Nada Abou Younes and Sean Murray Smith's personal phoenix project carved from the old Les Deux Singes De Montarvie restaurant in the Mile End has been through a pandemic and back again; what sets them apart is how they did it. With intricate tasting menus, they weren't able to flip as easily to takeout, but instead bided their time and did amazing casse-croûte pop-ups during the summer up until they could unlock the doors on their dining rooms. Today, they're still keeping the bar amazingly high for dining in this town, and they're keeping it accessible by keeping prices below restrictive points. That's worth a lot of praise in our books.
Do you remember the feeling when the headline-making lockdowns and curfews across Quebec began to end? When permissions to go out and enjoy Montreal the way it was meant to be enjoyed—long evenings at dinner tables, on picnic blankets, at outdoor shows—started coming back?
We do. Sure, reopenings have been staggered, but the summer and fall of 2021 leading up to now have felt fucking magical in a lot of ways. When Montrealers were bundled up for drinks on terrasses the moment outdoor dining was permitted? When we could go see movies in theatres again? When interregional travel was allowed? This city was rejuvenated, and it knew it. There was so much happening and so much to do day in and day out that if you didn't already have plans, it was constant case of FOMO.
We want to celebrate that feeling, that energy that Montrealers brought to their love for their city and the people who make it great. Aligned with all the other Time Out teams around the world, we’re announcing our Best of The City award-winners for 2021. These are the scrappy entrepreneurs who push forward on their ideas no matter state of the pandemic, new and innovative events, and the old favourites worth revisiting among a constant influx of what's new.
Want to feel great about the future of Montreal? Read on…