I love trying new restaurants, what a surprise. My men tend to prefer their favourite fast-food or pasta joint e.ve.ry.ti.me. So when my birthday comes around, I twist a few arms and drag the whole family to the fine dining spot of my choice, for once. Last year, for a change, I convinced my BFF to try the Kyo Japanese izakaya I spoke about here. This year, after calling on my Facebook peeps, I settled on a suggestion from Montreal Gazette fine-dining critic Lesley Chesterman and booked a then-new Greek restaurant in Old-Montreal: Ikanos.
The new address from the owners of beloved and defunct Tasso Mezze Bar, Ikanos serves up a modern Greek cuisine far-removed from the same-old-same-o of franchised Casas. From the get-go, the décor has you smiling and breathing easy. The ceilings are high, the bar is inviting, the tables provide banquette-seating and several chairs are draped in white faux-fur lending a kinda “back-country Greek shepherd” look to the whole. Elegant, relaxed and bright, it sets the tone in more ways than one.
I’ve said so before but it bears repeating everytime I write about a place: I’m no restaurant critic, just a homecook/food writer who enjoys a nice evening out. I like or I don’t. And I liked Ikanos from the décor to the food, and the smiling, attentive staff. At the time (the restaurant had been open for less than two months), the menu was short and fish-centric. It seems to have evolved since (?) and now features a few more meat and fowl dishes. Those who faint at the sight of anything not cooked to death may be shocked senseless though. For example, the scallops were served with slices of almost-raw foie gras. Monsieur nearly fainted, so it meant kiddo and me got to share the lot without fighting for it. Grown-up pickiness sure has its advantages.
I wanted to sing the praises of Ikanos long before now but, as you may know, this blog was under reconstruction forever, so quite a few high-praising reviews have been published by mainstream media since—which is reassuring since the place was somewhat empty on that July night last summer (yep, I’m a Leo). As we left, I remember feeling both full and worried that the restaurant would not be around for long. It seems Ikanos has strong Hunger Games survival skill. Kale orexe!
112 McGill St. #1, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E5
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