Life is a cabaret ‘ol friend, come to the cabaret

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What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play!

Another smash hit has reached the stage as curtain’s went up last night on the latest production from the Cote Saint-Luc Dramatic Society: Cabaret.

“The contrast between the over the top musical numbers and the stark reality of the injustices occurring outside the cabaret captivated my attention [years ago] as it still does today,” said Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. “We need to be leaders and speak out in defence of human rights. Cabaret has given us all that opportunity.”

Once again, it’s hard to believe that this is local, community theatre as the entire production, from costumes, set and design, to choreography, acting and live music exceed expectations by leaps and bounds.

Cabaret is not for the light-hearted. The theme is raw with drama and emotion in pre-war Germany. The burlesque-style night club acts are raunchy and lewd. The actors play with your spirits from eccentric to despair, from hopeful to hopeless.

“…There was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany and it was the end of the world…”, wrote lead actor Calder Levine who played the role of of wide-eyed American Cliff Bradshaw. His command performance in portraying his love for the English Berlin nightclub doll, Sally Bowles, played by the extraordinary Jeanne Motulsky, was musical and magical.

Jeanne Motulsky

Speaking of music and magic, the ever so talented Motulsky returns for her sixth show with the CSLDS. The Communications grad from Concordia University is headed towards production in film and television. As I wrote following her stellar performance in last year’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, “her future looks bright.” Motulsky captured the audience with her incredible voice and stage presence, particularly performing “Don’t Tell Mama” and “Cabaret”. Sensational.

The entire show is tied together by the unbelievably talented Craig Dalley who plays The Emcee. Returning for his fourth show with CSLDS, Dalley captivates your attention from the upbeat beginning, singing the well-known, “Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome” opening theme to Cabaret, right to the very end, deep in the darkest places humanity has gone, some 80-plus years ago.

Dalley’s talent, not to mention his sexually provocative leather clothing, profane language and naughty gestures will have you laughing, and then crying. What a job he did with Money Makes the World Go Round! He can sing. He can dance. And he can control the audience and the stage. Fantastic.

Linda Babins (Fraulein Schneider) and John Kovac (Herr Schultz) play an adoring, mature, tentative couple. Babins is a longtime member of the CSLDS team while Kovac returns to theatre after a 40 year hiatus. The two hit it off in song and dance with an air of confidence – she as a stodgy, serious German woman and he as a whimsical, fun-loving older gentleman – a German Jew. You’d never know he stepped off the stage for four decades but thankfully he’s back!

While it was hard to cozy up with Edward Le Vasseur who played the role of red armband toting Nazi, Ernst Ludwig, I’ll admit that he was faithful to his increasingly angry character and the more I despised him the more I realized what a strong actor he was.

Finally, Maria Jimenez deserves praise for her beautiful voice as her back lit profile steamed out from an old fashioned gramophone. Dreamy staging indeed. In the role of Fraulein Kost, a bit of a loose lady (as if any of them was anything less) she was very funny as her many sailor boys sauntered out of her room.

Artistic Director Anisa Cameron with CSL Mayor and CSLDS Founder Mitchell Brownstein

There are so many more praiseworthy cast members who entertained the gala night audience with impressive choreography and delightful musical numbers.

The five-piece live band adds to the experience and really gives the feeling of actually being in a live cabaret. They were great.

A show like this, especially community theatre, doesn’t just come together with a heck of a lot of hard work and incredible talent by the creative and production teams under the direction of the absolutely incredible, dedicated and tremendously talented Anisa Cameron.

(Mini shout-out to backstage crew members Nicole Nashen and Naomi Salama).

“As a theatre director, I felt compelled to produce this show. It seems Cabaret has only become more and more relevant to what is tragically happening in our own province and country, in North America and around the globe. Cabaret stands as a seductive, staggering and stark lesson in the dangers of complacency, denial and willful ignorance in the face of unbridled nationalism and the rise of a fascist tide. Never again is now, said Cameron.

CSLDS partnered with the Montreal Holocaust Museum in providing educational panels to understand the historical context in which Cabaret takes place.

Israeli Consul General David Levy was also instrumental in providing informational panels about diplomats from several countries who went against their orders and laws in doing the “right thing”, in rescuing thousands of Jews from the grips of the Holocaust.

