Discovering more of Mont-Royal Avenue – Part 2

Part two of my feature on Mont-Royal focuses on my favourite spots to dine, drink, and do some fine shopping west of metro Mont-Royal. Starting from place Gérald-Godin, walking long th avenue will eventually lead you to Mont-Royal park which remains a popular tourist destination with its breathtaking view of the city.

Here are my top picks:

La Binerie (367  Mont-Royal E.) – It’s only fitting that this entry starts with an iconic Montreal restaurant such as La Binerie. If you’re look for traditional Quebec dishes, look no further. Ragoût de boulettes, shepherd’s pie, poutine with pulled pork, etc.  are all to be found in this throwback sixties diner!

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Bily Kun  (356 Mont-Royal E.) – Speaking of iconic locations, this Czech bar has been going on strong for years with no signs of slowing down. Funky vibe with almost nightly live music from 6 to 8 pm and a cool outdoor terrace.

Pintxo (330 Mont-Royal E.) – Basque cuisine in an intimate setting that is ideal for a romantic meal out.  You can never go wrong shating small plates while sipping wine from their extensive wine list

Kouing Amann (322 Mont-Royal E.) – Named after the French pastry from Brittany, this bakery delivers the goods with the most decadent butter cake you will ever have. Just follow your nose buds and you’ll know that you are at the right place.

Trip de Bouffe (277 Mont-Royal E.) – Great Mediterranean fare that you can take with you when visiting the Mont-Royal park. Healthy and affordable food.

Café la Touche (164 Mont-Royal E.) – Owner Arsène knows his coffee and treats it like wine. The shop has grains from over twenty countries and obviously makes one mean cup of coffee.

Le nouveau Soundcentral (4486, rue Coloniale) – Nobody captures the true essence of what a record store should be like more than Soundcentral. Owner Shawn is really passionate about music, and the store features lots of new and used records mainly in underground and alternative music. A true must for vinyl record lovers in the city.

Le 63 (63 Mont-Royal E.) – The Garage fashion style has made a comeback and this store has everything you need in vintage and new clothing of this fashion style. The store itself is a gem with so many clothing items and paraphernalia to look at that you can literally spend hours browsing.

Mange-Moi (35 Mont-Royal E.) – When your poutine (la Cochonne) wins best poutine in a local contest in 2014, you know you’re in for a treat.  With over 20 poutines to choose from you cannot go wrong.

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There you have it! My suggestions for the avenue. To see Mont-Royal in all its glory, the commercial street fest and RU festival start this Thursday and run through Sunday. For more information, visit Mont-Royal.net.

 

Discovering Mont-Royal Avenue – Part 1

My job has enabled me to spend lots of time on Mont-Royal avenue this summer. It remains the heart and soul of the Plateau Mont-Royal district, and arguably the best place to live life à la Montréalaise. With so many boutiques, restaurants, and outdoor terraces this famous avenue has lots to choose from so I decided to split my blog entry into two. This one features my favourite spots from d’Iberville street to the Mont Royal métro (and Place Godin pictured above) starting from the east moving towards the subway station.

Here are my suggestions:

Sieur d’Iberville (2490 Av. Mont-Royal Est) Not only is it a great spot to watch your favourite sporting event but it has some of the best rotisserie chicken in the city as the meat is cooked in a wood-fire oven. Daily specials include 5$ local beer pint Tuesdays and 30% off wine bottles on Wednesdays.

Brasserie Boswell  (2407 Av. Mont-Royal Est) – If trying local craft beers in a contemporary urban setting is your thing then Boswell is for you. Three dollar tasting glasses are available so that you can try many beers and the beer is always fresh as they change cask it’s a different beer when they run out.

Crémy Pâtisserie (2202 Av. Mont-Royal Est) – Owner Rémy Couture takes his sweets seriously. In fact, Couture won a competition on tv show Donut Showdown, and Crémy’s food truck has people flocking in droves. Major props for having cannelés, those irresistible French pastries. And yes, the artisanal donuts are good.

