation to have dinner at the Snow festival in the Ice Village so I guess it’s put me in the mood.  I made a few inspiration boards for different climates and activities and hopefully not too traditional Valentine’s Day choices.

First, instead of going for the usual crimson color why not usher in Spring with some coral instead of red. This colour is so much fresher and more modern and mixed in with neutrals it doesn’t look theme-y at all. 
Coral is the new Valentine red
Coral is the new Valentine red by ellevee59 featuring chambray tops
Sleeveless blouse, Equipment; jeans, AG; dress, Club Monaco; click here for details.

I love mixing different shades of one colour and oxblood being the it fall colour, spice it up with some coral!

During my research, I noticed that coral appears as two shades, a saturated bright red-orange or an orangey pink. Any excuse to make up another (awesome) board...
Coral is the new Valentine red
Coral is the new Valentine red by ellevee59 featuring essie nail polish
Necklace, Stella and Dot; bag, Rebecca Minkoff; glasses, Thierry Lasry; flats, Chloé; shorts, Club Monaco, click here for details.

Which do you think is true coral?

Tune in for more all this week!


Prohibition ▪ Montréal

5674 Monkland Avenue
Montréal, Québec

It seems all of my favourite Montréal food blogs have already posted about Prohibition. For good reason: it's a terrific brunch spot! We headed there for Elle's birthday before Christmas. It is located on busy Monkland Avenue in a semi-basement that was not too dark.

Prohibition has a small menu with unique items. The men of our group ordered the maple fried challah French toast with fried chicken ($13). Two large pieces of deep fried challah bread accompanied a piece of crispy chicken. It's a very impressive plate and Mr. Dee (Elle's hubby) seemed to really enjoy it. I wish that the bread wasn't deep fried because I would definitely have ordered it; it just seems a bit too heavy for me.

Prohibition - French Toast & Fried Chicken
French toast and fried chicken.

Instead, I ordered the lemon ricotta pancakes served with blueberry compote and sugar bacon ($13). I'm not usually a pancake person, but ricotta pancakes appealed to me and I'm wild about anything with blueberries. The four pancakes made for an impressive stack and the ricotta ensured they were light and fluffy. I was worried the thick cut bacon would not be crispy but I had nothing to worry about. I was very happy with my choice, combining sweet and savoury. I would probably order this again, even though I'd be tempted to try other dishes. 

Prohibition - Ricotta Pancakes
 Ricotta pancakes, blueberry compote and thick cut bacon.

Elle and our friend MJ ordered the breakfast sandwich ($12), which consisted of an egg over easy and peameal bacon served in an English muffin. Elle seemed to enjoy her sandwich, after squirting me with her runny yolk, and the very generous portion of fries, that I was happy to help her finish. Those were good fries.

Prohibition - Breakfast  Sandwich
Breakfast sandwich.

I might be biased since it's in my neighbourhood and just a few minutes' walk from my place, but I think Prohibition is a great brunch spot for a number of reasons. The food was excellent and the plates plentiful. I liked the original breakfast items. Not ordered were also huevos rancheros and shakshouka. The service was very attentive: so much so, that I had to tell the waitress to leave my tissues on the table, while she keenly picked them up to throw them away. Finally, the big plus is that Prohibition takes reservations! No waiting in line, wondering when you'll get to enjoy brunch!

Prohibition on Urbanspoon


Seared Scallops on Potato Pancakes

Well, the advantage of neglecting writing the blog is the embarrassment of choices for my next post. One of my favourite recipes I made over the holidays was this seared scallop on potato pancake recipe. Sometimes I get inspired with what is on sale; in this instance, giant sea scallops. I googled a few recipes and found one served on a potato pancake. Not only is it a winning combination but it's also a very nice looking starter, sure to impress your guests! It requires 3 main steps but they're not too hard to make and well worth the effort.

Seared Scallops on Potato Pancakes

Seared Scallops on Potato Pancakes - Serves 4

Pesto sans cheese
I only made pesto without cheese because my mom doesn't eat dairy. One could argue that cheese is unnecessary when serving seafood. Feel free to add Parmesan to make pesto!

* 1 pack of basil
* a few toasted pine nuts
* 1-2 cloves of garlic, grated
* salt to taste
* olive oil

Place in a processor and pulse until smooth.
Set aside until ready to plate.

Potato Pancakes - makes 8-10 small panccakes
From Smitten Kitchen.
I benefited from Elle's experience making latkas. The trick she learned from Smitten Kitchen is to use a cheesecloth to get all the liquid out of the grated potatoes for the most crispy latka.

