Toronto ComiCon 2017 Recap (with guest: Drew’s Movie Reviews)!

Toronto ComiCon 2017 was from March 17 to 19th at Metro Convention Centre. I headed out to meet up with my awesome blogathon co-host, Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews who met me over there (just like last year). We stayed for a few days and picked up the weekend pass for ComiCon. Call it our little celebration for a successful blogathon, maybe it’ll turn into a tradition of some sort. Who knows, right? Our highlight was the ComiCon so this post will focus on some Q&A panels and cosplay, etc.

Before we start, what type of person would I be if I didn’t bring Drew into recapping Toronto ComiCon with me! When you see K, that’s for myself in normal font and D will be for his italicized part! 🙂

Day 1

K: First part of getting to Toronto ComiCon is to get there. Of course, I always forget that I can just keep Google Maps open so we didn’t get lost. There’s a huge apology somewhere here that I need to tell Drew how I got us lost a few times. I have a horrible sense of direction, something that I’m sure is super apparent, at this point. However, after a little detour, we did make it there! The first mission is coat check and picking up our tickets/weekend bracelet.

Toronto ComiCon

K: Next was a few hours to scour the Artist’s Alley and other Exhibitors as we wait for 7:30pm to start lining up for Q&A panel for Ray Park. We chatted with some artists and it was super inspiring and cool.

D: Visiting Artist’s Alley early was kind of an impromptu decision. It ended up working out really well because it allowed us to get a good idea of what prints and items we wanted to purchase, which helped us be more focused in the Alley on day 2.

Toronto ComiCon

K: Ray Park’s Q&A panel started a little late because of a delay in the photo ops but they came in with the whole troop (as you can see in the shaky video above). Ray Park was a cool panel. He was pretty insightful and kept it light-hearted as he shared little thoughts on G.I. Joe playing Snake Eyes and Star Wars playing Darth Maul among many questions on the floor. The best part was how he talked about he went into martial arts because he wanted to be in movies.

D: Ray Park’s panel was so much fun! He was such a laid back guy. One of the things he talked about that I really enjoyed was his experience as Darth Maul from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.  Star Wars is a huge passion of mine so getting to listen to his experience on playing one of my favorite characters was exciting.  He also talked about his early experience and how he got involved in martial arts and acting. It was a great start to the convention.

K: Actually, this ended quite in time for us to head back to the hotel, drop off stuff and grab something quick to eat and head out to see Beauty and the Beast for the late showing. Toronto movie viewing experience was definitely eventful. I almost saw a fight break out despite having assigned seating. Anyways, my review of Beauty and the Beast will be out on Thursday. 🙂

Day 2

 K: We started Day 2 with Casa Loma which I’ll share about tomorrow. By noon, we were back at the ComiCon for three panels in a row.

Toronto ComiCon

K: The first was the Gotham panel with David Mazouz (playing Bruce Wayne) and Sean Pertwee (playing Alfred Pennyworth).  This panel was pretty packed and we were sitting further back so the picture isn’t great however the talk itself was. I’m personally a fan of Sean Pertwee. He’s done some great roles and I love his take on Alfred. I haven’t quite caught up with Gotham (halfway through Season 1) but seeing how these two get along and respect each other as actors despite the age difference and experience really shows true professional and bond that spills outside of the show.

D: I have a bit of a confession to make, as much of a comic book and Batman fan as I am, I have yet to watch a single episode of Gotham.  Do not fret, it is very high on my to-watch list. This panel was purely Kim’s idea but it was a good one. After seeing these two at the panel, I am even more excited to watch their show now. They spoke with such respect for each other that is hard not to want to watch and see how that translates onto the screen.

K: Maybe I can bring Drew in to do a TV Binge of Season 1 eventually, if he’d like. 😉

Toronto ComiCon

K: Next up, immediately after the Gotham panel, was a first look at an upcoming web series called Deep Six. These are the cast and  crew. Its written about a story set 250 years in the future where both military and civilians are sent to scout out a planet to live on. Its focus is on the realistic take on the space aspects. I chose this one out of a whim and well, it turns out Drew knew the producer/director and some of the cast that wasn’t there on this show and it turned out to be a very cool choice to go check this out.

