My Weekly Adventures: Family, Friends & Events

Its been a month everyone! I had to make the executive decision to skip last time because well, the end of June was kind of sad with not much going on. Seeing as the first part of July had just enough to pair it up, here we are!

A note for some things below. Events are in town and in the next two weeks, the main focus going into August will be on Fantasia Festival. However, you will see that I have other posts planned that aren’t all about movies in case you followed this blog for some of the other hobbies that I have and share around here! I have a lot of stuff planned from books to TV series to gardening and other cool stuff. Plus, most of the projects are still going on so busy but fun stuff coming up! 🙂

Let’s check out whats been going on this past month!

Family Visit

Le Cartet

Last month, I had some family come to visit. We ended up going to one of my favorite breakfast restaurants in Old Montreal called Le Cartet. I’ve probably already talked about it before. Either way, they loved it and its always a great time. Most of my family has moved away from Montreal so its always so fun to have visit and catch up.

Battle of Ingredients: St-Jean BBQ

battle of ingredients

Check out the full post HERE.

Our first summer BBQ of this year was on the St-Jean Baptiste day for Battle of Ingredients. We have decided to lower the frequency just for less stress however, it still a ton of fun to get together and hang out. I actually have some fun ideas for next time if it happens to BBQ again (which I believe it is for now). It was a tad rainy this long weekend but it didn’t bother us too much.

Canada Day, Heat Wave & Pool Time

Pool time

Shameless selfie time! Sorry about that but I didn’t really take a lot of pictures of swimming. Haha! Good news is that the pool is FINALLY opened after last year’s absolute nightmare. Everything seems to be going well and all the credit goes to my husband figuring it all out. Lucky because it was a record-breaking weekend hitting well above the 40s degrees Celsius. We don’t have air conditioning system so we just rigged our unit with a fan to get the cool air around the house. Luckily it worked pretty well. Along with time in the pool, it was a lot of fun! I’m one of those people who love water. It makes me so happy when I’m just in water or near water hence why I love hiking and being near rivers, lakes, creeks, streams, and especially waterfalls!

Montreal Comiccon 2018

Montreal Comiccon

You can the recap of Montreal Comiccon HERE.

I am so grateful to get the media pass again this year for Montreal Comiccon. For the first year, I angled one week of my vacation here so I actually went for all three days of the comiccon weekend. It was a ton of fun. Maybe a little crazy to get all the coverage done in a timely fashion for That Moment In but it all was finished and I thought it turned it pretty alright. There was a lot of see and the Q&A was absolutely awesome. I actually am still working on getting some of the Q&A audio edited for my own channel but if you want to hear the audio for Shadow of the Tomb Raider Q&A and understand French, its on the Game Warp channel and for your convenience, the video below.

Dinner with Friends

La Fuschia

Vacation is the perfect time to catch up with friends. The first dinner was a meet-up with Phoebe and her family before the opening film of Fantasia Festival. We finally had my husband go try out their best-kept secret restaurant called Fuschia at Lasalle College. Its never disappointed and let me tell you, the meal was fantastic. So I’ll have that post go up finally since I’ve been respecting their desire to keep it a best-kept secret but they gave me the okay for this time. 😉

Restaurant Bohemia

Second dinner was just yesterday. My monthly hangout with the girl friends have been a lot less this year because everyone is just so busy with different transitions and personal life and whatnot. We finally met up for a dinner at this little Czech restaurant called Restaurant Bohemia. I’ll have a full post on it also going up soon. It’ll be little things to cut between all the movie reviews in case you aren’t here for that.

Fantasia Film Festival 2018

Fantasia Film Festival Fantasia Film Festival

Fantasia Film Festival is officially in town. Like last year, I had a media pass approved and so incredibly grateful for it. I have a fairly intense schedule the starts up next week. I only managed to fit in two movies as I try to get a lot of my house stuff done before the intensity really kicks up. You know, real life needs to be taken care of. I felt a little bit bad of skipping out a lot of the screenings this weekend but life doesn’t stop for this even if I love it so very much.