Affiche en tête (2034 Av. Mont-Royal) – I’m all for promoting Montreal and its talent and so is this store’s owners. Forget buying trinkets in souvenir shops in tourist trap Old Montreal, and support local talent with original local creations.

La Maison des bières (4485 rue de Lanaudière) – My hat goes off to owner Marc-Antoine’s dedication to promoting local craft beers. All the well-known brews such as Trou du Diable and Dieu du Ciel and smaller Brewers are well represented at this fine shop.

L’artisan Piadineria (1576 Av. Mont-Royal Est) – Take a crepe-like bun and stuff it with Italian ingredients and you have a piadina, a typical sandwich found in Italy. My recent visit had native Napolitan Enzo cutting up fresh porchetta, and thanking patrons with a “Grazie, ciao” in his native tongue.

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Bleu et Persillé (1475 Av. Mont-Royal) – Cheese lovers will instantly fall in love with large selection of cheeses from Quebec.  I fell in love with what might possibly be the most beautiful shop on the avenue. Look for the urban bee hive at the back!

Aux 33 Tours (1373 Av.  Mont-Royal) – This record shop is the biggest one in city – and quite possibly the best. With thousands of both new me used titles to choose from their is something for everyone. Audiophiles, loak for the hard-to-find Japanese pressings that they carry.

Saka Ba (1279 Av. Mont-Royal Est) – The recent proliferation of iskayas in the city makes it hard finding a good one but this ramen bar delivers by offering quite an amazing kimchee ramen. Spiceheads will love it as it packs a punch, and the fun setting with communal tables make you share the experience with others.

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Le Boucanier par Atkins et frères (1217 Av. Mont-Royal) – Take one part local products, one part smokehouse, and another part charismatic owner Jérôme Pelletier, and you find yourself with a unique shop offering smoked cheeses and fish and other local delicacies.

Don’t forget to check out the final street fest happening from August 24-28, 2016 on Mont-Royal avenue. There’s also the RU fest (réappropriation urbaine) where local artists take it to the streets during those four days. Live music, DJs, outdoor public art, etc.

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For more information visit mont-royal.net, and have fun discovering this eclectic avenue!

 

Concert Review – Savages, Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, April 2, 2016

The London-based group Savages made their triumphant return to Montreal putting on a stellar performance at the Corona Theatre that was high on intensity and emotion.  Those  in attendance found themselves riveted to the the four women’s every moves that came to the stage with no fanfare, no visual effects other than a strobe light, and all dressed in black. It’s all about delivering a performance that keeps you on your toes as if something is about to happen at any moment. It’a a contrived energy that keeps you on edge until it gets unleashed. And unleash the Savage(s) beast they did with songs from both albums from the band (and some body surfing courtesy of singer Jehnny Beth). The first half was mainly focusing on Silence Yourself while the second half featured their newest album Adore Life.

So many highlights to choose from. Song Husbands was one of the most vicious songs that I have witnessed live with singer Jehnny Beth taunting the crowd in quasi complete darkness save for the strobe lights  that were coordinated with the piercing drum beats; current single Adore  was beautifully haunting not unlike the yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Maps in terms of emotion and buildup; closing song Fuckers remains a staple at any Savages show prompting people not to take any bull from anyone in a danceable rock beat.

The band was on fire and seems tighter with subsequent shows. It’s my third time seeing them (first show in Montreal at Cabaret LaTulipe and show in NYC last year) and this one was easily the best one.

Setlist here (courtesy Setlist.fm)

 

 

Concert Review – Black Sabbath, Montreal Bell Centre – February 23, 2016

The end. No more. Fini. One of the most iconic bands ever has decided to take the highway to hell and give one final performance to its Montreal fans on a tour not surprisingly called the End.  For nearly fifty years, the Godfathers of Heavy Metal – singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler, and guitarist Tony Iommi (sans original drummer Bill Ward) – were the originators of the genre and people flocked the Bell Centre to get one last glimpse of the entity known as Black Sabbath. If it truly was the end for Black Sabbath then they did so in a blaze of glory.