D: It sure was! As Kim mentioned, I knew of the producer/director, Davin Lengyel, from my absolute favorite web series, Space Janitors. I kind of lit up and started raving to Kim about how awesome of a series it is (sorry Kim).  However, the best part was I got to meet Davin after the panel and talked with him for a few minutes! The conversation made my day, which Kim didn’t hear the end of (again, sorry Kim).

K: To be fair, Drew had to endure some stupid moments during the night before watching Beauty and the Beast when I fangirled over “Something There” and then made an odd stupid giggle at my phone when I looked at the picture of the new little Animators’ Collection plushies when we were lining up, plus my amped up caffeine non-stop talking…if we’re talking apologies, I think I need to join in also.

Toronto ComiCon

K: After a small 30 minute window to grab a late lunch and take a quick walk, we went to line up for the last panel of the day with Agent of SHIELD’s Brett Dalton who plays Grant Ward. I’m going to be honest that I moved pretty much at the beginning of the series launch of this one and at my new place, I don’t even have bunny ears so no TV and that cuts out a lot if it isn’t even on Netflix so I’m about ten episodes into Season 1 and never had the chance to progress but this panel was Drew’s choice. However, its great that there was a ton of spoilers (in a way) which helped to understand the context but also some fairly entertaining questions like one about which Disney prince Brett Dalton wanted to be and which was his favorite Disney Princess, considering he was wearing a Mickey sweater, I’d say he is a big Disney fan also. Entertaining and fun doesn’t even begin to describe how cool this panel was.

D: Yes, this was my choice.  I am such a huge fan of the show that I couldn’t pass it up. Like Ray Park, Brett Dalton was very chill and easy going.  He answered every question with a mix of humility and humor.  Everything from how he began acting and what he liked best about his character on Agents of SHIELD to whether he was Team Cap or Team Iron Man. I even had the chance to ask a him a question! This was definitely a highlight panel for me.

K: The rest of the day at ComiCon after this was pretty much picking up the stuff we had seen and deciding what we wanted before heading out for dinner. You can check out my haul post HERE. Also, we managed to stop to take some pictures of cosplayers which you can see above. I’m obviously the more knowledgeable Toronto person (although I don’t venture to Downtown Toronto too much) but we ended up going to Asian Legend (which I’ve talked a ton about on the blog before already).

Asian Legend Asian Legend Asian Legend

K: My first actual complete meal over the two days. It was really satisfying plus it was a nice chat after we filled our bellies. We managed to get a few hours to relax at the hotel before heading out again for the Toronto ComiCon Cosplay After Dark party at Brassaii Lounge. It was nice to enjoy some nice music, grab a few drinks and converse in a loud voice. 😉

D: I left the dinner decision to Kim and she really came through! It was my first time eating at Asian Legend and everything was absolutely delicious.  I will be sure to look for one around me because it is definitely a place I would eat at again.  Besides my conversation with Davin Lengyel, the afterparty was another highlight of the trip for me.  We drank, we danced a little, and we had some great conversation as bloggers and friends.

Toronto

D: Our meet-up in Toronto last year was fun but I think this year was even better. I mean, as movie bloggers, we actually went and saw a movie together! The trip was well worth the travel and I thank Kim for being my guide through the city. 🙂

K: Toronto ComiCon was a definite success in my books. It was fun and complete as a blogger meet-up thing. Getting the chance to literally geek out and make friend with the same passions absolutely is one of the best parts of being a blogger over the years . This time was much cooler than last year because we managed to even grab a movie and went to a party other than just going to the main event and doing a touristic attraction.

Hope you enjoyed the recap of Toronto ComiCon. This new take was a cool way to put it together.
Before I wrap this up, I’d like to virtually raise a glass to a successful trip and most importantly, friends!
Okay, I’m getting mushy now…so, remember to drop by tomorrow for the look at our visit to Casa Loma.

Toronto Comicon Weekend Haul!

This past weekend was a fantasticLly awesome one as I headed out to Toronto for Comicon (just like last year). Its been a crazy process getting back and having everything cleaned and put away and getting back on routine so today, I am doing a simple one to talk about my haul.