However, two reviews have already been up. You can check it out below

Nightmare Cinema
Playing Hard

The next two and a half weeks is going to be intense. I plan to review about 20+ films in total so next week alone, there are currently 11 screenings planned tentatively so if it all pans out, it’ll be my busiest week of the festival and I’ll get the reviews uploaded. All reviews will also be over at That Moment In. Actually, we are aiming for almost full coverage at That Moment In because of some arrangements. So head over there and check out what David has going on over there as he reviews some other movies at Fantasia that I won’t be able to make it to like this one:

La Nuit a Dévoré le Monde (The Night Eats the World)

I will retweet all of those reviews so either subscribe to That Moment In to not miss out or just follow me on Twitter @tranquildreams_

As for what’s planned, here is a list of the movies I’m aiming to go see in alphabetical order :

Anna & the Apocalypse
Big Brother
Bleach
Cam
Fireworks
Kasane
Knuckleball
La Quinceneara
Laplace’s Witch
Luz
Nightshifter
Our House
The Outlaws
Pledge
Searching
Under the Silver Lake
The Vanished

I’m hoping to fit some more in there but I doubt that sounds remotely possible as my actual paying job will be hitting some crazy work phase by the end of July. Gotta pay the bills after all 😉 Still, I’m more than happy with the schedule here and if it all works out, I’ll already be super pleased! I have a rule to have quality instead of quantity so excuse me if some double day film watching days have a little delay in the review going up.

Cute Kitty Pic

cat

Thats it for this “Weekly” Adventures!
What have you been up to?
Any cool events going on where you are? Some fun summer plans? Perhaps vacation in the horizon?

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Fantasia 2018: Playing Hard (2018)

Playing Hard (2018)

Playing Hard

Director (and writer): Jean-Simon Chartier

Playing Hard is a 2018 documentary that takes a look at the development journey of the core team involved with the 2016 Ubisoft game, For Honor.

Making games is hard. It is a fact. The shiny new AAA game that we pick up (that perhaps at times feels slightly overpriced) on the shelf goes through years upon years of development from the first pitch, finding the right person with the right passion and ideas to build a convincing concept to having a small team that will get them greenlit to get the bigger team for a full development. Then of course, there is the deal of meeting the deadlines and see reactions and the final crunch to the big finish line.

Playing Hard could have taken the route of just looking at the fundamentals and the journey, which it does to a certain extent. It delivers the viable information and follows every step of the journey. However, its main focus is on its core team: Creative Director Jason Vandenberghe, Producer Stéphane Cardin, Brand Director Luc Duchaine and in smaller parts, Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat. This 4 year journey is long and arduous filled with its victories and its hardships. Just like the battles they are building, the development process especially in a big company has its own do or die moments and a lot of the final decisions are not in their hands. As Cardin says in the documentary, “The clients are their bosses.” There are sacrifices and critical decision that they  have to be made and it affects each of them personally as they strive to fight for their resources and meeting the deadlines.

Playing Hard

One of the first things that makes Playing Hard good is that it aims to educate its audience. It gives us facts on the gaming industry and the market like how the profits are concentrated on only a small percentage of games and how game sequels are the main focus of many AAA markets because of its low risk factor especially with the tens of millions of dollars put into each project. It also combines with some information on Ubisoft as well and its structure. Its this information that places the importance of why putting together For Honor, an original idea from Jason Vandenberghe, which he had pitched numerous times before over ten years and starts very much like many games on the market, particularly independent games developers, to fill a void in the market that they believe should exist but haven’t been made and in this case, a game about warfare that aims to revolutionize the combat system.

On the surface, Playing Hard is about a literal and emotional journey of creating For Honor and the key people involved. However, this gives the audience a look at the inner workings at what goes into a AAA game. Some elements may be specific to Ubisoft but the people involved are artists and businessmen and they have to find a way to balance it all out. It gives an overview of how many of their challenges are the similar to the many indie game developers except a lot of those decisions may gradually be less and less in their hands as the team slowly moves into full development. It is a bittersweet journey for the people involves as disagreements and different degrees of passion and the stress turns each of them into their own worst enemy and breaks them apart. The struggle goes much deeper than just in their work as the four years grows into more stress and intensity as a gaming project the closer it gets to the release date takes over their own personal lives and in some cases, tears them apart mentally.

Playing Hard

On a deeper level, this documentary also talks about the negative views behind gaming. It looks at how this idea of goes deeper. It touches on the strength of building these games in a world full of war and violence already. The discussion mildly touches on reversing the assumption that violent games are a bad influence. Perhaps something to think about as Jason Vanderberghe explains “Anyone interested in how the world works will be interested in violence because violence is a natural consequence of conflict. Be fascinated and not need to express it.” This is just an example of some of the lessons of this documentary. It takes gaming into being more than just a simple entertainment but one that can deliver another way to express and fight back against the negativity. As Jason Vanderberghe mentions in the final bits, ending this documentary in a great way, “Entertainment is philosophy in motion.”

