Friday night I had the pleasure to dine at a modern upscale Greek restaurant. At the lower end of the restaurant packed McGill avenue in Old Montreal, Ikanos has a special appeal for lunch and dinner. Delicious dishes called mezzes are the perfect size to share. Bigger than tapas but not as overwhelming as traditional main dishes, the portion sizes give you the opportunity to discover a delicious variety of flavors while still feeling satisfied at the end of your meal. Starting from the fried zucchini and ricotta – we were taken aback from just how good of a restaurant this was. There tends to be a noticeable difference when a restaurant is co-founded by a chef and at Ikanos, Constant Mentzas makes you taste it.

Late night menu. Next on our plate was a scallops dish with foie gras and dried fruit.  Not always relishing the taste of the French delicacy, I was impressed with the creativity and balanced blend of flavors the dish had. Spending so much time in Montreal restaurants  – it’s a memorable experience to try something completely new like this.  All the plates we had were recommendations and we were impressed throughout. As the following two mezzes came out – we feasted our eyes on grilled octopus and duck breast. Octopus can be a real test for a Greek restaurant and Constant made sure it was perfect. The smokey yet tender taste of the meat was tremendous. I really enjoyed the mix of textures and tastes every bite had throughout our meal. The difference between a good and great restaurant is often in the right proportions of each ingredient you savor. Every dish was so different and scrumptious that in the end – we didn’t know which was our favorite. If that’s not a good sign of a great place to eat then I don’t know what is.  Did I mention that as of 10PM you can get two mezzes for $24? That’s right – Ikanos’s new late night menu makes it affordable too.

For the grand finale – we chose to try a new item on the menu that caught our attention with the simple name “citron”.  Mentzas’s brother, a pastry chef himself created this refreshing tangy desert. A light cucumber sorbet (think Gin tonic) with a rich zesty lemon tart was a unique and satisfying end to such a taste-bud worthy meal.
Other highlights worth the mention:
1) The numerous, almost collectible looking variety of fish hooks in the entrance when you walk in. The “wild” colorful simplicity of this this beautiful display sets you in the mood for a fresh and exotic meal. Loved it!
2) The chef himself, Constant Mentzas. He was so modest that even after I tried to get him to introduce himself as the chef/owner (I knew his name and knew who he was) he brushed me off pretending not to be too important.  He served us throughout the night quietly. It was after discussing with the charming French sommelier that I was able to confirm his identity. In the end, we had a pleasant long chat with the experienced Montreal restaurateur
 the one
All and all – Ikanos is a must try. With this new late night menu at $24 – you don’t even have an excuse! Enjoy it now before our warm summer nights end.
Check their website out for more info here.