I will take a few days this week (probably two) to share the Toronto experience because just like last year, as something of a reward or whatnot, I met up with Drew to hangout and visit Toronto and Comicon together. And just like true movie bloggers, we got in a movie as well amd even made it to a party (comicon related) as well as a sightseeing location. Lots of fun and a packed schedule but I think it turned out pretty great. Look for those posts while I get those new segments finalized (something I ran out of time last week for).

Lets check out what I picked up both before and at the Toronto Comicon.

Before the Comicon, I had a little bit of time before Drew arrived so I went out for a little shopping. I had a few stores on my list to hit and they were:

HMV
(because they are closing out of Canada so lots of discounts)

HMV

Disney Store
(never been to the one at Eaton Centre)

Disney Store Eaton Centre

David’s Tea
(spontaneously remembered  was running out at home)

David's Tea

Toronto Comicon was a weekend thing and we bought the weekend pass so we went on Friday to scout out the show and then did most of our shopping on Saturday after all the Q&A panels. Here’s what I picked up:

Movies & Video Games

I got a super sweet deal for Uncharted 4 at Iceman Video Games which was also there last year. I’m pretty happy about it. They had some awesome choices and selection.

However, I really want to talk about Raven Banner where we stopped by to look at horror movies. They were fantastic and we had a great talk about horror indie films in general. Not sure they’ll read this post but that chat was a highlight of the ComiCon for myself. It really defines why we do this movie blogging thing and meeting people who are equally passionate about this. It was a fun and enlightening chat.

Novel and Comics

Toronto Comicon

Let’s look at this from left to right.

  • Toronto Comics‘ Yonge at Heart is a Canadian comic author that sets in Toronto. This is a free preview to get a snippet of their comic for their Kickstarter campaign running right now till beginning of April, I believe. I saw them on Twitter before the trip and really liked the art style and the idea of using a Canadian setting. You can check out the Kickstarter here.
  • Remy’s Dilemma by Andrew Snook is a novel with this plot below from their website. A part of selling your work is being passionate about it. And Andrew does a great job at it. To be honest, his enthusiasm as he told his story and the joy he had recounting the story was so genuine that I could feel the awesomeness in the story. I haven’t started reading it yet but this looks like a fun journey with Remy especially when its set in two provinces in Canada that I’ve visited numerously  and live in.

The world is coming to an end. That’s what Remy believes, anyways. While double-checking his lifelong to-do list to ensure he has led a rich life, he realizes he hasn’t come close to completing his goals. Panicked and short on time, Remy embarks on a chaotic road trip to complete the most important item on his bucket list… – Snook Books

  • Moonshot & Titan from AH Comics: Moonshot is an Indigenous Comics Collection (Volume 1) with various stories from different artists. With the purchase of this one (inspired by my peaked curiosity after my playthrough of Never Alone a few weeks ago), they also gave the gift of their graphic novel Titan: An Alternate History, which is great because then they saved me having to decide on which one to get with my purchase.

Artwork

Foiled Art

Foiled Art makes this beautiful little pop culture pieces. They do a lot with gold or silver (or both for limited edition) but I honestly thought that this galaxy one looks superb. It really brings out the art and pops. This is going right over my work station at home because its so fantastically awesome!

Chasing Artwork

Howl’s Moving Castle by Chasing Artwork

I love love love Miyazaki art and Chasing Artwork is a great artist. There are two comics out currently which I passed up on but these pieces are so atmospheric and creative. I actually stood there pondering which to get. He also has one for Nausicaa which just took my breath away. I’m personally a huge fan of Howl’s Moving Castle so this one is great.

Archie Dan Parent

Betty and Veronica by Dan Parent (with autograph)

For those of you who don’t know (which you might not because I don’t review comics), I love Archie comics and really I haven’t looked much at the newer ones although they do look cool but these traditional ones. I know I have a few volumes sitting in a box after we moved. I just can’t remember where so I couldn’t take it with me but Dan Parent was there who does a ton of these illustrations. I particularly loved this print and look he signed it also. Consider me a little star strucked when I saw him because I wanted to say a ton and just couldn’t.