Playing Hard

There is no doubt that Playing Hard touches on delivering this game development journey effectively. It touches on many topics whether on the creative level and the decisions required as well as the stress of being the creative lead, the administrative and resources management as well as branding and marketing of an original project. The roles and point of views from Vanderberghe, Cardin and Duchaine gives a full picture of this process packed with their struggles and the side that no one ever sees.

The detail of the progress while intricate does sometimes feel like it drags on a little bit too long or lingers too long in one phase at some moments. Regardless of that, Playing Hard delivers quite well on educating about the inner workings of game development and the gaming industry and the behind the scene struggles that no one sees while seeing how nothing is quite as easy as it seems, whether its AAA or not, the creative process only changes in terms of scale but the journey might be more similar than some would imagine. It does leave us with something to think about especially if you are involved in this specific industry.

This review is also posted on That Moment In.

Montreal Comiccon 2018

This past weekend was Montreal Comiccon 2018, its 10th anniversary. The events were pretty awesome and there was so much to see in terms of cosplayers, Q&A, gaming panels and gaming zones of all kinds in general. I was about to get a media pass representing Game Warp/That Moment In which is always cool! With that said, its also the first year that I went for all three days!

If you missed the Montreal Comiccon 2018 Haul post yesterday, you can check it out HERE.

Sit tight because here is the complete 3 day recap so it might take a little while! I’m going to have a mosaic gallery for the cosplay at the end of the post if that is what you are interested.

Day 1

Monrtreal Comiccon 2018

Fridays are the short days at the conference and also the day that I tend to catch up with a lot of the stuff that needs to be done. More time consuming bits. This year’s Friday was extremely relaxed. Only one panel to catch so the first thing I always do is to scout out the layout of the exhibition floor, you know where the Indie Game Zone and Playstation, Nintendo, Artist Gallery, Comics and other Vendors, etc. I am horrible at reading maps so forget about the map to find where I was, I’m much better of doing landmarks and remembering where to maneuver from there. Hence, that strategy.

With that said, the first order of business for the media is of course, the Indie Game Zone! There was over 30 games. Some booths, or maybe a good majority of it was stuff I’ve seen before. I don’t cover it all here but I do over at That Moment In for Game Warp so I do head out to almost all the gaming events in Montreal. However, there were some cool new titles to see and whatever I didn’t finish, I left for Saturday.

You can find the full Indie Game Zone Recap HERE.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Montreal Comiccon

After that was heading off to the panel that wrapped up the day on Shadow of the Tomb Raider! There was a demo and new info and whatnot to get a good idea of what to expect. I was excited for it before the panel and lets just say, I’m feeling so much more confident and even more enthusiastic about it now.

You can see the panel recap HERE!

If you do speak French, I’m editing the panel audio that I recorded so people can listen to it. I have to cut out a part of it mostly because I’m not sure the restrictions so going to keep it safe and not put it up at all. Its going to be on Game Warp so you can check us out or subscribe if you’d like to make sure to not miss that or any other content there. Our channel is right HERE.

Day 2

Montreal Comiccon 2018

Day 2 had a lovely twist of event as my husband who originally planned on going on Sunday went on Saturday instead. We went to check out the remaining Indie Game Zone games that I had to cover and showed him some games to try that I thought that he would enjoy. After really just walking around the Artist Alley and showing him some art I thought would be lovely for our house and his opinion on the whole thing, we went off to the only panel for the day, Gotham Q&A with guests David Mazouz, Ben McKenzie and Morena Baccarin. I’ll have a recap linked at the bottom of the post after Sunday’s bulk of Q&A panels.

Dreamhack Gaming Zone

We also went to browse the Playstation, Nintendo and Dreamhack Gaming Zone booths. You can find the recap of that HERE.

Day 3

Moving onto the final day of Montreal Comiccon, it was all about panels. I had 3 back to back panels.

Montreal Comiccon 2018

Danny Trejo Q&A

The panel was Danny Trejo who is an icon in his own genre and pretty much has crossed all kinds of different movies in the many years he has been in the busy. It was a fantastic panel with so much fun and entertaining moments.

