Glenn J. Nashen finds African cuisine in Plateau Mont-Royal

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Posted on MtlRestoRap

Always on the lookout for something different and experiential to try among Montreal’s thousands of restaurants, I recently happened upon a great find tucked in among the eclectic, unique spots in Montreal’s Mile End district of Plateau Mont-Royal. And of the many eateries I’ve experienced in our great city this was my first outing to an African restaurant (northwestern Africa to be more specific, and Mauritanian to be pinpoint accurate).

Atigh, is the creative genius behind La Khaima, a successful establishment that has been going strong for 15 years. Atigh arrived at that time from Mauritania, which shares its borders with four nations: Algeria, Mali, Western Sahara, and Senegal. He started cooking in university residence and enjoyed entertaining crowds of Montreal students since he missed such social occasions from his homeland. It wasn’t long before students were paying him to cook for them. That’s when he realized he was onto something that he hadn’t expected when he moved from Western Africa to Canada.

Atigh is the youngest child and as such he had the responsibility to cook for his nomadic family while the others tended to animals and collected food for their meals. His mother taught him all about preparing fruits and vegetables and how to cook up some amazing, tasty, traditional dishes.

The nomadic lifestyle meant that seven months each year the diet was vegetarian as the family traveled every few days to a new location, herding their animals in search of new fields and pastures. Out of necessity, culture and tradition, the local flavours and aroma of nomadic cuisine became first-hand to Atigh, who developed his expertise from a young age and transferred it to the new world.

As soon as you walk into La Khaima you enter a world of typical, brightly coloured fabrics, low benches and tables meant for groups and families.

We were greeted by Atigh’s staff – more like family – Tommy, Luis and Rodrigo. He has inculcated the Mauritanian spirit into his Quebecois server/manager, his Mexican waiters and chefs, and others from various points around the globe, like Hico, who was born in the Ivory Coast, moved to Benin and on to Montreal.

Bottled hibiscus juice branded in Atigh’s name lines the front window and was our first taste as we removed our shoes to sit at the table. These special flavoured drinks are common in the desert in Mauritania, with hibiscus leaves left to soak in water for twenty-four hours. Completely organic, there are four flavours to choose from: original, mint, ginger and unsweetened. The unique flavour was a good start to the La Khaima experience and fortunately can last even longer as bottles are sold in organic grocery stores across the city as well as in local depanneurs. What’s more, “It’s good for your health”, we were told by manager Tommy, containing iron and calcium, excellent properties for good circulation.

The menu is relatively simple. For a fixed price you are served appetizers, soup, a main course and dessert. “You’re going to eat as though you were in Mauritania,” said Tommy, setting out the well-spiced hummus along with a bowl of pita. “This is the best hummus I’ve ever tasted,” my daughter Nicole shouted out.

A few minutes later the lentil soup comes out in a soup tureen and Tommy ladles out a portion for each of us. It was very tasty, full of flavour, and there was enough for seconds. We talked with Tommy while we sipped our soup and learned more about the restaurant and the country.

The main course consists of a choice of protein served on a bed of couscous. There’s the vegetarian one loaded with carrots, beans and the vegetable choice of the day.

Atigh carefully selects what is in season at local markets, just as he chooses spices and other special ingredients back home. Other choices include the beef with date and cinnamon plate and there’s also chicken with lemon and olive. My family sampled the veggie while I tried the beef and chicken choices. All of us were excited about the presentation and smells that steamed up our tented area.

“Everything is made fresh and cooked slowly,” Atigh pointed out. While the dishes are typical of western and northern Africa, the spices are sourced personally from Morocco by Atigh who travels to the region several times a year, on his mission to ensure genuine nomadic flavours. “The lemon is from Yemen,” Atigh told us, used to marinade the chicken or lamb dishes.

The ever-versatile and always smiling Atigh is also a musician who plays the ardin, a traditional Mauritanian instrument. At other times he is in the kitchen cooking and frequently he personally serves up old style Ethiopian coffee in a traditional ceremony and smokes cigars with his regular customers.

Atigh is a storyteller and enjoyed sitting with my family and recounting tales of his childhood and native land. He speaks five languages and his family back home is still nomadic, surveying the stars, noting the shape of the grains of sand, and following their camels! In fact, his cousin served as president of Mauritania for 18 years.

Today, 3000 Mauritanian ex-pats call Montreal their home and many visit La Khaima regularly to stay connected. Travelling diplomats from the region also drop in for dinner and to support the local community.

La Khaima is a BYOB venue, and one of the few local establishments that remain open on Monday nights. African music is always filling the warm, festive and  friendly environment which is suited to couples, groups and families.

Atigh even started the Festivale Nomade to help spread the word about Mauritania. He could not be more proud of his heritage and he is constantly looking for ways to give back to his adopted home here in Montreal. “He is very charitable,” Tommy says. “He has a very big heart.” La Khaima meals are are all-you-can enjoy, including fresh mint tea and home-baked date cake drizzled with warm molasses syrup. The price is fixed at $25 per person, $12 for children. And you can bring your own wine. It is located at 142 Fairmount Street West, a few blocks east of Park Avenue in the Plateau (and just down the block from Fairmount Bagel). They are open 6 days a week (closed on Tuesdays) from 5:00 PM-10:00 PM. For reservations call 514-948-9993. Find them on their websiteFacebook and Instagram.

Amy Fish helps us to learn to speak up

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I would think that the “Chief Complaints Officer” for Montreal’s Concordia University would be the go-to person in how to deal with a wide variety of complaints. Indeed, Amy Fish has channeled her many years of experience as an ombudsman in authoring her new book, I Wanted Fries With That, How to ask for what you want and get what you need, published by New World Library.