The haul could have been so much more. There was so many great writers and artists that the choice was hard to make. However, I retain the idea of picking up stuff from the ones that I skipped but has an Etsy shop or other form of online retail. I have to say this was a pretty successful weekend!

What do you think about the haul? Anything that catches your eye?

Cité Memoire: Daytime Trail (Circuit 2-60 mins)

Last week’s My Weekly Adventure, I had talked about this free historic event in Old Montreal. All you needed to do to learn about architecture and history of Old Montreal was to strap on your comfortable walking shoes and head out for 30, 60 or 90 mins, depending on what you liked and even choose day or night. There were different circuits for the thirty and sixty minute ones exploring different area of Old Montreal. If you didn’t want their circuit, you needed to get the app (you need whether or not you follow a circuit) and go the points of interest.

I have yet to do the nighttime trail but I have done the daytime trail. Its the Circuit 2 which runs somewhere near where I work and was a good after work activity.

Cite Memoire

What makes Cité Memoire so special, right? The point of it is that it is a free history lesson using modern technology (aka your cellphone) and using this year’s new favorite technology, augmentative reality. It is educational and is a good reason for a walk around Old Montreal and admire the city a little while having a little guide in your hands telling you where to turn and what the highlight is. I think its pretty nifty and I’m not even a tourist. There was some stuff I knew before but there’s also information that I never learned about. It isn’t like there is a Montreal history course in school, there is World History and Canadian/Quebec history.

What I’m going to do is take you on this Trail again! I didn’t actually snap a lot of pics on the trail so I went back to some of the locations.

BMO Building

BMO Building Montreal
And with augmented reality…

Cite Memoire
New York Life Insurance Building

New York Insurance Building
Place d’Armes

Cite Memoire

Molson Bank

Molson Bank

Canada Life

Canada Life Building
Merchants Bank Building

Merchants Bank
Gas Lighting

Gas Lighting
Saint Anne’s Market & Parliament Building/The Grand Trunk Building

Grand Trunk Building

St. Anne's Market

Centre D’Histoire de Montreal

Centre d'Histoire de Montreal

The Grey Nuns

Grey Nuns

Allan Building

Allan Building

Joe Beef’s Tavern

Joe Beef's Tavern

Berthelet House

Berthelet Building

John Lovell and Son Building

Lovell and Son

Lewis Building

Lewis Building

CPR Telegraph Building

CPR Telegraph Chambers
Centaur Theatre/The Montreal Stock Exchange

Centaur Theatre
The Old Custom House and Place Royale

Place Royale

De Maisonnveue’s Path and The First Seminary

wp-1474651872959.jpg

Notre Dame Basilica

Notre Dame Basilica
Aldred Building

Aldred Building

Here’s your walkthrough in pictures. I hope I got most of the buildings right. It was mostly by memory of the path that I took and little bits of historical things I retained. You’ll see some buildings will have American architecture influence like the last picture. Some will have European influences and others are just historical symbols of the city. Its sad that I can only do this mostly in the evening so some of the sculptures on the building like the gargoyles and whatnot, are not as apparent. I used to never notice them until this walk.

I hope that it returns next year. I’m not sure if it is still running now. Maybe the nighttime one? I’ll have to double check. But I’m hoping to go check out more if its still on if not, next year, I’ll be back out to learn more!

Festival des Vendanges 2016 (Magog, Quebec)

Summer is slowly coming to an end. This past weekend started cooling down a little with some breezes finally making its way into Montreal. Saturday was still a pretty humid day as we waited for the rain to get here but it is perfect for a small road trip out from Montreal, about an hour and a half approximately to the annual Festival des Vendanges 2016. Vendanges means harvest. This festival features a lot of local Quebec business. We had a lovely deal on Tuango for a discount on the “Prolonged Discovery Package” which had 40 coupons to taste what we wanted. We tasted mostly wines and ice ciders and you’ll see it in this post. On the other hand, we also ended up picking up some of them as well and you’ll see which ones at the end as well. However, it wasn’t just wine tasting. They also have local cheeses, baked goods, a variety of oil, balsamic vinegar, foie gras, jams, spices, tea and much more.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

First of all, let’s look at the crowd and imagine how much heat was generated in this tent alone…it was a little crazy.

