Dining? Shopping? Festival-hopping? Here’s a bit of each.
– Festivus: For fans of jazz, comedy or fireworks, Montreal is the city to visit this summer, offering three of the largest festivals in the world in those areas. Woody Allen will play this year’s Montreal International Jazz Festival June 26-July 6; The Just For Laughs comedy festival will celebrate its 26th season July 10-20 and over the years has drawn such stars as Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano and Don Rickles, and the International Fireworks competition is June 21-Aug. 6, with presentations from 10 countries including France, Italy, China and the U.S.
– Zilli’s Girls: An upscale shop opened by French luxury brand Zilli has hit Montreal. Originally a men’s wear company, the opening of its first North American unit, on Sherbrooke Street West last fall, included its first women’s outerwear collection of 200 pieces, called Zilli Femme. The store recently added accessories and handbags.
– Meet the Champ: Denis Gagnon, one of Canada’s most recognized designers, is best known for his detailed leather jackets. He’s expanded his collection into soft luxurious knits, sweater dresses, capes and ponchos, shown at his boutique at 5392a Boulevard
Saint-Laurent. Gagnon skipped Montreal Fashion Week to show at L’Oréal Fashion Week in Toronto last month, where he was declared “Champion of Canadian Design.”
– In the DNA: When executive chef Derek Dammann sought to expand his culinary talents beyond the sports club where he worked, the club owner opened a restaurant called DNA to make sure he didn’t lose Dammann’s talents. Located at 355 Rue Marguerite D’Youville in Old Montreal, DNA offers unpretentious decor and specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s a relative bargain, too, with no course over $30.
– Lads from Liverpool: Liverpool House is the latest address by owners of Joe Beef, one of the more deserving success stories in Montreal over the last five years. While the design of the restaurant, at 2501 Notre Dame Street, is underwhelming, the food certainly is not, featuring traditional bistro fare with superior quality and freshness.
– HOME SWEET HOME: Nick Hodge may be a Texan, but he ended up in Montreal after following his girlfriend, Nathalie, home and the two opened a restaurant called Kitchenette on Rene-Levesque East after they married. The menu runs from grilled mahimahi to beef bourguignon, and the wine is reasonably priced.