CSLDS’s Cabaret is sure to be another sold-out smash success, worthy of an eventual Montreal English Theatre Award for its production value, quality musical arrangements and its thought-provoking message of using the past to influence the future.

So what good is sitting alone in your room? Come to the Cabaret!!

Cabaret runs through June 16 at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium in Cote Saint-Luc City Hall on Cavendish Boulevard. Tickets and information at CSLDramaticSociety.com.

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Discover a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

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What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.


Glenn J. Nashen discovers a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia​, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki​. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port​o

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced port​o​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp katayef. These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

“​Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​ call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.
Restauranteur George Sikiotis flanked by two Peters, server/sommelier on the left and chef on the right

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. 


Glenn J. Nashen discovers a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia​, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki​. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port​o

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced port​o​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp katayef. These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

“​Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​ call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.
The Kavos Shrimp Kataifi is a must appetizer

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced porto​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp kataifi . These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.


Glenn J. Nashen discovers a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia​, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki​. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port​o

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced port​o​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp katayef. These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

“​Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​ call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.
Exquisitely grilled vegetables

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.


Glenn J. Nashen discovers a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia​, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki​. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port​o

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced port​o​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp katayef. These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

“​Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​ call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.
Superb feta with a very fresh Greek salad sprinkled with herbs

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.


Glenn J. Nashen discovers a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia​, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki​. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port​o

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced port​o​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp katayef. These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

“​Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​ call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.
Chef Peter in charge of the cozy kitchen

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.


Glenn J. Nashen discovers a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia​, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki​. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port​o

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced port​o​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp katayef. These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

“​Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​ call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.
Very green and lightly oiled rapini alongside a bright yellow lemon that add incredible flavour to the juicy Mediterranean Sea Bass

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.


Glenn J. Nashen discovers a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia​, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki​. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port​o

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced port​o​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp katayef. These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

“​Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​ call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.
Oh what an incredible tiger shrimp

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”


Glenn J. Nashen discovers a New Greek influence in Lower Westmount

What makes a new restaurant stand out from the crowd? Is it excellent food? Maybe outstanding service? Could it be an attractive and comfortable venue? Or the perfect location? Or maybe it’s the convergence of all of those that make the newly-opened Estiatorio Kavos on Sherbrooke Street West a winning choice for Greek cuisine buffs.

George Sikiotis has created the right formula in establishing this new Greek restaurant. Together with his partner Tasso, they have put the emphasis on experiential dining. “We want our customers to gain an understanding of what we are creating for them,” George told us on a recent evening. “We want to be unique,” he said.

And what an experience we had from the moment we entered the multi-level restaurant. The location seems larger than it is thanks to its five “levels”, mirrors and modern lighting set against rustic wood, deep brown finishings and an original brick interior wall. Plenty of natural lighting splashed in through windows front and back until sunset. 

But​ ​it’s the staff who truly bring the experience to the next level. From the greeting at the door to being ushered to the table you realize something special is going on here. 

George was our server for the evening, just as he was a few months earlier when we had our first delightful dining experience here. 

“I’m here to guide you and help you and hopefully teach you a little too,” he said cheerfully. He was certainly true to his word, describing and explaining our choices and answering a slew of questions. Incredibly, George recalled some of our choices from our previous visit and was very attentive to our food sensitivities and preferences. 

This night my wife, Judy, and I were joined by our friends Heather and Joel who came with open minds and a healthy appetite to help me gain a wider perspective for this review.

We were offered both plain and sparkling water and as my beverage of choice I always expect, and was pleased to see, a full glass throughout the evening. 

George ever so meticulously laid a white napkin and silverware beside each of us with attention to detail you would find in the finest restaurant and then introduced  us to our wine steward, Peter, aka Panayoti. We would subsequently learn that George and Panayoti are very typical Greek names. Other staff at Kavos would also answer to the same name. 

Peter recommended a somewhat sweet and full white wine by the name of Malagouisa Tetromythos​ from Achaia, Greece. He said that the flavour would lend itself to the salads and pretty much all other dishes. 

We enjoyed the sweetness of the wine with the homemade pita breads, slightly piled with authentic ​taramas​ salty appetizers, made fresh on location. “This is what my mother makes at home,” George told us. 

Alongside was ​dolmadakia​, ​delicate little wraps made with vine leaves, stuffed with rice (a nice vegetarian option) and herbs. They can be eaten as a side dish, an appetiser or as a main meal. 