Festival des Vendanges Festival des Vendanges

And they had these little basins to rinse out your tasting glasses.

Festival des Vendanges

Outside in other tents had restaurant terraces, seminars and little talks on different stuff.

Festival des Vendanges

Now lets get back to what we tasted. Just saying, I might have missed out a few because I walked away without a picture…

Vignoble de l’Orpailleur

Festival des Vendanges

On the left is an aperitif wine and the right is an ice cider by this winery. This was our first stop and it was so amazing. The wine had this hint of brandy/cognac sort of taste and when they described it to have a vanilla and spice aroma, it actually did. We’ve fallen prey to many bad descriptions on wine bottles but this one by the lady helping us with the tasting was spot on. Loved it! 🙂

Vignoble Chemin de la Riviere

Rosé, 2015

I’m a huge fan of Rosé wines. I’m always looking to find some really good ones. My husband encouraged me to try out this one. This one is pretty dry and the aftertaste was not exactly one I enjoyed. However, if you do like dry wines, this might be a good choice.

Domaine & Vins Gélinas

Festival des Vendanges 2016

Another ice cider next: this one was also really good. It had an original taste. The best ice ciders create a nice balance between the acid and sweet taste. This one does a super good job. I guess that is why its a Signature one. 😉

La Roche des Brises Vineyard

Festival des Vendanges

My husband tried this one. The distinct part of this is that it is a red ice wine. Its pretty original considering most are like apple juice colors because its either made by apples or pears. This one turned out to be very distinct in taste. The red texture made us wonder whether it was made with blackcurrants. There are actually a few of these at this festival.

Vignoble Morou

Festival des Vendanges 2016

Another try here for the next Rosé wine by Vignoble Morou called Le Rose des Vents. So…what to say? Remember the last one, I said it was dry. Well, this one was extra dry but, it had a very pleasant aftertaste. I guess pros and cons, right? I guess I’d drink this one much better since the aftertaste lingers much longer.

Vignoble d’Oka

Festival des Vendanges 2016

We tried the Ice Cider at the far left and the Rose Ice.

This place had really interesting sorts of wine. I kind of regret that I didn’t try the Rouge Berry Fruit Wine because that probably is my sort of thing. We tried the Rose Ice one and that one was on the dry side as well but it wasn’t quite as strong as the other ones. This is supposed to be served with ice and I didn’t have that so I wonder if it makes a difference. However, the ice cider blew our minds because it had this spice sort of smoothness to it.

Vergers Petit et Fils

Festival des Vendanges 2016

This ice cider from Verger Petit & Fils is pretty awesome. I think this one wins on the balance they create. It is more on the sweet side but has this nice acidity to it that makes it very nice.

Domaine Cartier-Potelle

Festival des Vendanges

Another ice cider added to our tasting! This one is pretty good. Not quite as distinct as the previous ones.

Domaine Le Grand Saint Charles (Vignoble & Cidrerie)

Festival des Vendanges 2016

A catchy logo, a nicely drawn out label for the bottle and an ice cider that wowed us. We both tried it and it just resonated in our minds. Its rare to meet a wine that not only has a really nice appearance but also has such a delicious taste. Unfortunately, this is one that we didn’t buy as you will see later because we didn’t have any cash on us and they didn’t take credit card, not to mention the line-up for the tastings was super long and there was just one guy super busy. Maybe we’ll visit the winery or check if we can get it on location if its not too far away.

That marks the end of the tastings! And for the haul…

Festival des Vendanges

We just came back from vacation or else we’d have bought almost all the ice ciders that we tasted but these ones won our hearts in the end, along with the last one that I couldn’t get at that moment. The tasting glasses came with the tickets so that is pretty cool. I actually already two from the year before last when I went to Le Grand Degustation. Actually this event was so fun that my husband is considering going to this year’s. That would be pretty cool.

Overall, Festival des Vendanges was tons of fun! Our Tuango coupon actually includes a deal for the coupon book as well as a discount on the entrance tickets.  I’ll be tell you all about the adventures to the different locations from restaurants to tastings and activities. It’ll be fun! It is valid for two years so tons of stuff to fill up our weekends gradually.

Vacation post tomorrow! Remember to drop by! 🙂

Montreal Comiccon 2016 Recap!