Montreal Comiccon

Pom Klementieff Q&A

Next up was the panel for Pom Klementieff who has gained a lot of fame for her role as Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Avengers: Infinity War. The panel was mostly questions regarding those roles except for a few in her performances in French or independent films.

Montreal Comiccon 2018

Jennifer Morrison Q&A

Finally, the last panel of the day was the one I was looking forward to the most because I’m such a huge fan of Once Upon a Time and it was Jennifer Morrison’s Q&A. Her fans of quite diverse as there were also there for How I Met Your Mother and of course, House. It was a lot of great moments here.

For the recaps of all the Q&A panels listed up, all four are recapped right HERE.

COSPLAY

Here you go! Can you figure out all the cosplays here?

This wraps up the Montreal Comiccon 2018 recap!

My Weekly Adventures 67: The Start of “Summer” Events

weekly adventures

Welcome to an evening edition of My Weekly Adventures!

This will be a fairly quick one! Like when I ended up my last Weekly Adventures, we overlapped a weekend and week of E3 activities so really, not that much ended up happening. However, there were some little fun bits that I didn’t blog extensively about either!

Let’s go!

Mont-Ham Hike

Mont-Ham

The second hike of the year goes to Parc regional du Mont-Ham. You can see the full post here.

It was a challenging and crazy hike but the weather was perfect and the scenery was absolutely worth every single hard moment. It was incredible. We are working on where to go for the next hike. Keep your eyes peeled, it should be happening in a week or so, well for the long weekend if we can manage to fit it in  one of those days.

We are heading into July and it might turn out to be hard to get a hike in but we’ll try 😉

F1 Grand Prix Weekend

grand prix grand prix grand prix grand prix grand prix

Honestly, what is there to say? I usually do a separate post for Grand Prix but, its been fairly underwhelming. Porsche is always the heavy hitter and I’ve seen a lot of Lamborghinis around town. They are all pretty cars but you know, the variety is lacking from say, what the event had years ago. The event has expanded to a few locations now so that leads to the festivities over in the park where it had some electronic music going from Piknik Electronique and some food stalls…

Charlie’s Shack & Lobster Rolls

One of the things I love about Montreal events in the last few years is the food. This time, I had a lobster roll at Charlie’s Shack and boy, was it ever so delicious!

A Little Shopping

I love Buy 3 Get 4th Free sale at Indigo. Its very irresistible! 🙂 At least now I can catch up with my Archie graphic novels and also managed to get the Quebec National Geographic book for sale. We are already getting some long-term travel plans set and looking to see if there are some locations for day trips to hike or sightsee. Maybe some hidden gems.

Cute Kitty Pic

tabby cat

That’s it for this quick round of My Weekly Adventures!
Its been definitely less productive here than usual, but I’m trying to get a ton of stuff done.

What have you been up to?

Salon des Metiers d’Arts de Montreal Haul & Recap

smaq

And its the final weekend for Salon des Metiers d’Arts de Montreal. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the show this year, well, there’s probably next year since its been going for quite a few years already. Granted the structure has changed quite a bit in their vendors and such, its always a fun tradition to go every year and just see whats there and look around. This year, I was holding back on spending too heavily and particularly the food and wine area had much less choices so it helped a lot.

SMAQ 2017

Unfortunately, I didn’t end up picking anything too different from previous years. I will however highlight some cool vendors that I saw to change things up a bit. Just because I can’t afford it right now, doesn’t mean that I can’t share some unique ideas and products that I would have totally picked up something if I had the chance in the future. I’ve been really into highlighting local art and food and all that sort of stuff lately. Just goes to show that you don’t need to speak perfect French or be hardcore Quebecois all for separation to support the things you love about the beautiful city and province.

Let’s check it out!

Haul

SMAQ Montreal

The first visit to the Salon was all about the food. I picked up:

  • Cidrerie du Minot – Des Glaces: Winter Harvest (Limited Edition)
  • Coach House Shortbread: Ginger
  • Coach House Shortbread: Almond & Sugared Rose
  • La Nougaterie: Christmas
  • La Nougaterie: Lavender
  • La Nougaterie: Classic
  • La Nougaterie: Dark Chocolate

Everything here is really very typical. I actually skipped out on Cidrerie du Minot last year however I did remember liking their ice ciders a lot the year before so I ended up picking the Winter Harvest (Recolte Hivernale) up which is something of a reserve product and it has some delicious flavors. We’re a big fan of the La Nougaterie nougats and this year, they brought back the Christmas and had the Dark Chocolate which I totally love. As for the Coach House Shortbread, its a big favorite for the holidays as it is smaller cookies and work really well to share with friends and just take little bites that melt. Its so awesome. Ginger is my normal fave flavor but I remember trying out almond and sugared rose last year (and this year) and it was really good as well.

