The Divas love parties, especially when it involves a new restaurant, fabulous food and an open bar! Our favourite blogger, Day Jobs & the NightLife, invited us to join him at the official opening of Ikanos, Montreal’s latest addition to the lovely restaurants on McGill Street Ouest. Unfortunately, Diva #1 had other plans but Diva #2 joined the boys for a wonderful evening.
The restaurant was packed, the DJ was on point and the crowd was buzzing. Clearly, Ikanos was off to a good start! The space itself is fantastic. The kitchen, which we were able to take a peek at, is on the bottom level which allows more seating area on the main floor, there are numerous wooden columns that have a distressed look, the bar is elegant and though there is plenty of dark wood, the space is bright.
White wine was flowing at the bar and canapés were being passed around. We tried several of the dishes though there are a few we missed out on which only gives us incentive to come back.
Their Greek dips included tzatziki, which is the traditional yogurt-based sauce, tyrokafteri, a spicy red pepper and cheese dip, and melitzanosalata, an eggplant salad. All were very flavourful and served on a deep fried pita chip.
When you think Greek restaurant you think of plenty of seafood! Skewered chunks of grilled octopus were served with artichokes. The bite was spicy and the charred grilled taste imparted more flavour to the fish. The artichoke was covered with a green pepper and mint pesto and there was a touch of garlic aioli to bring everything together.
The bread-crusted turbot, which sat on a bed of mild garlic purée, was lovely. A thin crisp layer of bread rested on the pan-fried turbot that was soft and flaky. It was topped with matchsticks of turnips and chanterelles which complimented the fish well.
The tuna tataki was cool in the middle and the outside had a slight sear that added texture to the bite. It was topped with a faintly sweet fig salad, olives, and white anchovies that was well balanced.
The scallop ceviche was refreshing and salty and had a nice crunch from the salad it sat on. Diva #2 loves saganaki, pan fried kafalograviera cheese which is flambéed with ouzo. When the waiter passed with a tray, he didn’t need to explain what it was! It was drizzled with honey and sesame seeds. The contrast of sweet and salty, as well as crunchy and chewy, made Diva #2 very happy!
One of the best bites of the night was the seared scallops on a bed of brussel sprout puree. The scallops were perfectly cooked, tender, the sear added sweetness and the brussel sprout purée was creamy.
We tried one of the traditional Greek desserts, the loukoumades, which were served with an Italian twist which made for a great combination! Loukoumades are small balls of fried dough covered in honey. They sat on a bed of creamy panna cotta and together they were divine.
Greek restaurants in Montreal have not been particularly popular lately. Ikanos has a great ambiance and offers a twist on traditional Greek food. We were even able to speak with Chef Constant Mentzas at the end of the evening and his passion for what he does really came through. If you’re looking for delicious Greek food, separate from the traditional Greek variety, check out Ikanos, you’ll be glad you did.
Tagged: 112 McGill, Fish, Greek, H2Y 2E5, Ikanos, Ikanos Greek, Ikanos McGill, Ikanos Montreal, Loukoumades, Mediterranean, Melitzanosalata, Montreal Greek, Montreal Restaurant, Octopus, Old Montreal, Old Montreal Restaurant, Old Port, Saganaki, Scallops, Seafood, Tuna Tataki, Turbot, Tyrokafteri, Tzatziki