I finally made it back to Montreal Comiccon!

Montreal Comiccon

This year, I dropped by on Friday for pretty much the whole day. After a good thirty minutes (maybe more) of line-ups to get in. The main goal that intrigued me was to see as much as I can. Friday doesn’t have as many Q&A sessions that interest me but on the gaming front, which I’ve been focused on lately, there’s a lot to look at. For sure, I’ll have some outstanding cosplay costumes to show here and some booths because this year Playstation and Playstation VR was there along with Outlast 2. The set up was different from when I went in 2014 which you can see HERE!

Montreal Comiccon

For those who don’t know, Montreal is known for many things and one of those things are also the gaming industry with big companies like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros and recently Bethesda, all having their offices here. Not to mention games like Red Barrel Games for Outlast also headquarter in Montreal. That’s not even including the independent gaming companies popping up. While gaming may not be your thing, there are still lots of pop culture bits that I checked out.

Are you ready for the Montreal Comiccon recap? Let’s go!

The entrance I went through started me staring right at this and I knew Montreal Comiccon was now at a whole different level this year!

Supernatural

And right behind it was this which had me even more excited since I had planned on checking out the live demo session later on in the day. Of course, I tweeted about it on Game Warp.

Montreal Comiccon

Outlast 2 Demo

The first regret was that I didn’t line up for this when the line was acceptable. Later on in the day, it was just crazy that I decided to simply skip it and just experience it through the live demo.

Of course, this meant that I did a quick run through the show floor to get a good idea of where everything was to better work out the time. Other studio booths there included these three below and also one with Mass Effect.

Montreal Comiccon

Deus Ex

Montreal Comiccon

Playstation and Playstation VR

Montreal Comiccon

Warner Bros Games

Eventually, the final stop was at the indie games corner that had a good bit of booths bustling with people trying out the games. Some of the games were already released and others are upcoming. I ended up taking a quick walk around to get an idea to see how many games and what caught my eye.

The first game that I managed to try out was Rise of Balloons by Mirum Studios.

Rise of Balloons

This was an impressive little game with a little girl walking around following a red balloon and making balloons to solve puzzles of how to give children on the map balloons to create happiness. Its a cool concept and the developers themselves were exceptionally enthusiastic.

Most of the booths were full so I ended up landing on a surreal first person walking simulator called Anamorphine by Artifact 5. The devs themselves were not there when I tried the game but I did get to sit down and try their short demo. There’s something here that I look forward to seeing the full game which should be released in early 2017.

Anamorphine

After just walking around checking out a few of the games watching other play, I went off to check off in more detail some of the show floor with the artists and merchandise and other nifty things like these props for photos.

Montreal Comiccon

Jurassic Park jeep

Montreal Comiccon

It was shortly after this that I ended up bumping into a friend who was part of a panel later on in the evening but ended up also getting asked to host the VR panel. If some of you listen to our Game Warp podcast, we are no doubt skeptical about VR but interested in learning more to maybe convince us to believe in the technology and how amazing the experience is and that it is worth the price tag. I had already been debating about going to the panel so this was a final push.

Montreal Comiccon

VR Panel

It was enlightening to listen to for the fact that a lot of details were talked about. I had never heard of Google Daydream for one and its something I want to look further into. Also, there was a lot of VR being useful in other fields and not just gaming. Its a tool that could improve certain practices. They also address the question of how to talk through to the people like myself who they say, and I quote, are “curious and skeptical”. Its definitely made me think a little more about it.

Leaving that conference, I also walked by the Retro gaming corner run by Retrogamer.ca. Let me tell you: it was retro alright from the old school consoles to their little TVs and the screens.

Montreal Comiccon

Retro Gaming Corner

After the panel, there was still a little time before the next one so I headed back to the indie game corner, hoping that the crowd might have thinned a little. This time around, I tried two more games. Some booths were less in the line-ups but still full. Here’s the two that I checked out!

There was Bomb Conflict by Maitop Games which is another mobile game that played a little like those labyrinths we used to tilt except it was solving a puzzle. I played a few levels and it was alright. Its already released so I’m going to be checking that out a little more.