The second visit to the Salon happened yesterday with my co-worker (as we usually do go together) and we check out the art and craft area instead of the food part. I ended up picking up a few things:

Pottery Hazama

Pottery Hazama

I’ve put off buying from Pottery Hazama for a few years and finally this year, I decided to buy one. There are a few different designs like hearts, cats and christmas trees. This year, they had a star design. The designer told me that it represents good fortune (or something along the line). It looks beautiful and I just couldn’t resist and its hung on the Christmas tree now.

Ana Maria Dessin

Ana Maria Dessin

I’ve been searching for a wallet for a long time. My wallet is actually falling apart but to find one that fit everything I had in there as well was always a challenge. Then I saw Ana Maria Dessin at the show and originally I was captured by the hot air balloon print originally but then I turned around to take a second look and saw the floral collection which leads to me finding this wallet which is exactly what I want. After thinking for it long and hard, since it is $68CAD for it, I went back to get it especially because its made with leather and print canvas and the design said that its very durable. I’m sure hoping it will be because I love it.

Places I Love
(but put on the backburner)

SMAQ

  • De Tete et De Bois: This stall has been one that catches my eye every single year that I go except I never can figure out where to put the little canvas if I end up picking one up. We still have art and puzzles to put on the walls so I can’t justify buying one yet. Hopefully next year I’ll sort it out and pick one up.
  • Sol Designs: I believe this one is new to the show this year and they had these really cool wood-looking purses. Its a very unique product.
  • Ju et les imparfaits: This store makes little lamps with wood bases and it looks absolutely adorable.
  • Fil de Fee: If you love hanging designs and cute fairies, this one is absolutely recommended. I saw them and fell in love with it.
  • Baltic Club: Stationery and gifts with some great design
  • Ana N Jay: Geometrical jewellery which looks so very cool.
  • Christophe Poly: Handmade Crono Design jewellery. I actually have a few of these but they designed some new bangles that are absolutely beautiful.
  • Lolipop: Blown Glass jewellery is what this place offered and has some nice designs and especially catchy colors.

That’s it for recap and haul for Salon des Metiers D’art!
I’m really happy with the stuff I got and wishing that I had more money so I could pick up some of the stuff I mentioned at the end one day.

My Weekly Adventures #55

The last two weeks of November has been somewhat of a whirlwind. I’ve talked about catching up with a lot of stuff and posts unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked exactly as I had planned but I’m working hard through it. Regardless of that, there was some fun times even though I’ve covered most of it in other posts.

Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade 2017

MEGA MTL

MEGA Montreal happened on the November 18th and 19th. It I did a quick recap about it while linking back to the huge recap that I did for the Montreal Independent Games Festival which was held in collaboration with each other. Suffice to say that it was fun. We do hit a lot of the gaming events but this event usually has the most games. While I only saw 40, apparently there was over 50 games. I read that in an article afterwards from the festival.

Kinto Ramen & Sugar Marmalade

Last Friday was a busy day. My friends and I met up after work to go grab some ramen in celebration for the cold weather. Soup-based noodles are the best for getting ready for any cold weather. We went to Kinton Ramen which I have written about before HERE. It was delicious although we had quite a wait and ended up being seated at the bar which was nice because you get to watch the kitchen in action.

Afterwards, we went across the street to Sugar Marmalade which is a Chinese dessert place that finally opened in Montreal a few months ago and has incredible line-ups. The line-up did help us digest the dinner so it all worked out. I’ll be posting about that soon.

Black Friday

If you missed my Black Friday Haul post, you can find it right HERE.

You will also find that I forgot to add my David’s Tea buy. I usually pick up Dragonwell tea however, to be honest, I’m more of a fan of Emperor’s Cloud and Mist at Teavana. Its the green tea they serve at Starbucks pretty much. My absolute fave even before Teavana got bought by Starbucks. Regardless of that, David’s Tea had a cool promotion which ended up to be that I picked up like 10g of an extra tea and ended up making my purchase less than when I bought two. Thanks to the customer rep for sharing with me that info. Its very nice. These are all new teas for myself. I have had Butterfly Jasmine before in another independent tea store when I was on vacation and liked it.

