Patricia Gajo

Correspondent

  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Born in Toronto, Patricia Gajo followed her heart to Montréal and now covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Her first big gig was as Jet Set editor at EnRoute, Air Canada’s in-flight magazine. She is Montréal editor at FASHION and style contributor for Global Montréal’s morning show. In 2012, she authored the 22nd edition of Frommer’s Montréal & Québec City, as well as co-authored Frommer’s Far & Wide. She has also penned numerous articles, among them cover stories on Jean Paul Gaultier and Michael Kors for NUVO, and an expertly researched street food column for Morning Calm (Korean Air). To this day, Gajo has never met a poutine she didn’t like.

  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants in Montreal?

    Oysters at Le Filet. Photo by Patricia Gajo
    I have a personal rotating restaurant list that I frequent over and over again, that is, when I’m not busy testing out other restaurants for work. There are a solid five that I always go back to – each one depending on my mood.

    When my fiancé and I need a little tête-à-tête, we head to Le Club Chasse & Pêche in Old Montreal. It has low ceilings, a handsome décor, contemporary French cuisine and a savvy sommelier. After dinner and dessert, if we feel like taking a stroll, picturesque, rue Saint-Paul is just a cobblestoned block away.

    When it’s time to catch up with friends, we all like gathering at Le Filet, which is run – no coincidence – by the same minds behind Chasse & Pêche. The seafood-focused menu is offered in tapas-size plates, perfect for sharing. Four words to remember: cavatelli with foie gras. In summer, the patio is the best spot in the city for late-night gossiping under the stars.

    When there’s an anniversary or life achievement to fete, I now turn to Maison Boulud. There’s something regal about its address in the historic Hotel Ritz Carlton – and, oh yes, the fact that celebrity chef Daniel Boulud is at the helm – that give weight to any milestone occasion.

    When I don’t feel like cooking during the week, I like the laidback attitude, attentive service and dependably satisfying but reasonably priced menu at Le Comptoir.

    When I get a pasta craving, I head to Little Italy’s Hostaria. The owner’s sons, Massimo and Fabrizio, didn’t fall far from the tree. They run La Bottega just across the street, which serves quite likely the best pizza in the city.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants in Montreal?

    Oysters at Le Filet. Photo by Patricia Gajo I have a personal rotating restaurant list that I frequent over and over again, that is, when I’m not busy testing out other restaurants for work. There are a solid five that I always go back to – each one depending on my mood.

    When my fiancé and I need a little tête-à-tête, we head to Le Club Chasse & Pêche in Old Montreal. It has low ceilings, a handsome décor, contemporary French cuisine and a savvy sommelier. After dinner and dessert, if we feel like taking a stroll, picturesque, rue Saint-Paul is just a cobblestoned block away.

    When it’s time to catch up with friends, we all like gathering at Le Filet, which is run – no coincidence – by the same minds behind Chasse & Pêche. The seafood-focused menu is offered in tapas-size plates, perfect for sharing. Four words to remember: cavatelli with foie gras. In summer, the patio is the best spot in the city for late-night gossiping under the stars.

    When there’s an anniversary or life achievement to fete, I now turn to Maison Boulud. There’s something regal about its address in the historic Hotel Ritz Carlton – and, oh yes, the fact that celebrity chef Daniel Boulud is at the helm – that give weight to any milestone occasion.

    When I don’t feel like cooking during the week, I like the laidback attitude, attentive service and dependably satisfying but reasonably priced menu at Le Comptoir.

    When I get a pasta craving, I head to Little Italy’s Hostaria. The owner’s sons, Massimo and Fabrizio, didn’t fall far from the tree. They run La Bottega just across the street, which serves quite likely the best pizza in the city.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants for a business lunch in Montreal?

    Restaurant Graziella serves classic, elegant Milanese cuisine in an atmosphere that is equally so. The cream, coffee and mocha palette of the decor creates a soothing space for Type A personalities to (breathe and) enjoy the popular $25 prix fixe power lunches (a starter plus a main) – or a longer lingering dinner when negotiating a deal.