Along came the crispiest thin slices of zucchini piled high atop a large dollop of ​tzatziki​. “Like many of our dishes, this is made ‘A la minute,” George said. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port​o

Spoiling us, before the main course would arrive, George set out a plate of oyster mushrooms sauteed in a glaze of reduced port​o​. Absolutely delicious. Next up, perfectly grilled vegetables and shrimp katayef. These were very large and juicy blue tiger shrimp from the Indian Ocean covered with crispy, delectable angel hair pasta covered with sweet black grapes. The salty and sweet mixture was amazing.

Two salads were served. First up was a traditional Greek salad with carefully selected bright red tomato and cucumber with feta cheese imported from Greece in oak barrels. The second salad consisted of slivers of lettuce with crumbled pieces of feta and typical spices.

Peter returned to offer us a red portes wine from northwestern Greece. He explained that the full body would be just right for our main course that George had selected for us. “We want you to try something you’ve never had before,”George said of their specially imported wines.

Next he brought us a very large mediterranean sea bass. Their fish is imported and delivered fresh every other day. “We do sustainable fish,” George explained. The fish was cooked to perfection, suspended over a fire. It was garnished simply, with lemon juice and oregano, brushed with olive oil and garlic and dazzled in capers. He had his new chef who arrived a few months earlier from Greece, another Panayoti of course, remove all the bones, with tweezers! It was juicy and flavourful and easily served as a main course for two, and then some. “There’s always garlic in a Greek kitchen,” George hinted.

The side dishes kept coming. There were delicious, and healthy, lima beans in a light tomato sauce with feta cheese and a plate of deep green rapini, lightly oiled with a hint of garlic.

“The rapini is simple, clean flavour enhanced by salt and oil,” George explained. “The garnish of feta on the beans is a nice touch too.”

My friend Joel was enjoying immensely. “The visual presentation is lovely. I especially enjoy the story behind the dishes,” he said. “What an experience,” Heather added.

Out came exquisite, succulent lamb chops from New Zealand and even more giant blue tiger shrimps from the Indian Ocean, both grilled to perfection, juicy as can be and spiced just right. Joel and I couldn’t be happier.

I asked Joel what he enjoyed the most. His answer was slow in coming as there was no easy answer with everything so tasty and delectable. “I’d say the the unique taste of the salty shrimps with the covering of sweet grapes. And also, the mushroom. It was fantastic.” 

And for Heather? “The zucchini chips over tzatziki was just wonderful.” Joel interrupted, “But the lamb chops were also delicious!”

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

“​Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​ call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.
Chops extraordinaire

Could we possibly eat another bite for dessert? Why not? 

Loukomades​ is a traditional dough ball that is served after church or Sunday school, homemade by Greek mothers,” George clarified. Made with reduced porto, imported Greek honey, crushed walnuts, homemade yogurt and drizzled over with grape chutney, it was the best possible ending to an incredible meal. Of course you’ll need a hot tea or a teaming cappuccino to wash the dough down but how sweet it is!

George and Tasso have a winning formula in Kavos. Maybe it’s Georges’ roots on the western coast of Greece, or perhaps his many years of experience in the restaurant business in Montreal, Alberta and in his native Greece.

“My mother loves that we buy our produce daily,” George boasted with pride explaining that they use many sources to choose the best ingredients for their praiseworthy authentic meals. “We make whatever we remember from Greece. It must be fresh and seasonal, not from a freezer,” George added.

Kavos opened last fall and boasts 80 seats inside and another 25 on their summer terrace out front. “We want you to relax, stay long, soak in the experience and enjoy,” said George. We took his advice as our meal ran over three hours.

George is keenly training his staff to be unique in their hospitality. I can certainly attest that he is doing a spectacular job.

Judy summarized, “It was more of an experience than a meal. I can’t wait to come back again.” I couldn’t agree more. Kavos is located at 4922 Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount and is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00PM-10: 00 PM and soon to be opening on Sundays. For ​reservations​call 514-482-0707. Find them on their website​, Facebook​, and Instagram.