I already saw Iommi and Butler (and Ward) with Ronnie James Dio when they toured under the Heaven and Hell name, and we were treated to a sinister stage setting with Dio delivering the vocal goods. While Dio may have been vocally superior, Sabbath will never be Sabbath without Ozzy. And so Ozzy graced, or rather hobbled, the stage and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that this man can still win over a crowd. Countless are the times I heard Osbourne scream “Let me see those hands” as if he needed crowd participation to fuel his onstage theatrics.

The show started off fittingly with the eponymous song that began Black Sabbath’s metal reign. Iommi’s dark slow distortion led the onslaught on a night filled with classics guitar hooks. A setlist that showcased the many songs taken from their first two albums and proving to be the standouts of the evening. From the sadistic feel of the aforementioned Black Sabbath to the incendiary urgency of the best song of the night in War Pigs to main set closer Children of the Grave, this show could please any metal head.

For good measure, we also witnessed touring drummer’s Tommy Clufetos prowess in a powerful drum solo that led into Iron Man.  While most of the show was surprisingly great, I never expected Ozzy to be so good live, we did witness two small lulls. Song After Forever saw the first decrease in energy as Ozzy was having problems with the vocals (he stays put when he struggles with singing), and Dirty Women was played too late in the show and proving to be the only forgettable song of the night. Otherwise, those in attendance could were truly lucky to see Black Sabbath for one last time. Adieu Black Sabbath!

Californian act Rival Sons opened the evening by delivering a solid set based on Zeppelin-esque riffs. They started with Electric Man and played other well-known songs such as Open My Eyes and my favorite Pressure and Time

Setlist – Black Sabbath, Bell Centre – February 23, 2016

  1. Black Sabbath
  2. Fairies Wear Boots
  3. After Forever
  4. Into the Void
  5. Snowbound
  6. War Pigs
  7. Behind the Wall of Sleep (with ‘Wasp’ intro)
  8. N.I.B. (with ‘Bassically’ intro)
  9. Hand of Doom
  10. Rat Salad (with drum solo)
  11. Iron Man
  12. Dirty Women
  13. Children of the Grave

    Encore
  14. Paranoid
    Zeitgeist

Restaurants Where to Impress Your Date In Montreal

So you managed to spark somebody’s interest and you want to take that person somewhere special to eat in Montreal. Finding the right spot to making a lasting impression on your date is crucial.

Below are restaurants that I suggest for you to have an enjoyable evening for a romantic tête-à-tête. You usually want to avoid hot spots where the music is loud and where tables are stuck to each other. I have divided the list according to what you should be looking for in terms of mood:

Sharing Food, Sharing Intimate Moments : Nothing says creating a rapport with a person better than sharing food.  Small plates such as tapas, sushi, and mezes make great conversation topics.

Zenya - River Maya Sushi
Zenya – River Maya Sushi


Zen Ya
(Downtown):  Sushi. The food itself dazzles with its colours and textures. Throw in a dark and exotic room in the most unlikely of places in the downtown for convenience. And yes, they actually make excellent sushi!

RUMI - SultanRUMI – Sultan

Rumi  (Outremont)  – Everything about this restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine exudes comfort. It’s warm, has comfort food such as tajines, and you can also share hot and cold mezes such as labneh, baba ghanoush and hummus.

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Pintxo (Plateau) – Inventive basque cuisine where small plates are to be shared. They also have a tasting menu with four pintxos and a main dish. Conveniently located on Mont-Royal to make the evening last even longer after the meal…

Scallops, Shrimp
Tapeo
(Villeray) – Arguably the most popular tapas place in the city. You’ll dazzle your date with your knowledge of great food in an urban chic setting. Less romantic in terms of setting but tempting food guaranteed.

Location, location, location! Wow Your Date: If you date is a serious foodie and gets turned on by nice locations, the following places should be right for you.

