#2017bestnine x3

So it turns out I’ve misunderstood the concept of “#2017bestnine” where you’re supposed to showcase your top 9 photos of the year, which received the most likes. My understanding was that I should showcase my best 9 photos, according to me; oh well. Therefore, I chose to separate my photos into three categories: Montreal restaurant pics, travel pics and homemade meals, as those are the 3 topics that I focus on (and this also allows me to showcase more photos!).

#2017bestnine Montreal Restaurant Pictures

109865A7-97B9-47E0-A322-8B2F1F045F7A.jpgLike last year, this collage was the hardest to make, as I enjoyed so many delicious and delectable restaurant meals and even more so through my blogging. However, there are only nine squares available in the collage and so here were the 9 best (definitely biased, based on my taste buds). From left to right:

  • Grilled octopus from Bistrorante Boccone – One of the last restaurants I had the pleasure of eating at in 2017 was Bistrorante Boccone. Alex ordered the grilled octopus as a starter and it was sinply amazing. The octopus was grilled to perfection, super tender and the garlicky lemony olive oil vinaigrette was the best. For my full review click here!
  • Sushi lunch special from Saint Sushi Bar – If you’ve got sushi cravings, you can’t go wrong with Saint Sushi. Their sushis are all super fresh and delicious; my favorite sushi spot in Montreal!
  • Bajoues de boeuf from Quindici – I don’t often order meat at the restaurant, but I would definitely order this dish again. The beef was just so tender and juicy, it was definitely one of the best beef dishes I’ve ever eaten, even better than a steak! For my full review click here!
  • Nduja pizza from Ristorante Pomodoro – Having never eaten nduja before, I just had to feature this pizza because it was just so good. The many dollops of nduja all over the pizza made it delicious and the pizza itself was very good as well. Definitely one of my favorite Montreal pizzas! For my full review click here!
  • Cold octopus salad from Restaurant Hà – If you’ve read my restaurant review of Hà, then you’ve already read about this dish which was simply amazing. All of the balances if flavours and ingredients and spices was just phenomenal, especially in my mouth. This is most definitely one of the best salads I have ever eaten, if not the best.
  • Waffles from Le Passé Composé – If you’ve been following my Montreal foodie adventures, then you know that I typically go for eggs benedict at a brunch, so its pretty exceptional that I ordered a sweet brunch at Le Passé Composé. With that said, the plate was delicious; the best waffles I’ve ever had. The fresh fruits, caramelized maple apples and caramel sauce were all amazing and contributed to making this dish superb. For my full review click here!
  • Passionfruit tartelette from Le Blumenthal – Again, I’m not usually one to order a dessert, as I much prefer to stuff my face in savoury dishes, but the passionfruit tartelette at Le Blumenthal was absolutely perfect. The thick and rich passionfruit custard was so delicious, the buttery tart just perfect and the strawberry coulis the perfect balance to it all. This dessert was so good that I have been craving it ever since eating it and will definitely need to return in the new year! For my full review click here!
  • Beef pho from Pho Rachel – What’s a top nine restaurant meals collage without a warm bowl of beef pho? As you all know, pho is one of my all-time favorite dishes, so I was very pleased to discover Pho Rachel this summer, which is just around the corner from my new apartment. So whenever I feel like a warm, rich and flavourful bowl of pho, which happens quite often, I know just the place to go 🙂 For my full review click here!
  • Ricotta cavatelli from Ikanos – And last but not least, the ricotta cavatelli with Quebec artichokes, parmesan, garlic emulsion, pine nuts and Jerusalem artichokes from Ikanos. I had the pleasure of eating several mezzes at Ikanos, which were all divine, but my favorite of the night was the cavatelli. The pastas were so soft, light and fluffly, just like ricotta gnocchis, the garlic emulsion was just so delicious, as it wrapped up all of the other ingredients together. I loved all of the different textures and flavours together; the soft and smooth cavatelli, the soft but firm artichoke, the crunchy pine nuts, the crispy chips and of course, the sauce which brought everything nicely together. For my full review click here!

#2017bestnine Travel Pics

3ECCDA3E-284D-4E34-B86F-D5944B8C4A36.jpgSeeing as how I only went on one trip in 2017 (I don’t count a business trip to Vegas as a trip), this collage was pretty straightforward to make and includes my top Corsica and Sardinia travel photos, which you’ve all probably already seen as individual posts on my Instagram account. Well, here they are all together 🙂 From left to right:

