The Holidays are a time for getting together with your friends and family and enjoying a little time away from our bustling schedules and busy lives. It’s also a great time to reflect back on the past 12 months and think about all the wonderful things that have happened over the course of the year.
2015 was a very busy year at DJNL. We attended a record number of restaurant openings and special events. We travelled a little and explored our city from one side to the other, racking up experiences both good and, well, some accompanied by the Montreal Food Divas. Throughout the year a few remarkable events really stood out and without further delay, here’s some of our favourite moments of 2015! Links are provided to each of our choices so you can read a little more about them, right here on DJNL.
Favourite New Restaurants
While many new restaurants opened across Montreal this past year, Jatoba, Soubois, Lapin Blanc, Richmond Market and Escondite round out the top five that we covered this year. Each of these fantastic eateries have brought something dynamic to Montreal’s restaurant scene.
Jatoba was one of the first restaurants we covered this year (back then we called it “The New Standard”). We were amazed by the sleek Asian influenced decor which is made up of brushed brass, marble and live plants. The food is a lively blend of Asian flavours fused with an American approach. We still dream about the dumplings.
Soubois has quickly become a Montreal success story, rising to the ranks of hotspot almost overnight. They’ve reinvented the supper club with their underground Montreal location, carefully constructed decor that leaves us feeling like we’ve stepped through the looking glass. The food is excellent as well proving that no stone was left unturned in making this space a must see.
Lapin Blanc is the news of the restaurants that wowed us this year. Located deep in the mysterious Homa neighbourhood, the owners of Lapin Blanc have created one of the most unique yet authentic decors in recent history. Borrowing from none of the current trends that we see popping up just about everywhere, Lapin Blanc holds its own with a funky vibe that’s backed by a strong team in the kitchen. The chef takes the classics we know and love and sends them spinning into flavourful new directions.
Le Richmond Market is an extension of one of our favourite places in Griffintown, Le Richmond. We paid the new Market a quick visit late last summer to discover a carefully curated selection of meats, cheese, wine and grocery items you won’t find in those big box grocery stores around the corner. Featuring a full bistro menu as well as plates to go and gift items, Le Richmond Market was an answer to a question that Griffintown hadn’t even thought to ask yet. How’s that for innovation?
Escondite hit us by surprise this year when they opened with little fanfare but took the city by storm from their little space near Cathcart. Featuring a delicious selection of made-to-share Tex-Mex favourites like tacos, wings and more, Escondite doesn’t hold back when it comes to adding some much needed spice to downtown Montreal’s food scene. They also have an excellent selection of mezcal based cocktails that will definitely keep you in your seat.
Most Memorable Events
Its been a crazy ride since starting DNJL back in 2011. Each year I am invited to events around the city that leave me practically speechless (I’m never speechless as I have to have the last word) and I always walk away from them thinking that there’s no way to top what I just saw. Every year there are a few events peppered throughout the year that up the ante, leaving me flabbergasted, tongue-tied and saying to myself, I still can’t believe I get to do this as part of my nightlife. In 2015 there were tons of wonderful events and out of the hundreds we attended, here are 3 of the most memorable.
The Grey Goose Summer Soiree brought Montreal’s social scene to the sweeping garden of a Westmount Mansion last summer, showing us that their is only one way to throw a summer soiree; go big or go home. The night featured endless cocktails by grey goose, more food than we could dream off, synchronized swimmers and a beautiful white horse wearing a little hat. It was the kind of party that makes these nights out worth it.
Êat didn’t make it into our top restaurants because we haven’t eaten there yet but it did make a huge splash last month as it swung its doors open to an elite guest list of over 500 people for its official opening. Grandiose, bombastic and just what the doctor ordered for our restaurant scene in Montreal, Êat’s (located in the W hotel) much anticipated opening was one of the biggest parties of the year. Attended by celebrities, media and some of Montreal’s coolest party people the restaurant was the talk of the town for weeks after the party (and still is)!
When Jennifer Campbell throws a party, you don’t ask questions, you go. The launch of the 5th edition of her widely followed Diary of a Social Gal magazine was the reason who fomo exists. Endless cocktails, wine and food were served up at the glam camping (glamping) themed event that brought Montreal’s social scene out looking its very best. Held at Soubois, there was barely room to move as live musical performances had us rocking out way past our bedtime. The magazine is a glimpse into Montreal’s social as seen and edited by one of our very own.
So that’s it for 2015! Have a wonderful and safe holiday season. Thank you so much for coming back again and again to read about all our adventures. A big thank you as well to those who trusted us with their evenings out during the year. Your thoughtful and grateful messages are a big part of why we do what we do.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
A big thank you David Major-Lapierre, my very patient and very talented photographer who makes these articles stand out!