    Chichi regulars appreciate the grown-up setting and understand that both discreet service and a refined menu come at a price. Plus you don’t want to appear like a penny-pincher in front of people that are most-likely judging your choice in venue.

    Graziella's menu changes with the seasons, but you really can't go wrong with the ricotta and Grana Padano gnocchi, duck confit ravioli, or the osso buco served with risotto milanese. The comprehensive wine list is conveniently listed in order by price, with interesting options by the glass.

    Finally, nonstop business folk will want to know that the restaurant also offers four private rooms that accommodate 10 to 80 people for all your working-lunch needs. They also have a projection screen that’s yours for the asking and complimentary Wi-Fi connection.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants for a business lunch in Montreal?

    Restaurant Graziella serves classic, elegant Milanese cuisine in an atmosphere that is equally so. The cream, coffee and mocha palette of the decor creates a soothing space for Type A personalities to (breathe and) enjoy the popular $25 prix fixe power lunches (a starter plus a main) – or a longer lingering dinner when negotiating a deal.

    Chichi regulars appreciate the grown-up setting and understand that both discreet service and a refined menu come at a price. Plus you don’t want to appear like a penny-pincher in front of people that are most-likely judging your choice in venue.

    Graziella's menu changes with the seasons, but you really can't go wrong with the ricotta and Grana Padano gnocchi, duck confit ravioli, or the osso buco served with risotto milanese. The comprehensive wine list is conveniently listed in order by price, with interesting options by the glass.

    Finally, nonstop business folk will want to know that the restaurant also offers four private rooms that accommodate 10 to 80 people for all your powerlunching needs. They also have a projection screen that’s yours for the asking and complimentary Wi-Fi connection.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants for a business lunch in Montreal?

    Restaurant Graziella serves classic, elegant Milanese cuisine in an atmosphere that is equally so. The cream, coffee and mocha palette of the decor creates a soothing space for Type A personalities to (breathe and) enjoy the popular $25 prix fixe power lunches (a starter plus a main) – or a longer lingering dinner when negotiating a deal.

    Chichi regulars appreciate the grown-up setting and understand that both discreet service and a refined menu come at a price. Plus you don’t want to appear like a penny-pincher in front of people that are most-likely judging your choice in venue.

    Graziella's menu changes with the seasons, but you really can't go wrong with the ricotta and Grana Padano gnocchi, duck confit ravioli, or the osso buco served with risotto milanese. The comprehensive wine list is conveniently listed in order by price, with interesting options by the glass.

    Finally, nonstop business folk will want to know that the restaurant also offers four private rooms that accommodate 10 to 80 people. They have a projection screen that’s yours for the asking and a complimentary Wi-Fi connection.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best luxury hotels in Montreal?

    Photo courtesy of Hôtel Le Saint-James
    I do love the Ritz-Carlton, but I'll be re-visiting there next month, so stay tuned for a recent update.

    Otherwise, Hôtel Le Saint-James is equally opulent. Not far from the Quartier International, this corner landmark cuts a regal silhouette from every angle. Owner Lucien Remillard poured his heart and soul into the three-year overhaul, which debuted in 2002, including a humblebrag self-portrait above the library’s fireplace.

    The décor in the 45 suites and 15 rooms spares no expense in art, Italian marble and antiques, including brass elevator doors from the original Waldorf Astoria in NYC. With the regular VIP traffic, there is more than one Specialty Suite; the splurge being the Penthouse frequented by rock star royalty and diplomats who dig the grand piano, terrasse, over-the-top jade marble bathroom and full kitchen, with separate entrance for staff – or paparazzi-shy celebs.

    On the first floor, XO Le Restaurant is another indulgence for dinner or just drinks. And Le Spa, housed in a former basement bank vault, is so swank you can almost smell the money.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best luxury hotels in Montreal?