In I Wanted Fries With That, readers are encouraged to stand up for themselves by learning how to complain effectively. Through funny, real-life stories, pragmatic methods on how to address grievances are highlighted showing that a situation, no matter how intense, can be resolved with civility, honesty, and fairness for everyone involved.

I have just cracked open a new copy of Amy’s book which launches on October 17 at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal. From the get go, it is clear that you, “Need to have courage to live life. This includes learning to ask for what you need or want.”

Amy quickly teaches us that:

  • Speaking up, and asking for what you need, is harder than you think
  • If you don’t ask for what you want, you will not get what you need
  • If you send your friend to ask for what you want, she may not be able to do it, in which case you won’t get what you need
  • We were born with the ability to make our voices heard, and we need to use this gift wisely

Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore and the Jewish Public Library are hosting the book launch of I Wanted Fries with That at 5151 Côte Sainte-Catherine Road, in Snowdon district of Cote des-Neiges-NDG, on Thursday October 17th, 2019 at 7pm. Tickets are free with purchase or pre-purchase of I Wanted Fries With That exclusively at Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore. You can also reserve your ticket directly on this site.

Having known Amy for a number of years, I am looking forward to her hilarious stories that will not only bring a smile and chuckle but will surely teach me, and you, a thing or two about standing up for what I need and want.

As I begin Amy’s book I am already reassured in learning that, “People who are calm, who speak clearly, and who are better able to communicate have a better track record in getting what they want and need.” I Wanted Fries With That will set me on the path of solving problems, getting other people to change and seeing justice served.

Amy has written for the Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, and the Globe and Mail. She lives with her family in Montreal. Find out more about her work a http://www.AmyFishWrights.com.

I’ll be back soon with a full review of I Wanted Fries With That.

Debut cruise review: Harmony of the Seas

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My readers have welcomed my contributions over the last year to MtlRestoRap, a Montreal restaurant review site. I’ve heard from many of you and received lots of favourable comments. Same goes for my recent Theatre reviews, all of which can be viewed under the “Reviews” tab up top.

I’m proud to say that today I launch my Travel Reviews with the publishing of my first ever Cruise Review in the formidable Canadian World Traveler magazine. My inaugural article is above or can be read on the online version of the Fall 2019 edition on page 50.

Please comment, like and share as this propels me forward to review more and to share with you.

Getting my thrills zip-lining across the open interior of Harmony of the Seas
Nikki getting the feel of the Flo-rider on the Sports Deck of Harmony of the Seas
Two spectacular ice shows aboard Harmony
A real ’50s style boardwalk with carousel, diner, cafe and bar. In the distance is the horrifying Abyss, an enclosed slide that drops an incredible 10 stories
GREASE the musical was so much fun and so entertaining
Sensational view of 12 levels mid-ship aboard Harmony of the Seas

Review: The Pianist of Willesdan Lane is a gripping, intense and beautiful story

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“Mona Golabek’s one-woman show is both a tribute to her mother’s triumph over persecution and a celebratory concert of life-affirming classics.”
– Montreal Gazette

“A story that deserves to be told…and heard.” – Montreal Mom

“[Mona Golabek’s passion] drives the audience to its feet to applaud with heartfelt gusto.” – Montreal Rampage

“A compelling one-woman show. Not to be missed.” – Pat Donnelly 

“This production [launches] the 2019-2020 theatre season with panache, grace, style, class and an emotional heartstring tugger.”- Orcasound

The Pianist of Willisden Lane is described as a Musical Journey of Hope and Survival. Now on stage at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, in Cote des Neiges, this One Woman Show is just that, and so much more.

The story is about the life and times of Mona Golobek’s mother, Lisa Jura, who was born in Vienna. With the Nazis marching through Austria, Lisa’s parents make the heart wrenching decision to send their youngest child out of the country to escape the war and the horrors erupting across Europe.

Mona recounts Lisa’s teenage war story and also portrays some of the other characters that enter her life during these dark years. She is serious and youthful, whimsical and scared. She takes her audience with her on an emotional rollercoaster ride. All around her baby grand piano.

Mona’s grandmother and mother, both accomplished pianists, would be so proud. Not only has Mona carried on in the tradition of her matriarchs, she does so with great aplomb and in awe of their great success against all odds. Indeed, a very real story of hope and survival.

With many mesmerizing interludes at a large, impressive piano at centre stage Mona captivates the audience with classical pieces from some of Europe’s greatest composers while paying tribute to, and sharing her for her dear mother.

After 90 uninterrupted minutes of sharing her family’s story in character and in music with superb projections of portraits and video from that era Mona draws to a close in a masterful concerto number as tears well up in my eyes.

Powerful. Stirring. Hopeful.

The Pianist of Willisden Lane was adapted for theatre and directed by Hershey Felder and is based upon Mona’s novel, The Children of Willisden Lane. Her book has been translated into several languages and has been read by hundreds of thousands of readers.

Playing at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts through September 29, 2019.

Mike Cohen and Glenn J. Nashen go kosher at Luzzatto on Decarie

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I recently dined with my friend Mike Cohen at Luzzatto Kosher Restaurant at the Ramada Plaza Hotel on Decarie Boulevard, near Plamondon. If you’re looking for a different option in Kosher dining in Montreal’s West End this Glatt Kosher fine Italian dining restaurant is worth a visit.

They offer Soups, Fresh Salads, Italian Dishes, Grilled Specialties, Mediterranean Platters, Sandwiches and Pitas, Wraps, Chinese Dishes, Drinks and More.

Read our full review here.

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.

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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