Europea (Downtown)- If money is no object and you truly want to live high-sensory experience, this renowned restaurant is tough to beat. Chef Jérôme Ferrer’s creations are fun, interactive and innovative, and the service is second to none. You’ll feel like you are alone in the restaurant which is always great.

Montreal Plaza
Montréal Plaza (Plaza St-Hubert): This new restaurant is generating quite the buzz. Former Toque! chef Charles-Antoine Crête opened a happening place in the most eclectic neighbourhood in the city. It’s bright, bustling, and serves contemporary local fare.

Nil Bleu
Le Nil Bleu
(Plateau) – If you’re looking fro something really exotic then this restaurant will woo you with its Ethiopian fare and décor. They have a nice waterfall backdrop and the lights are low. Imagine eating your food with only the injera spongy bread that the food is served on. No utensils for more fun.

Music is your Mojo – For some odd reason, I associate romance with jazz music. You cannot beat these places for your jazz fix.

Wall of Jazz
Bistro Barcola
(Outremont): It’s not a jazz bar but easy one of the best Italian restaurants in the city serving classic Italian trattoria fare. Look for the gorgeous wall of jazz vinyl in the back of the room. Good music and food will win your love interest anytime.

Get cozy by checking out some live jazz either at Dièse Onze in the Plateau or the House of Jazz in the downtown core.  For the latter, I recommend going when the Taurey Butler Jazz trio plays. There are booths that allow some serious cuddling.

Concert Review – Muse, Bell Centre in Montreal, January 21st, 2016

Seeing Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper back in September made me realize that the huge concert production is becoming a dying art. Few rock bands can brag about creating a live music experience that amalgamates both musicianship and stunning visual theatrics to a full effect. Muse’s performance at the Bell Centre proved just that and more on the second night of a two-show stint in Montreal for their impressive Drones World tour.

We witnessed an in-the-round format where the Muse’s stage was dead smack in the middle with smaller platforms enabling them to roam around the entire arena.  The band made full use of the stage with their technical prowess and rock god poses for all to admire. Huge props such as circular drones that hovered around the arena as well as an inflatable spaceship for good measure.

When multiple shows from the same band are announced, I am always torn between going to the first night or subsequent shows. The first evening tends to showcase a band’s setlist that is tried and true while setlists on other nights unusually mix it up a bit. Granted, there is not much improvisation with a production as large as Muse’s Drones tour but we still managed to see songs not played on the first night. Spectators got to see Citizen Erased from second album  Origin of Symmetry, the Queen-esque United States of Eurasia featuring Bellamy on a grand piano, and Revolt off the latest Drones.

While I did enjoy the older material,  the songs that stood out for me were the ones off Drones where we saw local Montreal – based Moment Factory’s stunning visuals in all their glory.  The Handler created the illusion of a giant puppeteer controlling Bellamy and bassist Chris Wolstenholme with his strings.  The Globalist captured the artistic beauty of the song that was mesmerizing by its magnitude with images of natural landscapes and roman figures.  A perfect canvas for an ambitious song.

Nevertheless,  songs like the closing Knights of Cydonia remain staples, and the one-two punch of Black Holes and Revelations songs  Map of the Problematique,  and Supermassive Black Hole provided the goosebumps moments of the evening.

The show wasn’t perfect; audio problems buried Bellamy’s singing during opening Psycho, and the singer struggled through Time is Running Out playing catch up on the song. The setlist was also not paced right: You do not follow a hullaballoon-filled Starlight with the aforementioned United States of Eurasia when Bellamy’s quiet piano intro was competing with fans popping those huge hullaballoons! The central stage setup, while stunning, also discouraged interaction amongst band member’s  and with the audience.

Regardless, a Muse concert remains a production of epic proportions that must be seen in all its glory to be truly appreciated.