* 2 potatoes, grated
* ½ onion, sliced thinly
* salt to taste
* ½ egg, beaten
* 2 Tbsp flour
* olive oil

Mix the grated potato and onion slices.
Season to taste with salt.
Strain the potatoes of any liquid using a cheesecloth.
Mix in just enough egg so the mixture holds together.
Add the flour so the mixture is not too wet.
Heat oil in a pan on high heat.
Form small pancakes, a little bit bigger than the scallops, and fry on each side until golden and crispy.
Place on a baking sheet in the oven at low heat until the scallops are ready

Potato Pancakes
Frying potato pancakes.

Seared Scallops
There are three important steps to follow when searing scallops: 1) the scallops should be dry, 2) the pan must be very hot and 3) do not overcook the scallops. Otherwise, it's fail safe!

* 8 large scallops
* salt and pepper to taste
* olive oil

Pat dry the scallops with a paper towel.
Season each side with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a pan on high heat.
When hot, add scallops to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side depending on the size of the scallops - you want the scallops to be just passed the stage of being translucent (you can check the sides of the scallops for this).

Searing Scallops
Searing scallops.

To plate

Place two potato pancakes on each plate.
Top with scallops and a spoonful of pesto.

Seared Scallop on Potato Pancake


St Paul Dishcrawl ▪ Montréal

It's hard to know where to begin when I haven't posted in a while so I've decided to post the most recent restaurant outing and I'll try to work my way back. This was a fun one as it was my first Dischcrawl with Elle and our friend E, on one of our coldest days this year.

The concept for Dishcrawl is similar to university days' pub crawls and apartment crawls (good times!). There is a Dishcrawl ambassador who picks 4 restaurants and a large group (I think we were close to 25) crawl through the restaurants trying out different foods - all for $60. Only the first restaurant where we meet is revealed and the rest are a surprise.

Chez L'Épicier
311 St Paul Est
Montréal, Québec

Our gathering place was Chez L'Épicier. Elle and E were excited about our first stop as it has a good reputation for refined French food. The restaurant served a trio of appetizers: a play on grilled cheese, a beef tartare slider and a shot of Jerusalem artichoke soup, which was our favourite. Since E does not eat meat, she had an intriguing savoury macaron, flavoured with olive and goat cheese. We were all intrigued and jealous!

Chez L'Épicier

Chez L'Épicier - trio Chez L'Épicier - olive macaron

 Chez L'Epicier on Urbanspoon


Brasero Hardi
139 St Paul Ouest
Montréal, Québec

Making our way west on St Paul, our next stop on the crawl was Brasero Hardi. A new restaurant that opened last September, it was one of our favourite stops, and not just because drinks were waiting for us at the tables. The drink, named "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", consisted of Midori melon liqueur, green tea, lime, cardamom and weirdly seaweed.

Brasero Hardi served a main of braised short ribs on mashed potatoes dotted with bacon and smoked salmon. The short ribs that were cooked for 6 hours completely stole the show; they were melt in your mouth tender and the potatoes were just as good. I'm not one to order short ribs at a restaurant as I usually go for seafood, but I would definitely order this dish again.

Brasero Hardi Brasero Hardi2
Brasero Hardi - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Brasero Hardi - Short Ribs

Our friend E didn't do so bad herself. I didn't take a picture but she had gnocchi with a truffle sauce. The truffle scent was so strong and fragrant, it left us omnivores wondering what we were missing. I think Brasero Hardi is worth another visit, especially after hearing about the terrasse they have in the summer.

brasero Hardi on Urbanspoon


151 St Paul Ouest
Montréal, Québec

Dolcetto Dolcetto - Pizza Trio

While I worried after our first stop that we wouldn't have enough food, after our second stop I was worried I'd be too full. Dolcetto, which the owner described as serving Italian style tapas, had a marine/Breton vibe. We were served a trio of pizzette: Margherita with burrata, pear and Gorgonzola and their best seller fig and foie gras. I loved the burrata but thought there was too much Gorgonzola and it took over the pizzette. I surprisingly liked the foie gras against the sweet figs, as I'm not the biggest fan of foie gras.

Dolcetto & Co. on Urbanspoon


151 St Paul Ouest
Montréal, Québec

Santos also specializes in tapas and Spanish food. I wasn't feeling the vibe at Santos with its strong red colour, its loud music and large TV's. It seemed to not know if it was a restaurant, a club or a sports bar.

We were first served salmon tartare with a slice of avocado on top of a toast that we all enjoyed. When the paella came out, we were a bit overwhelmed as we were pretty full. I'm not a big paella person, so it was ok to me. We were all very excited to end our night on a sweet with a churros, although I was hoping it was going to be hot instead of cold. It was still good nonetheless.

Santos -  Salmon tartare Santos - paella
Santos - churros

We all had a great time at our first Dishcrawl. The ambassador Jenny King was very friendly and picked some good restaurants. It's nice to not only discover new restaurants, but discover them all in one night. While $60 is not cheap, I think it was a good price, considering the amount of food, and that it included taxes and tip. I would definitely sign up again, maybe once it gets warmer.

For better pictures, check out Dischcrawl's blog post on the event.