Bomb Conflict

The last game I managed to check out was Open Bar by Gingear Studio which is also released.  This is a cocktail theme puzzle game.

Open Bar

Finally, the last booth I did check out was from a local author that is writing books that play like video games. If you like that concept, you have to hear this out. His third book is coming out soon but its essentially a story that is set up with a plot and main character and the abilities are for you to choose. With your choices, you flip back and forth (like Choose Your Own Adventure) except I believe the abilities you choose for your character affects what happens as well. There are multiple endings. The series is called Determine Your Destiny and I got the second book called No Return Land. The author is called Jeff Storm and when I talked to him, he told me that he’s a teacher and his students that don’t really enjoy reading liked this series because they got to choose and be the hero of the story. I’m really excited to try this out even if this was meant for kids.

Montreal Comiccon

Time limits and all that, I couldn’t go back to Comiccon because of reasons in an upcoming post but there are other games that caught my eyes but I’ll be diving into those over at That Moment In soon.

Next panel was about to begin and its time to head over and it was for the live demo of Outlast II. Red Barrel Games was there to talk a little as they got a gamer to play it live for them. He was really funny even though the demo itself was pretty atmospherically creepy.

Montreal Comiccon

 This ran late and ended up affecting the following event, Creator’s Night. However, I’m not going to touch much on this as I did a full recap over at That Moment In right HERE! Although it did run incredibly over the expected time, it was a pretty cool show and featured some intriguing games (to say the least).

Before I let you go, I can’t leave without showing you all the cosplay costumes that I caught. I apologize that some pictures are at a wrong setting. Those are because I forgot to make the changes as I went from panels to the area with lots of natural light. However, it doesn’t diminish how awesome the costumes were!

That’s the end of the Montreal Comiccon recap! 🙂
Which is your fave costume from above?

Grand Prix Weekend!

This past weekend was tough. Lots of sad and tragic news.  In Montreal, it was also Grand Prix weekend. Much like usual tradition, I went out to walk around the events in downtown after work on Friday evening with some friends. There are usually cars on display, free tasting, loud music and lots of people.

People with fancy cars bring them out and same goes for some nice motorcycles.

Grand Prix on Crescent (and Peel)

As we were waiting to cross the street to the festivities, this motorcycle caught my eye. I have to say, its unique.

Motorcycle

Heading into the festivities is always a surprise even if we always know its going to be packed with people.  What was nice was that the sun decided to show up despite it raining almost the entire week. It was definitely cooler than usual and the weekend only got chillier.

Grand Prix 2016

This year, the cars were sparse but here are the ones that caught my eye between the two streets and the cars parked in front of Ritz-Carlton Hotel for what I assume is a function. This year the star was McLaren.

Palm Bay Free Sample

Palm Bay Grand Prix 2016

I usually don’t try a whole lot of stuff but apparently I could try Palm Bay which is a sparkling alcoholic beverage. The one I got was the Cherry Lime flavor. It felt a little like drinking Smirnoff but with a bit more zest because of the lime flavor in it. Its not too bad. Probably not my choice beverage based on personal preference but if I was back in my university days, this would be totally what I’d go for.

Music

Grand Prix 2016

No idea who the band was on stage but they were definitely rocking it out. Usually, I’m not a huge fan of the artists they choose but this year was alright. I enjoyed it! Although, we only walked by and didn’t really stop to listen or anything.

That was Grand Prix! We took a short walk and the other street was mostly Porsche’s and its there almost every year so nothing special. There was lot more VR gaming booths this year for racing stuff.

Its always a fun little event to go to just to get in on the action a little even if we don’t go see the actual race. Its also a good reason to hang out with friends since everyone has work and/or school, and whatever other obligation that just limits the time we have to see friends more frequently.

MTL a Table: Le Petit Opus Café at Omni Hotel

We’re in MTL a Table now! Can you believe it? Events and events, right? 😉

This MTL a Table event, we have 4 restaurants, which I think is one more than last year.  I’m not sure but I think so. We also have a little six month baby in tow as well so our restaurant choice had to be very careful.  It took us a while to plan it all out but these 4 had very interesting menus, fit my allergy restrictions and also was a tad more baby friendly. We’re in business.