    Photo courtesy of Hôtel Le Saint-James


    I do love the Ritz-Carlton, but I'll be re-visiting there next month, so stay tuned for a recent update.

    Otherwise, Hôtel Le Saint-James is equally opulent. Not far from the Quartier International, this corner landmark cuts a regal silhouette from every angle. Owner Lucien Remillard poured his heart and soul into the three-year overhaul, which debuted in 2002, including a humblebrag self-portrait above the library’s fireplace.

    The décor in the 45 suites and 15 rooms spares no expense in art, Italian marble and antiques, including brass elevator doors from the original Waldorf Astoria in NYC. With the regular VIP traffic, there is more than one Specialty Suite; the splurge being the Penthouse frequented by rock star royalty and diplomats who dig the grand piano, terrasse, over-the-top jade marble bathroom and full kitchen, with separate entrance for staff – or paparazzi-shy celebs.

    On the first floor, XO Le Restaurant is another indulgence for dinner or just drinks. And Le Spa, housed in a former basement bank vault, is so swank you can almost smell the money.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best luxury hotels in Montreal?

    Photo courtesy of Hôtel Le Saint-James
    I do love the Ritz-Carlton, but I'll be re-visiting there next month, so stay tuned for a recent update.

    Otherwise, Hôtel Le Saint-James is equally opulent. Not far from the Quartier International, this corner landmark cuts a regal silhouette from every angle. Owner Lucien Remillard poured his heart and soul into the three-year overhaul, which debuted in 2002, including a humblebrag self-portrait above the library’s fireplace.

    The décor in the 45 suites and 15 rooms spares no expense in art, Italian marble and antiques, including brass elevator doors from the original Waldorf Astoria in NYC. With the regular VIP traffic, there is more than one Specialty Suite; the splurge being the Penthouse frequented by rock star royalty and diplomats who dig the grand piano, terrasse, over-the-top jade marble bathroom and full kitchen, with separate entrance for staff – or paparazzi-shy celebs.

    On the first floor, XO Le Restaurant is another indulgence for dinner or just drinks. And Le Spa, housed in a former basement bank vault, is so swank you can almost smell the money.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best luxury hotels in Montreal?

    Photo courtesy of Hôtel Le Saint-James I do love the Ritz-Carlton, but I'll be re-visiting there next month, so stay tuned for a recent update.

    Otherwise, Hôtel Le Saint-James is equally opulent. Not far from the Quartier International, this corner landmark cuts a regal silhouette from every angle. Owner Lucien Remillard poured his heart and soul into the three-year overhaul, which debuted in 2002, including a humblebrag self-portrait above the library’s fireplace.

    The décor in the 45 suites and 15 rooms spares no expense in art, Italian marble and antiques, including brass elevator doors from the original Waldorf Astoria in NYC. With the regular VIP traffic, there is more than one Specialty Suite; the splurge being the Penthouse frequented by rock star royalty and diplomats who dig the grand piano, terrasse, over-the-top jade marble bathroom and full kitchen, with separate entrance for staff – or paparazzi-shy celebs.

    On the first floor, XO Le Restaurant is another indulgence for dinner or just drinks. And Le Spa, housed in a former basement bank vault, is so swank you can almost smell the money.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best luxury hotels in Montreal?

    Photo courtesy of Hôtel Le Saint-James I do love the Ritz-Carlton, but I'll be re-visiting there next month, so stay tuned for a recent update.

    Otherwise, Hôtel Le Saint-James is equally opulent. Not far from the Quartier International, this corner landmark cuts a regal silhouette from every angle. Owner Lucien Remillard poured his heart and soul into the three-year overhaul, which debuted in 2002, including a humblebrag self-portrait above the library’s fireplace.

    The décor in the 45 suites and 15 rooms spares no expense in art, Italian marble and antiques, including brass elevator doors from the original Waldorf Astoria in NYC. With the regular VIP traffic, there is more than one Specialty Suite; the splurge being the Penthouse frequented by rock star royalty and diplomats who dig the grand piano, terrasse, over-the-top jade marble bathroom and full kitchen, with separate entrance for staff – or paparazzi-shy celebs.

