On part-time long distance (& a new favourite spot)

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N has started a work rotation up north. Fourteen days on, seven days off. Good for his career, unfortunate for our lives.  We’re more than halfway through the longest span of him being away & I am eagerly anticipating his return – making belated birthday plans & thinking up fabulous meals to cook together. He was thrust into this new position pretty quickly with a week of training followed by a longer rotation. So when he gets back next week, he’ll have been away 21 of the last 24 days (Sink or swim!).

Luckily (or unluckily?) we’re no strangers to this long distance thing. In fact, until last year we’d probably spent more time living apart than we had together.I moved to Montreal for school four months after we started dating. We weren’t even sure where this new relationship was headed, but we decided to try to make it work anyway. We spent the next two years courting primarily over text message, skype, & occasional visits. Once I graduated, I moved home, thinking this was the end of this “style” of romance. Ironically, my cross-country move coincided with N’s work travel ramping up. An out of town project popped up nearly every time we made plans or bought concert tickets. The threat of having to reschedule or find a last minute friend to buy his ticket was never far from our thoughts.

Then, a couple years ago, he changed jobs. Deciding he wanted to get some different experience, he took a project engineer position that required fieldwork. We expected to go back to this quasi-long distance relationship, but dodged that (as well as the salary uplift) until now. So while I do miss him very much, it’s been almost two years in the making. We discussed the pros & cons & made a conscious decision to accept a rotation up North. That simple fact makes it a little bit easier to take, I think (at least for me, but I’m not the one working most of the summer).

Last time N was home, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather & headed over to Cannibale. This new addition to our neighbourhood (or neighbouring hood, anyway) already has me looking for excuses to grab a drink on their fabulous patio. More than just your average neighbourhood bar, Cannibale features creative cocktails, an excellent selection of wines, beers, & spirits, & a delightful take on bar food.

With two successful restaurants in Dairy Lane Cafe & Blue Star Diner, I had high hopes for their menu. & there’s been no disappointments so far! In fact, they’ve exceeded my expectations with their friendly & welcoming bar staff, killer design (think trendy speakeasy vibe), & inspiring menu.

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The menu. I’m partial to the Santiago.

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N & I shared the Foie Gras Parfait on our latest visit &, honestly, it was parfait. I’ve also tried their Peasant Cheese Board: a lovely selection of cheese, crostini, & honey. A bite of one of their sandwiches had me wishing I’d ordered my own. As for the cocktails, I personally love the delightfully sour Santiago, while N favours the Jungle Bird (& the Pimmy Gibbler is more than just a funny cocktail name). Although, the bartenders are always game to make suggestions if you’re unsure. My favourite craft beers round out the drink menu & I’m looking forward to making a dent in the wine list (if cocktails aren’t your thing).

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With a full bar & a patio, what more could you ask for? A classic, full-service barbershop perhaps? That’s right, Cannibale also features an attached single-chair barbershop at the front. It reminds me of Blind Barber in NYC. I just love this concept! I’m looking forward to watching Cannibale become part of the neighbourhood.

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The one perk to long distance is that you really take advantage of the days when you’re together & make the most of that time. Thank you, Cannibale, for giving us a great spot to do so. & welcome to the neighbourhood.

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