My hat goes off to opening act X Ambassadors that proved to be worthy openers. Rarely do we see the Bell Centre being lit up with cell phones for an opening act. Singer Sam Harris is a charismatic frontman and multi-instrumentalist and has amazing vocal range. I remain astonished as the falsetto cannot come from a guy that looks like him…

SETLIST – MUSE, Montreal, January 21st, 2016  

Drones
• Psycho
• Dead Inside
• Interlude
• Hysteria  (AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ riff outro) )
• Citizen Erased
• The 2nd Law: Isolated System (Shortened)
• The Handler
• Map of the Problematique
(Rage Against The Machine’s ‘ Maggie’s Farm’ riff outro) )
• Supermassive Black Hole
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ‘Voodoo Child’ intro)
• Prelude
• Starlight (with Hullaballoons)
• Apocalypse Please
• Munich Jam
• Madness
• Resistance
• [JFK]
• Revolt
• Time Is Running Out
• Uprising (Extended outro)
• The Globalist
Drones (Reprise)

Encore:
• Mercy
• Knights of Cydonia
(Ennio Morricone’s ‘Man With a Harmonica’ intro)

SOURCE : SETLIST.FM

Mercy 2 Revolt Supermassive Black Hole GlobalistThe Handler X ambassadors
Check out my review of their show back in 2013

My very first Muse review in 2010!

Laissez les bon temps rouler! Quoi manger à la Nouvelle-Orléans – Deuxième partie

La Nouvelle-Orléans c’est l’endroit de prédilection pour les cuisinomanes. Non seulement peut-elle se vanter d’être une des meilleures villes en Amérique pour manger un bon repas mais c’est l’endroit qui donna naissance à cette belle gastronomie cajun et créole qui est propre à elle.

Les choix sont interminables pour bien manger à la Nouvelle-Orléans. Voici mes coups de coeur :

Commanders Palace
Si vous pouvez dépenser un peu d’argent, Commander’s Palace dans le Garden District mérite amplement sa réputation d’être parmi les meilleurs restaurants de la ville.  Des assiettes cajun et créole sont au menu et vous pouvez commander des martinis à 25 cennes pour le dîner. De la gastronomie cajun et créole traditionnelle qui ose se renouveler. Tenue de ville obligatoire.

Antoine's
Vous connaissez les huîtres Rockefeller? C’est chez Antoine’s, restaurant qui date de plus de 175 ans, que ce délice a vu le jour. C’est une très grande salle d’antan qui vous attend et le service est hors pair. Pour un temps limité, vous pouvez commander leur menu cinq services conçu spécialement pour leur anniversaire.  Tant qu’à y être, commencez votre repas avec un Sazerac, cocktail de la Nouvelle-Orléans par excellence.

Dooky Chase’s Restaurant dans le quartier Treme présente les créations de Mme Leah Chase, la reine de la cuisine créole. Le restaurant est un lieu historique qui a toujours préconisé l’avancement des droits des noirs dans la ville. Allez-y le midi pour savourer leur buffet à volonté pour seulement 19.95$.

Mahoney's Peacemaker
La bouffe cajun et créole, c’est aussi tout ce qui est accessible aux gens à prix modique. Le sandwich Po’Boy est un bon exemple. Le « Peacemaker » de Mahoney’s, ce sandwich aux huîtres frites et servi avec du fromage et bacon, est à conseiller même si votre cardiologue vous dira le contraire.

Central Grocery
Attendez-vous à faire la file pour manger un sandwich muffuletta, un sandwich italien rempli de charcuterie et de giardiniera marinée, chez Central Grocery sur Decatur dans le quartier français.  Cette épicerie italienne créa ce sandwich bourratif au début du 20e siècle qui ne cesse de gagner en popularité.

Muffaletta Cochon Butcher
Tant qu’à manger un sandwich, je vous conseille fortement Cochon Butcher. Le restaurant du chef réputé de la bouffe louisianaise Doanld Link offre des sandwichs dans une ambiance rustique très tendance.

Coop's Place
Si vous aimez les bars et une ambiance festive, Coop’s Place se vante d’avoir la meilleure assiette deJambalaya de la ville. Cette assiette typique à base de riz se différencie ici de par l’inclusion de la viande de lapin.

