Damas is a restaurant that the Divas have been meaning to try but with all our events and invitations, it’s inevitable that some restaurants keep getting pushed back on our list. And then the restaurant suffered through a fire and had to be rebuilt. In case you were wondering, we had nothing to do with that fire. Now located on Bernard in Outremont, Damas certainly lives up to the hype surrounding this eatery!
Diva #2 loves tasting menus, especially when a menu has so many delicious dishes, that she can’t decide what to eat! Since G-Spot is a vegetarian, we made sure that there would be enough for her to eat without leaving her hungry. Our waiter assured us that she’d have plenty to eat, Damas was very accommodating. The tasting menu is 75$ per person and the whole table must take it.
Middle Eastern cuisine is famous for its dips and the most popular are hummus and baba ghannouj. At Damas, these two dishes are a must. Served with puffy homemade pita bread that is constantly replenished, the hummus is velvety and served with a light dusting of sumac for extra flavour and the middle was a pool of rich olive oil and chickpeas. The baba ghannouj, or eggplant muttabal, showcases the art of cooking with eggplants, something that Syrian cuisine has mastered. Dotted with pomegranate seeds for extra pops of tartness, both dips were perfect with the warm pita bread.
Our table was filling up fast with another two dips. A variation of the traditional baba ghannouj, the bright purple beet mutabbal won us over. An even balance of flavours, there was an extra element of earthiness with the mix of beets and eggplant, and the middle of the dish, like the hummus, was filled with olive oil and olives.
The mouhammara is a dip made with roasted red peppers and walnuts. It is both sweet and tangy at the same time with a little drizzle of pomegranate syrup. It was perfect on its own, but we also enjoyed it when we mixed it with Damas’ traditional hummus.
The last two cold mezzes were salads. Fattouch is a common Middle Eastern salad that most people are familiar with. It was light and fresh, with extra crunch coming from the pomegranate seeds. The baba ghannouj salad was presented like a tartare, and topped with feta, pomegranate seeds and mint. It was another light dish to complete our thorough tasting of the cold mezzzes.
As an added bonus of dining with a vegetarian, our waiter brought us a complimentary dish of falafels. Served with pickled vegetables, the falafels were crunchy and light, and had a strong sesame flavour. It’s times like these that Diva #2 forgives G-Spots vegetarian phase. But we hope it doesn’t last…
Another dish of hummus arrived, this time, the middle was filled with delicious lamb. The meat had a bit of an outer crust for extra crunch but it was tender and bursting with flavour. Piled into the pita with a good dollop of smooth hummus, we were soon asking for more pita to help finish the dish!
A very simple dish cooked over the charcoal grill, the veal filet mignon was ultra tender. Made simply with lemon and garlic, it was bright and the Aleppo pepper added a little hint of tang. Served with meaty mushrooms, sweet cherry tomatoes and sweet bell peppers, even our dear vegetarian said it smelled heavenly!
Perhaps one of the best main dishes, the lamb chops were perfectly cooked to pink inside with a delicious crust created from cooking over the charcoal grill. The double chops were served with roasted tomatoes, a fresh tomato and cucumber salad, and they were topped with buttery pine nuts and a drizzle of pomegranate syrup. This dish is an absolute must when dining at Damas!
So as not to leave G-Spot out in the cold, one of our main dishes was a vegetarian dish called Moujaddara. It consists of braised lentils with bulgur and caramelized onions. It was served with a tangy yogurt dipping sauce. The caramelized onions really added the most flavour to the dish and the yogurt dip, studded with pomegranate seeds, was a nice light touch.
Damas exceeded our expectations. The décor is soothing and authentic, and the restaurant has a cozy atmosphere. If you want to indulge, definitely order the tasting menu, you’ll get to sample a good portion of their menu. Damas is a restaurant to enjoy slowly, be prepared be spend some blissful hours eating some great food. It’s described as a traditional Syrian gastronomy experience and we would definitely return!
Our Rating: Always on Thursday
Tagged: 1201 Van Horne, Baba Ghannouj, Beet Mutabbal, Charcoal Grill, Damas, Damas Montreal, Falafel, Fattouch, H2V 1K4, Hummus, Lamb, Mezzes, Middle Eastern Food, Middle Eastern Montreal, Montreal, Mouhammara, Moujaddara, Mutabbal, Outremont, Reesh, Reservations Needed, Syrian Food, Tasting Menu, Veal