Christmas Decoration Begins

Since the weekend of November 18th, I’ve been getting together the Christmas decor in the house. I got the flowers in the vases done (fake flower displays) and centerpieces. I did a brand new wreath right here (which has been modified since this initial design) and the Christmas tree is up. However, we’re just a little way from the finish line to fix up the bannisters. I’ll have a Christmas decoration post coming very very soon!

Healthy Lifestyle Take…

I don’t know what take it is now. Since the 2014 surge of crazy where I managed to work out a ton and get in a really nice routine and then got hit with some ridiculous eye infections, I never got back on track. Maybe I did for the summer before I got married but then I fell out of it again. This year has been really bad and the last two months have really taken a hit of just all kinds of crazy which has affected how I feel a lot so I’m changing it up. I started up my Nike Training Club app and put in a 4 week program to get back into the training mode. I only missed 2 workouts so far with the final workout coming up today to wrap up the 4 weeks. Then I’ll be starting up the 6 weeks one. Its going to overlap the holidays but I’m sure I can shift the schedule around as this one is pretty flexible especially with their latest updates on the app, its polished it up quite a bit.

Indoor Container Update

A surprise gardening update! It was a last minute thing that I thought about this one. When I was closing the garden back in October, I ended up trying a second time to grow the pineapple sage in water and after doing a ton of research on what to use which they suggest tinted mason jars, I used my extra purple tinted jars leftover from my wedding centerpiece materials to get it going. It is doing great as it sprouts some new leaves and has some roots .

What is about the 3rd attempt to bring in the rosemary this year has seemed to work. Perhaps its because this year, the rosemary is much more developed and not just two twigs. I’m watering it sparingly and it seems to be pretty happy where it is. I’ve always had humidity problems with rosemary where it just drowns itself so its near a vent right now, hopefully it’ll help prevent that from happening again.

Cute Kitty Pic

Upcoming:

  • A lot of TV Binge
  • Holiday marathon announcement

This wraps up this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to? 

Dinner: L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon (Casino du Montreal)

L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon is a fine dining restaurant located in Casino de Montreal specialized in intricate French cuisine. As I mentioned in the Weekly Adventures before, my friend treated me to a meal there. Finding the way to the Casino is going to be the easy part, however, remember to look for the indications on the floor to get to the restaurant. Its a little up of going up and then taking an elevator down to its own little corner in the Casino.

l'atelier du joel robuchon

 Cocktail- Coco Hennessyto (I think that’s the name)

l'atelier du joel robuchon

I think thats how you spell it. This beautiful cocktail had some avocado puree popsicle topped above it along with some coconut milk and other fun ingredients. It is a fabulous and delicious twist on the mojito.

Bread starter

l'atelier du joel robuchon l'atelier du joel robuchon

As far as fancy restos go, this place gave you a platter of bread choices. My friend specifically had two cheese breads and they thoughtfully put it on a separate plate to not contaminate the other selections. In the big platter, there are mini baguettes, croissant-like buns, some ham stuffed bread and a spelt bread. I tried the mini baguette and the spelt bread.

Before we continue, I want to share what we took. I ambitously went for the “Experience” Tasting Menu. My friend took the “Seasonal” Tasting Menu which had two extra plates. I would later realize that eating bread was not recommended with the amount of food and the length of time it took to finish this meal. The length was 4 hours. Talk about an experience, right?

Do note that I will use the dishes listed in their menu and when I remember to list the changes they made for my lactose intolerance. Let me tell you, I gave the kitchen a run for their money judging from watching at the seat how they convened at the table. French restaurant and no dairy products except for butter is not exactly easy. As for my friend’s choice, I’ll see if I can share his instagram post for it.

To begin…

Velvety Jerusalem Artichoke Cream with Toasted Hazelnuts 
Replaced with…this (because I can’t remember what it is)

l'atelier du joel robuchon

However, I do remember it being incredibly delicious! The flavors and the everything was so perfect. Now if someone from the L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon lands here and sees this, how about you tell me what this is? (Fat chance of that happening, but hey, its a shot, right?)