  • Puerto Lopez Beach (Ecuador) – Jokes, there’s also one photo from my 2016 trip to Ecuador, as we were still there for the first week of January. So technically, it counts for 2017 🙂 I really liked the quiet fisherman village of Puerto Lopez and its beautiful serene beach – it was my favorite Ecuadorian beach destination. For more information on Ecuador, check out my travel blog post and my foodie blog post.
  • Bastia (Corsica, France)– My favorite town in Corsica was Bastia, for its beautiful and colorful port, the historical citadel and the nearby Cap Corse. Of course, the food was also spot on. For more information on Corsica, check out my travel blog post and my foodie blog post.
  • Corte (Corsica, France)– Although I’ve been to many European cities and seen quite a few castles and such, I was pretty amazed by Corte’s citadel/old castle at the top of a hill. From the view in the photo, it looks like an old Medieval Castle resting on the edge of an enormous mountain, but in reality, its a small hill that’s very climbable. I also really liked the other mountains in the backdrop, which make for an even more stunning photo.
  • Palombaggia Beach (Corsica, France)– This beach is known as Corsica’s most beautiful and popular beach and I have to agree; it was quite stunning with its white sandy beach and crystal clear turquoise waters.
  • La Maddalena Archipelago (Sardinia, Italy) – After Corsica, we headed off to Sardinia and even more beautiful beaches. As part of a La Maddalena Archipelago day trip, we went to a few different islands and saw many beautiful beaches. This particular beach was on the island of Spargi.
  • La Maddalena Archipelago (Sardinia, Italy) – As previously mentioned, we saw so many beautiful beaches while visiting La Maddalena, here is a second one, also on the island of Spargi.
  • Spiaggia Principale (Sardinia, Italy) – Spiaggia Principale (Prince’s Beach), named after the Aga Khan, is said to be the most beautiful beach of la Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) in Sardinia. It was most certainly a very beautiful beach, although a bit tricky to get to!
  • Castelsardo (Sardinia, Italy) – One of my travel obsessions is colorful houses, hence the stop in Castelsardo. There isn’t very much to do in this tiny village, other than sip on a cappuccino on a terrasse and admire the colorful houses from a distance. There’s also a very old castle at the top of the mountain which can be visited.
  • Bosa (Sardinia, Italy) – Another very colorful town in Sardinia is Bosa. We spent a good amount of time here, walking up and down the winding streets lined with colorful houses. Make sure to check back in 2018 for my Sardinia travel and foodie blog posts for more info on these beautiful places!

#2017bestnine Homemade Meals

E6892724-642A-47C1-A221-8B84AF54F03F.JPGI definitely didn’t cook very many fancy meals in 2017, especially not in the second part of the year (too many blog meals at the restaurant I suppose, poor me). I definitely want to cook more in 2018 and “develop” more recipes that I can share on my blog. Nonetheless, here are my highlights, from left to right:

  • Charcuterie and cheese platter – So easy to make and so yummy to eat. This barely consists of a homemade meal but the photo is really nice and the food is so good that I just had to pick it as one of my top homemade meals photos.
  • Linguine alle vongole – This dish was definitely one of my pasta obsessions in 2017, probably more so in the first half than in the second. But what is there not to like? Delicious pasta and clams cooked in a white wine reduction, yuummm.
  • BBQ grilled lobster – Another one of my all-time favorites: lobster. Its even better when grilled on the BBQ with garlic butter. Best time to eat lobster in Montreal is in May, during Mother’s Day weekend as that’s when lobster is at its cheapest (prices can range between as low as $5-$9 per pound).
  • Linguine alla carbonara – Yes, another pasta dish, another pasta obsession. However, this obsession hasn’t died down yet, as I am still making and eating this dish. Who could resist? Click here for my carbonara pasta recipe!
  • Salmon sashimi roses – One of the things I love most about sushi is raw salmon. Therefore, it comes to no surprise that I also love raw salmon on its own, whether it be in tartare form or sashimi. What’s even better with salmon sashimi roses is that you’re basically eating beautiful roses, over a delicious bed of cucumbers and avocado.
  • Sushi platter – Are you beginning to see a bit of a pattern here with my #2017bestnine homemade meals and my #2016bestnine homemade meals? Yep, there is definitely some crossover, as some meals are just too good that you have to keep on making them. One of the meals I do enjoy making a lot (and eating a lot too) is sushi. Click here for my sushi recipe!
  • Ricotta gnocchi in a sausage ragu – Not sure if you can tell that I like pasta, but 5 of the 9 highlighted dishes are pastas. I had made ricotta gnocchi once before and preferred them to the potato gnocchi, as I find them fluffier and smoother. I had some leftover sausage ragu in the freezer so I ended up serving it atop the gnocchi which was delicious.
  • Trilogy of ravioli – Since Alex and I hosted Christmas dinner this year, I chose to make a pasta entrée because I love pasta. I decided to fancy it up a little by making three different kinds of ravioli: portobello mushrooms, spinach and spicy Italian sausage. I also added a bunch of little extras to elevate the dish, such as: sautéed mushrooms and pancetta, purple sprouts and chives, which are unfortunately hidden by a parmesan tuile.
  • Braised beef ravioli – Last but not least, another pasta dish. My first experience with using cooked meat as a filling for raviolis was when I made some braised beef, ricotta and mushroom raviolis with leftover brisket Alex had made. The experiment was a success as the raviolis were delicious. I chose to serve these ones with sautéed asparagus and pleurote mushrooms, as well as a beef stock reduction. I did not, however, make the pasta dough from scratch, I used those pasta squares you can buy at the grocery store.

2017bestnine x3UP NEXT: ma critique en tant qu’invité de Grozépa et CONCOURS pour bien partir l’année ! (nouvelle brasserie urbaine à Rosemont avec menu à 5$ !!!)

*All photos are my own (or taken by someone with my device)

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