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Cote St. Luc Dramatic Society Spring production of Cabaret

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May 10, 2019

The Montreal Times, by Stuart Nulman, EntertainmentTheater

For this year’s edition of their annual spring production, the Cote St. Luc Dramatic Society (CSLDS) will present an acclaimed Broadway musical with a more somber, adult twist to it, as it takes place in Berlin circa 1931, during a time when Germany and the rest of the world were in the grip of the Great Depression, was facing the steady, violent rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party, but at the same time was enjoying a thriving – yet decadent – entertainment scene.

“Cabaret”, which was originally produced on Broadway during the mid-1960s and became an Oscar-winning film in 1972, will run for 21 performances at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium, 5801 Cavendish Boulevard, from May 29 to June 16.

Based on the stories of Christopher Isherwood, “Cabaret” focuses on Sally Bowles, an expatriate American singer who is the star attraction at the Kit Kat Club, which is the focal point of her world during these turbulent times in Berlin.

“Cabaret is one of my favorite shows. I love the club scenes and the musical numbers there. However, I felt compelled to produce the show since 2017 in the wake of what happened in Charlottesville,” said Anisa Cameron, the CSLDS’ longtime director who is helming this production. “I find Cabaret more relevant right now because it answers the question of what I can do as an artist to make much more sense in today’s world. This is the perfect show that illustrates what can happen in the face of the apathy and willful ignorance that affects events which are swirling around us.”

Cote St. Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who also doubles as a producer for the CSLDS, will not perform onstage for the first time in a long time, as was his custom. This time, owing to the serious nature of the historical context of “Cabaret”, has engineered a partnership with the Montreal Holocaust Museum to help create more awareness of the events in Germany that led to the rise of Hitler, and the start of World War II and the Holocaust.

“The Montreal Holocaust Museum will set up an exhibit in the front of the lobby with photos to show what really happened in Germany during the period that Cabaret takes place in,” he said. “We are also having high school and CEGEP students attend performances of the show, in which they will also get the chance to meet with Holocaust survivors following each show. Cote St. Luc has always been a leader when it comes to protecting human rights, because we believe that diversity creates a better world. And education is very important to reach out and show people what lessons history can teach us.”

Ms. Cameron is quite impressed with the overall feel of “Cabaret”, especially the musical numbers that are performed by the eight women, three men and one non-gender binary transgender man who make up the club’s chorus. “The numbers will definitely knock your socks off,” she added. “And to really help create a genuine feel for the Kit Kat Club in Berlin during the early 30s, audience members will have the option of purchasing special tickets that will give them access to actual cabaret-style seating, which will include beverage service and an opportunity to interact with the cast during the show.”

To create a buzz for “Cabaret” before opening night, members of the troupe will be performing a selection of musical numbers from the show at certain senior residences in the area, including Maimonides, as well as special preview mini performances at the Beth Zion Synagogue on May 21 and the Cote St. Luc Men’s Club.

And on May 29, the CSLDS will kick off its run of “Cabaret” with a Gala evening that starts at 6 p.m. at the Cote St. Luc Council Chamber. The opening performance of “Cabaret” will be preceded by a presentation of live musical numbers of certain songs from previous CSLDS productions, as well as a screening of a video featuring 96-year-old Holocaust survivor Margaret Newman, who will be present at the Gala to answer questions following the screening. Tickets for the May 29 Gala are $150, and proceeds will be used towards the cost of bringing high school and CEGEP students to see “Cabaret” during the run of the show. To purchase tickets to this event, go to bit.ly/CSLDSTickets, or call Ryan Nemeroff at 514-485-6806, ext. 2022 or via email at rnemeroff@cotesaintluc.org.

For information about “Cabaret”, or how to buy tickets, go to www.CSLDramaticSociety.org.

Nicole and Sarnai’s first review: Café Melbourne: Where to Cram for Your Next Exam

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I’m very pleased (and quite proud) to introduce my daughter, Nicole, and her friend Sarnai, as they post their very first restaurant review…

Café Melbourne: Where to Cram for Your Next Exam

By: Nicole Nashen and Sarnai Bisaillon for MtlRestoRap.com

Steps away from the bustle of Mont-Royal, there is a hidden gem in the Plateau region and this past December, we found our new go to study spot; Café Melbourne.

As two Dawson students, we both appreciated the ambiance that came with the café and noted that it is the perfect place to cram for your finals or perfect your essay. There was a blend of coffee shop music and sounds from the kitchen. The grinding of the coffee, the release of steam from the coffee machine and the clinks of the glasses. The smells of different, exotic coffees filled our noses as the sun shone through the window, warming our faces. All in all, we felt warmed and welcomed as though we were in our own kitchens.