First up was on Halloween night.  We made our choices carefully because we feared for parking, which ended up not being too much of an issue as we found a spot in a side street across from the hotel where this restaurant was at.  Our restaurant of choice is Le Petit Opus Cafe in the Omni Hotel on Sherbrooke West with North American cuisine.

Hotel Omni

Hotel Lobby decorations

Hotel Omni

Halloween decorations in restaurant

What we usually try to do is order everything on the menu so that we can get a good look at what it is. Its better with more people but we were four for this one and we managed to see everything. There was one item on the menu that was removed in the 2nd service but its all good.

MTL a Table/Taste MTL: Le Petit Opus Cafe

Wine

Le Petit Opus Cafe

Dreaming Tree, USA

Our meal was paired with certain sorts of wines to match it but this one intrigued me the most and everyone thought it looked interesting so we had a bottle. I’m sure you can get why I like it 😉 It had a very smooth texture: a little sweet and not dry at all.  Which is exactly how I like my Riesling 😉

1st service

Le Petit Opus Cafe

Pan-seared scallops with *green pea and butter puree, apple chutney, bacon and maple vinaigrette

Le Petit Opus Cafe

Chicory and endive salad with blue cheese, walnuts, poached pear and white balsamic vinaigrette

*my entree was without green pea and butter puree as I’m lactose intolerant

The scallop was super delicious.  The mix of the apple chutney was great.  Only one of us took the salad and he seemed to be okay with it.  I think its very strongly based on how much you like blue cheese.

2nd service

Le Petit Opus Cafe

Deer osso buco, pimbina and Labrador tea risotto with hazelnut and orange zest gremolata

Le Petit Opus Cafe

Beef bavette with vegetables

Le Petit Opus Cafe

Nagano pork chop with *garlic mashed potatoes, Brussel sprouts with bacon and pecans, sauteed apples and apple cider sauce

*Garlic mashed potatoes were removed due to lactose intolerance and in its place, I had more vegetables.

Nagano pork chops are awesome.  This one was done perfectly and it was super tender and tasty. It was too fat either but it just melted in my mouth.  The vegetables were perfect as well full of variety with some green beans, asparagus, Nantes carrots and baby turnips.  The bacon was so delicious and added a nice extra taste.

My husband had the beef bavette with vegetables.  This choice is not on the menu but we had remarked that one of the choices, specifically the mixed grilled plate which looked fantastic,was removed and the waiter was no aware so he asked and they accommodated with this one.  He liked it except he didn’t ask for it to be cooked well enough but it was tender.

I had a taste of the osso buco which I considered getting also but the risotto would have had quite a bit of change with the milk removed and whatnot so my friend’s husband took this one.  The piece I tasted of the venison was very good. It had a nice braised meat sort of texture and quite flavorful.

3rd service

Le Petit Opus Cafe

Warm apple tarte tatin served with *french vanilla ice cream and local carminée apple reduction

Le Petit Opus Cafe

Paris-Brest

*French vanilla ice cream was changed to raspberry sorbet

I had the apple tarte tatine and it was really good.  I’m a huge fan of apple flavored desserts.  Its sad that I couldn’t try the french vanilla ice cream. That is quite original but I do like raspberry sorbet.  This one was perfectly sweet but leaving a bit of sour/tart taste.  It worked really well with the apple reduction on the side.

My husband had the Paris-brest.  In case you don’t know, Paris-Brest is a French pastry made with choux pastry and praline flavored cream (Wikipedia).  He thought that it was rather maple flavored and thought it was okay.  I wonder if it was too much for him.  He wasn’t very specific.  He enjoyed it okay.

Overall…

My meal for all three services were pretty great.  I liked all of it really well and the taste was rather spot-on.  I think what I love even more than the food and would make me come back is the service.  Its hard for restaurants, especially during the MTL a Table set menu to make changes on the spot but they were fantastic and knowing my allergies, adding in the lactose intolerance and modified every service so that I could eat almost all the choices without an issue.  That sort of service is actually quite rare so I appreciated it a lot. Part of a great eating experience is the service and this place is really  awesome.

A great way to start this food festival!
Look out for the next restaurant visit on Sunday! 🙂