Le Crabes des Neiges
Snow crab with finely juliened sweet and sour turnip with clover and rosemary honey

l'atelier du joel robuchon

Possibly one of my faves of the evening went to these little snow crab layers of goodness. It was a mystery how to keep it together to eat but I made my best effort and its just so awesome.

Le Foie Gras de Canard
Duck foie gras royale, tasty apple and raisin variation fine Le Carminee jelly

l'atelier du joel robuchon

Of the most loveliest presentations for this mean, however, I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of foie gras so I do partially blame the heaviness of this piece regardless of having the toasted slices or the currants to accompany. It was delicious if it was about half of this size. But foie gras is a very personal preference sort of food so if you like it, this probably is a decent amount.

La Chataigne
Fine chestnut veloute with smoked bacon over a delicate celeriac cream
replaced by this Artichoke dish cooked three ways with cayenne pepper

l'atelier du joel robuchon

To be honest, I have never eaten any foamed stuff before tonight. We’re more the diner and bistro sort of people. We love a nice meal here and there but nothing like these fine dining haute cuisine sort of things. However, as an entry point, this artichoke was fantastic, given that I haven’t eaten artichoke either before. There was a fried variety that was great, and the puree bit on the bottom was nice and I believe the foam is also the third way to make it. Its garnished with cayenne pepper and some sriracha mayo or something like that. It had a definite spicy hot punch.

Le Blanc de Fletan
Halibut filet with anise-flavored shellfish broth

l'atelier du joel robuchon

About this dish, I had to walk around a little before eating. The fish was delicious and it had this lovely fennel seafood bits around it including mussels and shrimps. It was made so very good. We rarely cook halibut but the broth and the whole thing was paired so well in terms of flavors. The seafood broth was absolutely on point.

Le Cochon Gaspor
Roasted pork rib, tenderloin glazed with jus over herb risotto

l'atelier du joel robuchon

The replacement here is that risotto is usually made with cheese however, they made this risotto with olive oil. Unfortunately, I only took two bits of the tenderloin before I felt like I was going to get sick from overeating even after walking around and standing about. I’ll talk about the experience at the end which I think contributed a lot to why ordering for meals like this one is different from ordering a la carte.

Back to the meal, this dish was very good. The pork was done so awesome. It was tender and juicy and the sauce was fantastic. I would have wanted to finish this one if I wasn’t so full. My friend did help me finish it and he loved it a lot.

The Dessert

l'atelier du joel robuchon

The original was a chocolate creameux with crumbled biscuits and cocoa sorbet which was replaced by something of a coconut delight. The sauce around it was really good. Then the whole feeling of cracking open the sugar coat around the coconut mousse or some sort of so satisfying. I usually find coconut has this tendency to be overpowering in its sweetness but in this case, it liked it a lot. This dessert felt like an experience in the whole eating journey.

l'atelier du joel robuchon

Finally, as the bill was being paid, they brought us some little tidbits of sweetness. My plate had a fruit jelly and a nougat.

For my friend’s seasonal tasting menu, here’s his instagram post on it.

OVERALL…

L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon was a pretty great experience. The food was impeccable from both the presentation and the flavors. It was very unique. The service was fantastic. They tried their absolutely best to accommodate to what I wanted. The tasting menu was a hard task to put together and they did a fine job. Kudos to our waitress and the kitchen for that. The cocktail was also incredibly original and I actually wanted to figure out how to make one at home. The experience of it all was nothing short of pure awesomeness. The atmosphere and the decor were beautiful and yet still had somewhat of a casual vibe.

However, if I were to go again, I wouldn’t order from the tasting menu. While I do enjoy my food and like to take my time, having a meal that lasts from 7:30pm to 11:30pm is not my idea of absolute fun even if my friend and I are long time friends and we always have stuff to talk about. Its more the idea of sitting around eating or waiting for food. With that said, because I had so much time for my body to digest every course, I felt my fullness much faster, resulting in how I just couldn’t eat anymore by the time the last course came around. Looking back at the pictures, it was a truly gastronomical experience which also means the portions are small. If they came swifter, I would have been able to eat through the whole thing (I believe, since I’ve never tried). With that said, if I were to go again, which I hope to take my husband for a nice night out one time, I’d go for the a la carte menu so both the kitchen and myself will not have any headaches over the lactose intolerance.

L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon is a great experience and if you are a foodie into the fine gastronomical cuisine, this is somewhere you should try for sure if and when you are in Montreal provided you don’t have children under 18 as its in Casino de Montreal.