Inspired by the previous owners, Anisha, Francois and Mathieu ensured Cafe Melbourne stays true to its name, offering Australian-inspired cuisine for the last year since it reopened. François told us “…Australians have a lot of fun with the way they create plates”. They mix and match different ingredients that work well together in order to create dishes that are aesthetically appealing.

The coffees we ordered were both simple and unique at the same time. The cappuccino was well made, with foamy flower designs to top it off but the real stunner was the lucky charms latte. The glass was overflowing with the breakfast cereal that we all know and love and brought us both some smiles and when we asked “why?”, Francois simply smiled and told us it was fun.

When it came time to eat, we asked Francois to surprise us with his two favourite dishes. The avocado toast was a delicious blend of so many different flavours that we never would have thought could go together. What impressed us the most was a jam we thought was made from dates which turned out to be a tomato jalapeno jam! The matcha porridge was unexpected since neither of us thought matcha could ever go in porridge. To top it all, there was a satisfying arrangement of fruits and coconut shavings with raspberry sauce drizzled over everything.

Now that school has started again, it is important for all students to find their study corners and Cafe Melbourne is the place to be. They are open 9-4 and brunch is offered every day of the week. A full brunch can range between $15-$21 and they will now offer a smaller version for a smaller price. In the upcoming year, they hope to have DJs come in for a fun morning with live music. They also plan to bring in guest chefs for collaborations once a month. As Francois told us, 2018 was a year to learn about their new business and 2019 will bring new and exciting events.

You can find more information on any one of their social mediums.

Website: https://www.melbournecafemtl.com/

Instagram: lemelbournecafe

Address: 4615 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal.

Nicole and Sarnai are second year Law, Society and Justice students at Dawson college who try out new cafes in the Montreal area to study.

All photos are courtesy of Café Melbourne

Mike Cohen and Glenn J. Nashen wax nostalgic with a great meal at Nickels Deli

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By Mike Cohen

For MTLRestoRap.com

Nickels Deli (https://nickelsdeli.com) has been serving customers since 1990. The chain was originally owned by singer Céline Dion and the Mammas brothers, Lawrence and Peter.  The latter two, along with Jacques Gaspo, eventually folded the operation into their Foodtastic (www.foodtastic.ca) company which today includes Carlos and Pepe’s, Sandouchon. Souvlaki Bar, La Belle & La Boeuf, Vinnie Gambini, Bacaro, Gatto Matto, Le Blossom and most recently Enoteca Monza.

Restaurant industry veteran David DiRaddo was recently appointed director of operations for the 11 Nickels locations in Quebec. This includes the chain’s first ever food court express location at Place Vertu.  David suggested Glenn and I meet him at the still rather new St. Léonard franchise, located in a shopping mall on Jean Talon near Pie IX. Open since July 2018, we were greeted by David and manager Sam Kassar.  The spot has a very clear sports theme, with a large mural featuring some of Montreal’s outstanding sports heroes. There are also logos of the Canadiens, Alouettes, Impact and Expos embedded in the brick wall, as well as no less than 10 flat screen televisions showing the best games of  the day and night and a full bar. With seating for 180 people, this Nickels has already attracted a warm following.

Mike Cohen and Glenn J. Nashen wax nostalgic with a great meal at Nickels Deli

Besides St. Léonard and Place Vertu, you can find the other Nickels franchises on Marcel Laurin Blvd. in St. Laurent, Dorval, Place Versailles, Rue St-Hubert, Laval, St. Jérôme, Sainte-Adèle, Joliette and Gatineau.

The first thing you need to know about Nickels is that it has a gigantic menu. It is updated and reprinted each July while an insert with different specials is changed quarterly. Known for its smoked mea, Nickels also features terrific appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, pastas, pizza, chicken, steak, ribs, seafood, milkshakes, desserts, a kids menu and other satisfying options. There is a breakfast menu served each morning which DiRaddo has designs on making available all day as well as lunch specials.

Mike Cohen and Glenn J. Nashen wax nostalgic with a great meal at Nickels Deli
St. Léonard restaurant manager Sam Kassar.

Kassar recommended that we begin by sharing a family platter, which includes onion rings with dijonnaise dip, four mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce, quesadillas with vegetables and cheese and four chicken wings. We also added to the platter some nacho corn tortilla chips, with melted Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses.

