Happy new year, Montreal: The whirlwind of gatherings, Christmas markets, shopping sprees in malls, NYE bashes, and hangover brunches across the city has finally come to an end.
It is, for better or for worse, time for some hair of the dog and to get back to business—even for all those on strike.
Our feeds have been full of people posting about how great their past year was, and we believe them, we're not so sure that's the general vibe this weekend. Definitely not if you look at the news.
Most places aren't hosting a whole lot of shows and events, and many of the city's restaurants and bars are taking things pretty easy until the winter festivals start up.
Granted, if you've got energy to go out this weekend, we've got naked karaoke and Chinese hotpot for you down below; otherwise, we've got some recommendations for those looking to fulfill resolutions of being more fit and cultured in the new year.
Activities, parties, points of interest, art exhibitions, you name it: These are the weekend events you don't want to miss.
- You can get your energy up by watching the Canadiens play the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre (or the New York Rangers on Saturday).
- Go check out Anna Binta Diallo’s mural Fluid fossils, created specifically for the MAC's Place Ville Marie space, is composed of a series of silhouetted figures whose surfaces are a collage of patterns drawn from nature.
- In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats, by award-winning immersive artist Darren Emerson, is an interactive documentary virtual reality adventure now on at the Phi Centre.
- An exhibition exploring the Red River Michif interdisciplinary artist Maria-Margaretta's territories of origin and ancestral lineages is now on at La Centrale galerie Powerhouse.
- Cafe Cleopatra's Bareoke, the only karaoke night in town where you can get completely naked while singing your favourite song, is going down.
- Did you resolve to get out and be more active? Explore the mountain by snowshoe and city lights with Les amis de la montagne.
- Or maybe take it easy this weekend and pay a visit to the city's newest English language bookstore, Pulp Books—they helped us in a pinch during Christmas shopping.
- Have you been to the Centre d'histoire de Montréal (aka the MEM), a museum is dedicated to the history of Montreal?
- Mike DeeRay of the Montreal band Caught In The Rye is going to be performing folk and country classics at the energetic Bar Social Verdun.
- A Pop Art collection's now on view at the MMFA, bringing together works by Canadian artists associated with the movement alongside contemporaries including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Eduardo Paolozzi.
WHAT TO EAT & DRINK IN AND AROUND MONTREAL
Scope the latest restaurant openings, recommendations on where to eat, plus new menus, old classics, and everything in between.
- Bistro La Franquette's hosting ex-Joe Beef chef Dave McMillan on January 6th and 7th with a DAVE MCMILLAN FIGHTS INFLATION dinner, 3 courses for $65.
- A new Taiwanese cuisine restaurant, Cuisine Formosa, is doing a lot of classic rise and noodle dishes at their new digs near Guy-Concordia metro.
- Jun Jun, a modern Filipino food restaurant, is set to open in just about two weeks now next to Little Burgundy's Junior.
- Yer'mad Bistro Bar's now hosting Breton nights on the first Saturday of every month, starting this week. Go grab a glass of cider and a crêpe in good company.
- Saint Henri's Tropikàl is now hosting Kulture Saturdays, where DJs will keep you in good company while you eat up a pan-Caribbean menu.
- Get a taste of Madagascar and its Malagasy cuisine over at 325 F, a restaurant opened early in 2023 on Masson.
- Don't miss out on what claims to be the "most popular (all-you-can-eat) hotpot franchise in North America" over at Liuyishou.
THE BEST OF 2023 & WHAT'S TO COME IN 2024
What were the biggest movers and shakers of Montreal's dining and bar scenes last year? What about its hardest-hitting closures? And what can we look forward to in 2024?
Who better to get answers to these questions from than the people who eat and drink it all up for a living: Here's what local writers, critics, photographers, and bloggers had to dish on in 2023, from their favourite meals & cocktails to the chefs and new addresses that had the biggest impact on their year of dining out—plus what they'll miss the most, and what they're looking forward to in the coming year.
Here, you'll find a weekly round-up of the latest local news, from entertainment to current affairs and more.
You may have noticed that Montreal's bigger venues keep changing their names, and it's largely to keep pace with their need to maintain new sponsorships so ticket prices stay relatively the same. (Montreal Gazette)
Survival of the steamiest 🌭
This legendary Montreal eatery has been able to stay in business for so long by changing as little as possible and focusing on making the best steamie on the island—but is that enough to keep Montreal's second-oldest restaurant open for decades to come? (CBC Montreal)
A harsh way to start 2024
Brasserie T! announced its immediate closure yesterday and that 130 workers were laid off. The co-owners, lauded chef Normand Laprise and his partner Christine Lamarche, made the announcement in a news release, citing operating costs, the negative impact of inflation and staff turnover. (CTV News)
Future-gazing about food and crystal balling booze
Recently, local food stylist Daniel Chen posted about some upcoming food and drink predictions for 2024, so we asked, "care to elaborate?" As a professional who's all about food, we not only liked Daniel's ideas, but thought he'd know a thing or two about where how we're eating and drinking might be heading. (The Main)
And that wraps yet another weekly bulletin. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week.
If ever you catch something we should know, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Instagram.