OLD MONTREAL — Highly festive pop-up bar Miracle has returned to Montreal for its fourth year running. It’s sticking in Old Montreal, but with a new location, in Sunset Lounge at 131 de la Commune West. As with 2018, Kevin Demers (owner of bars Coldroom, El Pequeno, and Parliament) is heading it up, helped by several others, including Parliament chef Chanthy Yen on food. With cocktail pro Demers back at the helm, mixed drinks should be solid — most of them lean into the theme with options like a whiskey-gingerbread concoction, or the “Christmapolitan”, complete with spiced cranberry sauce in it. Expect lots of Christmas kitsch and ugly sweaters, too (there’s a party dedicated to them on December 2). A cut of proceeds will go to Opération Père Noël, which helps out disadvantaged kids (last year’s Miracle raised $20,000 for the Montreal Children’s Hospital).
PLATEAU — Buzzy St-Laurent Boulevard bar Blizzarts has undergone a rebrand. It’s now named Barbossa, although the inside hasn’t really changed, and it’s still playing host to an array of DJ nights and such.
OLD MONTREAL — Nine months or so after departing Montreal’s controversial Atelier de Joël Robuchon restaurant, former executive chef Eric Gonzalez has a new gig. He’s behind the burners at Restaurant Le James, the in-house resto for Hotel Le St-James in Old Montreal (the restaurant was previously known as XO Le Restaurant). Gonzalez left Robuchon’s Montreal casino restaurant on good terms, although at the time, the restaurant’s administration implied that his departure was temporary.
DOWNTOWN — Marcus Samuelsson’s Montreal restaurant, Marcus, has introduced a high-end afternoon tea service — for $45, get tea, roast beef sandwiches, chestnut-blackcurrant tarts, and more; it runs 2 to 5 p.m., seven days.
LASALLE/VEGAS — Michele Casale of Lasalle pizzeria Redipizza has been named Canadian Pizza Chef of the Year, a prize bestowed by Canadian Pizza Magazine (yes, this publication exists!). He’ll now be headed to Las Vegas to compete at the International Pizza Challenge in March and April 2020.