Beignets
Enfin, un arrêt s’avère nécessaire pour prendre un café et manger des beignets saupoudrés de sucre au Café du Monde, un des cafés les plus connus au monde. Vous n’avez aucune excuse (autre que d’avoir trop mangé) de ne pas y aller puisqu’il ne ferme jamais. Quoi de mieux que de manger un beignet aux petites heures du matin!

Et voilà! La Nouvelle-Orléans est vite devenu une de mes villes préférées en Amérique du Nord. Si vous cherchez la petite ville propre et calme, allez ailleurs. On y va pour avoir une expérience unique et de vivre quelques petites folies. Il ne suffit que d’adopter leur slogan Laissez les bon temps rouler pour profiter pleinement de votre visite au Big Easy.

Cliquez sur ce lien pour quelques suggestion sur quoi faire dans la ville.

Concert Review – I Mother Earth, Petit Campus in Montreal, October 23rd, 2015

Canadian alt-rock icons I Mother Earth returned after a long hiatus and gave an electrifying performance at their first club gig this year at the Petit Campus in Montreal last night.

This is the band that dominated the Canadian alternative rock charts in the nineties with their original singer Edwin. The band’s singer since 1997, Brian Byrne, proved to be quite the frontman in delivering an intense performance. And how can you not get into a show that begins with the excellent Not Quite Sonic taken off their debut Dig. Byrne was interacting with the crowd, bouncing all around the stage, and providing the vocal onslaught that was fitting for the IME sound.

I especially liked the band’s performance of Byrne-recorded tracks: Choke taken off The Quicksilver Meat Dream was a supercharged affair while the 2012 track We Got the Love provided the musical highlight of the evening with the smart transition to U2’s Bad and back having Byrne yell out I’m Wide Awake to a brutal effectiveness.

However, it was only towards the end with the irresistible trifecta of hits  in Levitate,  One More Astronaut and Rain Will Fall that the crowd really went wild. It felt as though the crowd was being respectful throughout the show only to unleash some pent-up aggression and lashing out in a mosh pit. Mind you, Byrne did warn us that he would come down and mess us up if we were not good to each other… 

The only downside came in the encore. Rather than come on full throttle with a couple of short instantly-recognizable tunes do they bounce back with an atmospheric extended jam in Shortcut to Moncton.  Enough that Byrne went backstage to let the musicians perform alone mid-way only to sing the last lines of the song again. It was good but did not give us that recency effect by sending spectators home blown away by the encore.

The band was also very generous in providing a show that was over two hours long, and provided a set that was ideal for both hardcore and passive fans in a small club such as Petit Campus on a Friday evening. Welcome back fellas!

SETLIST – I MOTHER EARTH – Montreal, October 23rd, 2015

  1. Not Quite Sonic
  2. Like a Girl
  3. Summertime in the Void
  4. Cloud Pump
  5. Choke
  6. Juicy
  7. ??? ( possibly Devil’s Engine)
  8. Raspberry
  9. We Got The Love (with U2’s Bad Interlude)
  10. All Awake
  11. Used to be Alright
  12. Earth, Sky & C
  13. Levitate
  14. One More Astronaut
  15. Rain Will Fall

    Encore

  16. Shortcut to Moncton

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Concert Review – Leon Bridges, Théâtre Corona Virgin Mobile – October 22nd, 2015

You’ve seen him in the Apple Music commercial. He’s got a voice and style that is a direct homage to sixties soul music. Native Texan Leon Bridges brought all that and more to a sold out Corona Theatre in Montreal.

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A very dapper Leon Bridges took the stage and the crooner won over the crowd with his old school soul appeal. No bright light or fancy stage props were to be found as all eyes (and ears) were on Bridges himself.

The set all began rather discreetly with Bridges and his back-up singer Brittni Jessie performing a beautiful version on song Doris in complete darkness with only Bridges playing the guitar.  Song Flowers immediately followed suit and brought with it an evening filled with classic soul R & B that would have made Sam Cooke proud.  The first singalong came with single Better Man with a very enthusiastic Montreal crowd. The encore was excellent with two upbeat numbers in Pussy Footin‘ and Mississippi Kisses. 