Mike Cohen and Glenn J. Nashen wax nostalgic with a great meal at Nickels Deli

The three of us then shared a virtual feast: a jumbo smoked meat sandwich, General Tao tempura chicken with rice, baby back ribs basted with Sweet Baby Ray’s bbq sauce, an eight ounce aged Angus top sirloin steak and an order of red skin potato fries.

Mike Cohen and Glenn J. Nashen wax nostalgic with a great meal at Nickels Deli

Glenn and I divided up the leftovers and saved room for two of the restaurants more popular desserts: the strawberry cheesecake and the truly decadent Celine chocolate cake.

Mike Cohen and Glenn J. Nashen wax nostalgic with a great meal at Nickels Deli

In Glenn’s case, he had not been to a Nickels restaurant in many years and the variety offered on the current menu truly surprised him.

“It is an older brand and we are reviving it,” said DiRaddo.

From Sunday to Thursday after 4 pm, children 10 and under eat for free.  This is applicable of course to kids accompanied by an adult who have ordered a main dish at a regular price. Only one child per adult.

It will be interesting to see what comes next for the Nickels brand. The food court format appears to be a big hat, so there could be more of those locations and I can certainly think of many places in Quebec which could benefit from a restaurant with such a diversified menu. Log on to the full menu at www.nickelsdeli.com.

Mike Cohen & Glenn J. Nashen enjoy a full Eggspectation experience

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By Mike Cohen

For MTLRestoRap.com

I have long been a fan of the Eggspectation (www.eggspectation.com) restaurant chain. A few years ago I met Enzo Renda, who has driven this business globally with a presence in other parts of Canada, the United States, India, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Renda says that Eggspectation is known for the high quality of its products. “We use real maple syrup, not table syrup,” he says. “We use mega eggs as well.  Our French toast is made with real French brioche bread. The fact is if I do not have quality food then I do not put it on the table.”

There are actually more than 100 plus items on the Eggspectation menu. This place is a lot more than just breakfast.

The Eggspectation concept was created by Eggspectation Group, with a first restaurant in downtown Montreal in 1993. Since then Eggspectation restaurants have become synonymous with innovation, high-quality food, excellent service, and a unique and exciting dining experience.

Each franchise has a different feel to it. My friend Glenn J. Nashen and I were happy to pay a visit to the locale at 5179 Côte des Neiges Road, close to Queen Mary.

Manager Alexandra Pinna serves up a winning selection.

This franchise opened nine years ago and sits 100 people. Manager Alexandra Pinna, who has been there from day one, greeted us at the front and showed us to a nice table. Let me say from the outset that this was truly an entirely different and very satisfying Eggspectation experience for Glenn and me thanks to Alexandra’s excellent suggestions. Whereas in the past we have merely tried the basic egg options, we went well beyond that this time.

We started things off with some smoothies opting for the peanut butter and jam!!  This has all the flavour of your classic sandwich swirled into a sweet and nutty drink. peanut butter, strawberry jam and bananas with honey and yogurt.

That was a great way to kick things off. Alexander recommended that we share a couple of starters. We sought her opinion and settled on the Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon Crostini. This encompasses smoked wild sockeye salmon, served with capers, red onions and cucumbers, with Philadelphia cream cheese spread on toasted ciabatta slices.  We added the Eggspectation’s Original Crab Cake, the chain’s own rendition of the classic crabcake on a bed of spicy slaw and topped with a dollop of lemon aioli.

Glenn and I never thought of having a burger at Eggspectation. Well, burgers here are made with Triple A Butcher’s Block reserve angus Beef and served on an artisanal brioche bun with fries or a mixed field green salad. There was a mushroom swiss burger on the lunch special menu and we split everything in half. It was quite superb!  Added to the order was the Lobster Benny- two perfectly poached eggs accompanied by gently sautéed Maritime lobster on a toasted  English muffin and a natural lobster reduction sauce.

Their trademark and most delicious Lyonnaise-style potatoes were of course included.

Well yes we were full. But Alexandra urged us to consider a dessert so we opted for the Crepe Suzette -flaming flavour from a flambéed butter and orange brandy sauce.

