Caroline Ventura’s (Gut-Busting) Guide to Montreal

The designer’s French isn’t great, but her ability to uncover cool stuff conquers all.

Caroline Ventura, the designer behind the delicate gold jewelry line Brvtvs, is one of those people who seems to know everyone and everything. She just got back from Montreal—a city that makes for the perfect autumnal escape, especially considering all the pork fat and poutine—and is beyond eager to share her eight must-hits. Also worth noting: She went on the trip with her husband, a friend who’s a sommelier, and another who’s an editor at Food & Wine, so the meals were quite an affair.

“We actually went to this super-cute brunch spot twice! They have crazy-delicious fresh apple juice that is the most beautiful blushy pink color—like no apple juice I had ever seen. I asked them what kind of apples they used, but they looked at me like I was nuts.” (

Les Etoffes
“The owner of this shop, Diana, is the nicest, cutest ever. She stocks some harder-to-find brands like Apiece Apart and Christophe Lemaire. It’s a few doors down from Lawrence, so that makes for a nice one-two punch.” (

Liverpool House
“This spinoff of Joe Beef has fare that’s a little—but not much—lighter. There is a chalkboard menu (all in French), and the pot de crème is the best I’ve ever had. I ordered two.” (

Jardin Botanique
“There was this crazy Chinese lantern show going on in one area of the botanical gardens. It was really strange—in a good way—walking around hearing everyone speak French but looking at very Chinese objects.” (

Society of Arts and Technology
“A friend is opening a restaurant on the third floor of this center that is integrated with some of the shows they are having there. It’s serving really unique small plates. I particularly enjoyed the sign for the bathroom.” (

Marché Jean-Talon
“Even though fall had already begun in Montreal, this farmers’ market had so much variety.” (

Au Pied de Cochon
“I might want to warn the vegetarians to look away. I almost fell on my ass three times while we were there because the floor is so slick with pig and duck fat, and I was wearing these new Dieppa Restrepo shoes.” (

Scandinave Les Bains
“This is an amazing bath house. They have different soaking pools and a dry sauna, but I was all about the adult nap area— the U.S. needs to get on this trend ASAP. ” (

Caroline made us an edition you don’t have to take off for airport security: an edgy-but-sweet gold bracelet. Check it here.

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