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While Bridges won over spectators with his upbeat numbers it was main set closer River that stole the show. Once again, Bridges and Jessie hit the stage backed only by their organist and deliver a powerful version of the song that is nostalgic in feel.

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Leon Bridges possesses that enviable quality of winning over fans with his charm and appeal. There is something very authentic about him that makes you feel as though he is singing only to you. A charm that is not unlike what you normally find from folks down South.

While the show was a tad short in terms of length (about 80 minutes), all those in attendance knew they were witnessing something special. Leon Bridges can only get better with and could easily become a household name in the near future.

Laisser les bons temps rouler! Quoi visiter à la Nouvelle-Orléans (Première partie)

Mes deux voyages en moins d’un an à cette merveilleuse ville de la Louisiane m’ont fait découvrir une ville qui possède une âme unique. Non seulement peut-elle se vanter d’être une des villes les plus divertissantes en Amérique du Nord avec ses soirées endiablées sur la rue Bourbon et Frenchmen et son fameux Mardi Gras, mais elle représente aussi un arrêt obligatoire pour ceux et celles qui désirent manger de la gastronomie cajun et créole authentique. Quant à moi, j’adore l’influence française qui règne tant sur sa culture que dans sa mentalité de joie de vivre.

Ce premier billet vous présente mes suggestions sur quoi visiter pour profiter de votre séjour à la Nouvelle-Orléans.

Pizza
Quand y aller – Il peut faire très chaud et humide à la Nouvelle-Orléans.  Ce n’est pas une coïncidence que les événements d’envergure ont lieu au printemps ou en automne. L’événement incontournable reste le Mardi Gras. Assister aux nombreux défilés durant la semaine qui précède le mardi gras même est à faire au moins une fois dans sa vie. Des chariots qui parcourent les rues avec des gens déguisés qui eux lancent des colliers de perles et autres surprises est une expérience en soi-même.  Et la légende qui dit que certaines femmes sont prêtes à montrer leurs seins pour ces cadeaux persiste toujours…

Mardi gras
Si vous appréciez la musique jazz, le festival New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival qui a lieu pendant deux fins de semaine en fin avril et début mai mérite vraiment le détour.  Ce festival figure parmi les plus gros festivals du continent avec une belle programmation locale et internationale.

Jackson Square
Quoi visiter – Le quartier français (French Quarter) reste le point de mire de la ville.  L’endroit le plus pittoresque de la ville reste  le Jackson Square en honneur au Président américain du même nom. Les touristes adorent le chaos de Bourbon Street. C’est très intense comme ambiance avec ses bars qui présentent de la musique live, club de danseuses nues, restos, etc.

Frenchmen Art Market
Personnellement, je préfère écouter du jazz sur la rue Frenchmen dans le secteur Marigny. Vous trouverez plusieurs bars qui offrent de la musique live à tous les jours come le d.b.a., le Blue Nile , Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, etc.  Il y a aussi un petit marché extérieur nommé Frenchmen Art Market qui vend des articles faits par des artistes de la ville.

2015-10-11 03.05.21
Si vous êtes aventuriers et aimez des endroits moins prétentieux, faîtes un tour dans le secteur Uptown. Vous y trouverez le club légendaire Tipitina’s et ses nombreuses affiches d’artistes qui ont joués au local. Il y a aussi le Snakes & Jakes Christmas Club Lounge, un lieu de rassemblement éclectique dans un coin résidentiel qui n’a rien de très chic mais très sympatique de par les gens qui y visitent. Enfin, le Maple Leaf Bar présente de la musique live tous les soirs. Je vous conseille d’y aller le mardi soir lorsque le Rebirth Brass Band y joue pour de la bonne musique typique de la Louisiane.

Canal Street
La deuxième partie de ce billet vous donnera des suggestions quant aux endroits à visiter pour bien manger dans la ville. Toute une tâche puisqu’il y en a plusieurs!