Indeed you will have a tough time choosing between dishes: crepes, soups, salads, omelets, pasta, steak, chicken, seafood, sandwiches, or our famous Eggs Benedict and fresh squeezed orange juice! Freshly prepared with high-quality ingredients and attractively presented, this menu only has one flaw: you could eat too much like Glenn and I.

With seating for 100 people, this franchise is very popular with the Université de Montréal crowd and diners in general. I saw people of all ages when were there. Tables are setup along two long rows. A couple of large flat screen TVs allow patrons to watch their favorite game.

I encouraged the ownership group to consider staying open on Saturday evenings. They took that suggestion under advisement.

This Eggspectation is located at  5179 Côte des Neiges. Hours of operation are 7 am to 3:30 pm Monday to Friday and 8:00 am to 4:30 pm on weekends. For more information call 514-507-4499 or log on to www.eggspectation.com

A Bintel Brief: Yiddish Theatre alive and well in Montreal

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A review by Glenn J. Nashen

NEW: Now featured in the Jewish Standard Magazine!

 

The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre opened its 60th season this week with its latest production of A Bintel Brief. This performance at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts  is brought back to the stage after it originally opened in Montreal in the 1970s. It is a story based upon real letters to the editor of a Yiddish language daily newspaper in New York City in the early 1900s.

 

The production is composed of a series of true stories of Jewish immigrants coming to America and trying to adapt to their new world. It not only connects the stories of immigrants in the early 20th century to their former lives in Russia and Europe but it also connects them to their descendants 100 years later.

 

A Bintel Brief peeks inside the immigrant experience of long ago and reminds us that little has changed and that the struggles and efforts made are both timeless and universal.

 

The show is brought to life by budding director Michelle Heisler who has previously acted in the DWYT and works with young children’s theatre. Heisler is a talented actor and singer having performed on stage across Canada, the United States and Europe.

 

The cast is an energetic and spirited group of youngsters, young adults and older folk who come together as though they were a true family.

Sam Stein and Aron Gonshor (Courtesy CJNews.com)

Aron Gonshor and Sam Stein are iconic in the DWYT and for good reason. Their vaudeville singing and dancing with old-fashioned, side-splitting humour kept the audience in tears of laughter. Their shtick was out of Wayne and Shuster and they were classic funnymen. They also took on serious roles in skits ranging in theme from overworked and underpaid, depressed immigrants to tragic episodes involving loss of life and great despair. If there are lifetime achievement awards for outstanding performance in Yiddish theatre this duo is certainly right for the prize.

 

Mikey Samra is known for  his many performances in the Cote Saint-Luc Dramatic Society but his stage presence in Yiddish was equally spectacular. He is a compelling young actor who will continue to flourish in whatever language he chooses.

 

Jodi Lackman has played at the Segal before but her performance in A Bintel Brief takes the cake. Her facial expressions and shrieking voice at learning her husband has another wife and children, her melodramatic overtones in yearning for her secret lover and her comedic expressions are worthy of praise and applause.

 

The list of talented and dedicated young actors who have put in tremendous effort to speak a language that is probably quite foreign to most of them is long and impressive. Kudos to all of them for entertaining the audience with song and dance, with drama and comedy and by keeping the language and rich history alive.

 

One particular skit involves a class of immigrants trying to learn to speak English. It is ridiculously funny with mispronunciation and misunderstanding. I could just imagine my Bubby and Zaida in such a class with their thick yiddishe accents trying to learn their new language. Indeed, I still remember the words of my very funny Russian-born Zaida who’d say, “I speak 12 languages and don’t understand any of them!”

 

The stage was simple and old fashion in the Segal Centre’s smaller theatre. Presented with English and French supertitles it is an easy-to-understand show even if you’re not fluent in mama-loschen. The four piece band was fun and lively under the musical direction of Nick Burgess.

 

Despite the young children who sing and dance in the first act (they leave at intermission to get home for bedtime) the heavy adult themes would give this musical performance a PG-13 rating, not age appropriate for pre-teens.

 

DWYT President Ben Gonshor thanked the capacity opening-night audience for continuing to support community theatre, particularly in Yiddish. With such great benefactors such as Alvin Segal, Barbara Seal and the Azrielli Foundation and Federation CJA Montrealers are fortunate in that they will continue to be treated to such memorable and entertaining evenings for years to come.

 

A Bintel Brief continues at the Segal Centre though October 21. Tickets are available at SegalCentre.org or by calling 514-739-7944.

 

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