It's been five years since JUNO Award-nominated singer-songwriter Gabrielle Shonk released a new body of work.
This stretch of time in-between albums is on that saw significant changes for the singer's career as she moved from a major label deal to go an independent, self-expressive route in terms of music creation. We're feeling like she made the right choice, though, as the result of the past five years is the dynamic 11-track sophomore album Across The Room.
“It's not always the easiest to look inward. But, when it is easy, you hold on to all those small victories— finding a sense of wholeness within yourself,” explains Shonk about her latest release.
Calling Montreal home, Shonk loves to embrace the city's famed food and drink scene when she's not busy creating music or performing live. From tasty vegan ramen to a casual, heartfelt Italian family-run bar, here's her favourite spots to visit in the bustling Quebec metropolis.
Nouveau Système Beaubien has classoc Quebec comfort food in a diner setting. It's the best place to go for brunch after a late night out...or any kind of night!
Even though it's not the most veggie friendly, I always manage. They have pies, grape juice, poutine, breakfast potatoes and vegan corn dogs. I always get a veggie club sandwich and it’s delish!
Pumpui is a five minute walk from my apartment in Little Italy and serves delicious Thai food.
They always have great vegan options, great wines, as well as Zamalek which is an alcohol-free Hibiscus beverage that's made in Montreal. I love their vegan curry, it’s so tasty. I also love the coconut sticky rice.
(Watch out if you’re not into spice, though, as most of they’re dishes are pretty hot!)
You can sit and eat inside if you’re lucky—the space has a teeny grocery store type of vibe with minimal seating—but if not, it’s a great place for take-out. They also have a cute outdoor terrace in the back in the summer time.
Umami Ramen & Izakaya is an excellent vegan ramen restaurant in Mile-Ex. They serve a variety of ramen with different broths and ingredients, but they also have a great selection of small plates, where you get a bunch of different dishes at a great value.
I call it the vegetable hack! You can just sit there and share a bunch of original Japanese-inspired vegan tapas and sip on some great wine, saké or a cocktail. (They also have delicious mocktails.)
Fun anecdote, I went to eat there last summer and got up to go to the restroom, there was a man sitting with two other people on the terrace that looked really familiar. I couldn’t quite recall where I had seen him before, but figured I’d be polite a give them a nice smile and nod of the head, I then realized why he looked so familiar…it was Joaquin Phoenix dining with his parents!
Bruno Sport Bar has literally become a second living room for my friends and I. We all meet up at the bar and chill at least once a week...or more! It’s our go-to spot to hang out, eat popcorn, a delicious sandwich, have a beer, a Negroni, Aperol Spritz, coffee or Perrier.
It’s a family-run Italian sports bar where you can watch any game at any time of day. The staff are just so warm and welcoming, and they serve food until 3 a.m. every day of the week. The vibe here is just so cozy and unique.
Huge shoutout to Bruno and their staff. This place is just the best!