    On the first floor, XO Le Restaurant is another indulgence for dinner or just drinks. And Le Spa, housed in a former basement bank vault, is so swank you can almost smell the money.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants in Montreal?

    Oysters at Le Filet. Photo by Patricia Gajo I have a personal rotating restaurant list that I frequent over and over again, that is, when I’m not busy testing out other restaurants for work. There are a solid five that I always go back to – each one depending on my mood.

    When my fiancé and I need a little tête-à-tête, we head to Le Club Chasse & Pêche in Old Montreal. It has low ceilings, a handsome décor, contemporary French cuisine and a savvy sommelier. After dinner and dessert, if we feel like taking a stroll, picturesque, rue Saint-Paul is just a cobblestoned block away.

    When it’s time to catch up with friends, we all like gathering at Le Filet, which is run – no coincidence – by the same minds behind Chasse & Pêche. The seafood-focused menu is offered in tapas-size plates, perfect for sharing. Four words to remember: cavatelli with foie gras. In summer, the patio is the best spot in the city for late-night gossiping under the stars.

    When there’s an anniversary or life achievement to fete, I now turn to Maison Boulud. There’s something regal about its address in the historic Hotel Ritz Carlton – and, oh yes, the fact that celebrity chef Daniel Boulud is at the helm – that give weight to any milestone occasion.

    When I don’t feel like cooking during the week, I like the laidback attitude, attentive service and dependably satisfying but reasonably priced menu at Le Comptoir.

    When I get a pasta craving, I head to Little Italy’s Hostaria. The owner’s sons, Massimo and Fabrizio, didn’t fall far from the tree. They run La Bottega just across the street, which serves quite likely the best pizza in the city.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best food gifts to buy in Montreal?

    Anything and everything with maple syrup. Pure and simple.

    If you haven’t already been to one of Quebec’s celebrated sugar shacks (les cabanes à sucre), you’re missing out on one of French Canada’s prized gastronomic experiences, which is virtually saturated in this sweet natural goo.

    My fiancé’s family is québécois pure laine – literally “pure wool Quebecker” – and do they ever covet their golden syrup, adding it not only to crêpes (“pancakes,” albeit much thinner) but also to various savoury dishes, such as tourtière (“meat pie”). I suppose it adds a little bit of extra weight on those love handles to keep you warm during the long winters.

    You can purchase maple syrup almost everywhere they sell souvenirs or food; they even sell it at the airport for last minute gifts. If you’re in Old Montreal, there’s a central spot called Maple Delights on main drag rue Saint-Paul where they package their sirop d’érable in various charming glass containers, including iconic maple-leaf shaped bottles. And only the real stuff passes the test here. (Sorry, Aunt Jemima). You can choose from extra light, light, medium, amber and dark, which covers all taste preferences from slightly sugary to full-on caramel. You can also get maple candies, cookies, and butters, as well as candles and sweet-scented body products.

    More budget conscious shoppers can do as the locals and stock up at a local grocery store where maple syrup is sold in cans – much better for travelling, although they can weigh down your check-in baggage like a ship’s anchor. My mother-in-law used to buy it like this in bulk, and use the cans to refill smaller, more manageable serving vessels.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants in Montreal?

    Oysters at Le Filet. Photo by Patricia Gajo I have a personal rotating restaurant list that I frequent over and over again, that is, when I’m not busy testing out other restaurants for work. There are a solid five that I always go back to – each one depending on my mood.

    When my fiancé and I need a little tête-à-tête, we head to Le Club Chasse & Pêche in Old Montreal. It has low ceilings, a handsome décor, contemporary French cuisine and a savvy sommelier. After dinner and dessert, if we feel like taking a stroll, picturesque, rue Saint-Paul is just a cobblestoned block away.

