Amidst the Japanese and Italian brasserie explosion taking place all across town, it's actually refreshing to see something different join the McGill restaurant row in Old Montreal. The latest addition here comes from the team behind the defunct Tasso Bar à Mezze, in the form of a modern Greek/Mediterranean mezze restaurant. We figured what better way to discover this place on MTLàTABLE's opening night.
The appealing modern interior is not what you would expect from a Greek taverna. The industrial space is loosely divided into two dining rooms separated by an eye-catching bar area. The restaurant was about half-full (or half-empty for you pessimists out there), perhaps due to the unexpectedly chilly Thursday night.
tagged: EYE FOR DESIGN
From what we gather, the focus at Ikanos is on mezzes. The MTLàTABLE menu did not stray away from this promise, and was actually quite generous. Rather than stick to the usual 3-course formula, the $39 menu featured four starters and two mains. The portions were small, but the number of plates offered combined with the seafood diversity more than made up for that.
Our general consensus was that there was too much going on with most plates; the toppings on the flounder, tuna and scallops masked what lay beneath. The halibut and duck garnered praise, while the moussaka and honey donuts (loukoumades really), not part of the $39 menu, were just OK. Finally, without being experts on the cuisine, we would describe what we ate as Greek "inspired" at most.
"salted cured fluke (summer flounder)"
"cherry tomato sauce vierge, French string beans, white anchovies"
"sautéed heirloom zucchinis, spinach, grilled baby leeks"
"foie gras shavings in Samos, sautéed Brussels sprouts and apples, parsley root puree and hazelnut crumble"
"roasted eggplants, tahini cream, marinated oyster mushroom salad"
"orange and honey panna cotta, nuts and spice crumble"
Our waiter, while very serious in demeanor, was actually quite friendly and helpful, not to mention very knowledgeable about both the food and wine offering. None of this "let me ask" business…
Montreal is currently experiencing an unprecedented boom in restaurant openings. The majority of newcomers seem to emphasize design and follow trends, which caters to yuppies more than foodies. We won't throw Ikanos into this bucket before a follow-up visit, which will allow us to sample their full menu. Either way, don't expect tzatziki, dolmas and gyros here, but do expect some fun!
tagged: DESERVES A RETRY
Price per person: $39
"The dishes look so fresh! What's your favorite Greek dish? Share it on your besty list! http://www.thebesty.com/514eats"
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.