    When it’s time to catch up with friends, we all like gathering at Le Filet, which is run – no coincidence – by the same minds behind Chasse & Pêche. The seafood-focused menu is offered in tapas-size plates, perfect for sharing. Four words to remember: cavatelli with foie gras. In summer, the patio is the best spot in the city for late-night gossiping under the stars.

    When there’s an anniversary or life achievement to fete, I now turn to Maison Boulud. There’s something regal about its address in the historic Hotel Ritz Carlton – and, oh yes, the fact that celebrity chef Daniel Boulud is at the helm – that give weight to any milestone occasion.

    When I don’t feel like cooking during the week, I like the laidback attitude, attentive service and dependably satisfying but reasonably priced menu at Le Comptoir.

    When I get a pasta craving, I head to Little Italy’s Hostaria. The owner’s sons, Massimo and Fabrizio, didn’t fall far from the tree. They run La Bottega just across the street, which is quite likely the best pizza in the city.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants in Montreal?

    Oysters at Le Filet. Photo by Patricia Gajo I have a personal rotating restaurant list that I frequent over and over again, that is, when I’m not busy testing out other restaurants for work. There are a solid five that I always go back to – each one depending on my mood.

    When my fiancé and I need a little tête-à-tête, we head to Le Club Chasse & Pêche in Old Montreal. It has low ceilings, a handsome décor, contemporary French cuisine and a savvy sommelier. After dinner and dessert, if we feel like taking a stroll, picturesque, rue Saint-Paul is just a cobblestoned block away.

    When it’s time to catch up with friends, we all like gathering at Le Filet, which is run – no coincidence – by the same minds behind Chasse & Pêche. The seafood-focused menu is offered in tapas-size plates, perfect for sharing. Four words to remember: cavatelli with foie gras. In summer, the patio is the best spot in the city for late-night gossiping under the stars.

    When there’s an anniversary or life achievement to fete, I now turn to Maison Boulud. There’s something regal about its address in the historic Hotel Ritz Carlton – and, oh yes, the fact that celebrity chef Daniel Boulud is at the helm – that give weight to any milestone occasion.

    When I don’t feel like cooking during the week, I like the laidback attitude, attentive service and dependably satisfying but reasonably priced menu at Le Comptoir.

    When I get a pasta craving, I head to Little Italy’s Hostaria. The owner’s sons, Massimo and Fabrizio, didn’t fall far from the tree. They run La Bottega just across the street, which is quite likely the best pizza in the city.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Patricia Gajo answered the question: Patricia Gajo

    What are the best restaurants in Montreal?

    Oysters at Le Filet. Photo by Patricia Gajo I have a personal rotating restaurant list that I frequent over and over again, that is, when I’m not busy testing out other restaurants for work. There are a solid five that I always go back to – each one depending on my mood.

    When my fiancé and I need a little tête-à-tête, we head to Le Club Chasse & Pêche in Old Montreal. It has low ceilings, a handsome décor, contemporary French cuisine and a savvy sommelier. After dinner and dessert, if we feel like taking a stroll, picturesque, rue Saint-Paul is just a cobblestoned block away.

    When it’s time to catch up with friends, we all like gathering at Le Filet, which is run – no coincidence – by the same minds behind Chasse & Pêche. The seafood-focused menu is offered in tapas-size plates, perfect for sharing. Four words to remember: cavatelli with foie gras. In summer, the patio is the best spot in the city for late-night gossiping under the stars.

    When there’s an anniversary or life achievement to fete, I now turn to Maison Boulud. There’s something regal about its address in the historic Hotel Ritz Carlton – and, oh yes, the fact that celebrity chef Daniel Boulud is at the helm – that give weight to any milestone occasion.

    When I don’t feel like cooking during the week, I like the laidback attitude, attentive service and dependably satisfying but reasonably priced menu at Le Comptoir.

    When I get a pasta craving, I head to Little Italy’s Hostaria. The owner’s sons, Massimo and Fabrizio, didn’t fall far from the tree. They run La Botega just across the street, which is quite likely the best pizza in the city.