Mythos in Montreal Offers Magnificent Greek Fair

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We recently had the opportunity to share a fine dinner with family at Mythos located at 5318 Avenue Du Parc in Montreal, Quebec. Our waiters, were the brothers, Jimmy (Dimitri) and Peter (Panagioti).

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We had cocktails, that were expertly prepared. My cosmopolitan was just right, as was almost everything else we ordered this fine Montreal evening. They were seasoned professionals, who made sure that the kitchen orders were timed just right.

The Greek salad with fresh tomatoes and feta cheese was delicious.

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TOMATO SALAD

As appetizers we shared deep fried calamari, the grilled octopus platter that came with grilled peppers and a platter of grilled vegetables (yes redundant, but different vegetables).  The calamari were cooked to perfection, not at all rubbery, as sometimes happens. They were cooked in a light batter, spiced with pepper.  I would have liked some marinara sauce to dip them in, but it is a Greek Restaurant and not an Italian one.  Likewise, the grilled octopus was amazing, probably the best we ever had.  It was again, just right, not dry or rubbery.  The kitchen was kind enough to share their recipe with us–check for this below.  The equally splendid grilled vegetable platter came with asparagus, mushrooms, egg plant, red, yellow and green peppers and more, grilled to perfection after being marinated with a nice (balsamic?) vinegar.
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GRILLED OCTOPUS

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GRILLED VEGETABLES

As a main course, my brother had the New Zealand Lamb Chops which were perfectly marinated and grilled to perfection. They came with a potatoe and escarole that had been stir fried with garlic.

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LAMB CHOPS

I had the classic Greek Moussaka.  I have to say that this was likely the best that I ever had.  The bechamel sauce, which was perfectly infused with herbs and flavors, held the egg plant and ground beef together with a creamy and scrumptious texture.

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MOUSSAKA

We ordered the house wine by the glass, it was a Greek wine that tasted like a merlot. For dessert, to accompany the lattes and cappuccino, we all had the baklava.  I was a bit disappointed that it had less honey than I would have liked, it looked like a cake or pie and did not hold together when cut into. It wasn’t your typical few layers of filo dough with pistachios and honey in a square shape.

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BAKLAVA

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Everything at Mythos is big. If you are looking for great tasting classic Greek food with engaging wait staff, pay a visit to Mythos, and you will be delighted.  We give it 4.5 stars out of 5 stars!

So, how do you avoid rubbery octopus?  We visited the kitchen and were surprised that the lead cook was Pakistani, Safraz.  The octopus is defrosted, the tentacles are sliced, and put in a baking pan, marinated with vinegar (I would use balsamic.) Bay leaves are added as are other spices to the marinate.  The marinating octopus is then baked at 400F in the oven for an hour. The octopus is then left to cool and put in the fridge to marinate further until ready to be grilled, on order. Voila a perfect grilled octopus!

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Tricolor Rotini with Broccoli Rabe, Spinach and Chicken Sausage

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Tricolor Rotini with broccoli rabe (rapini), spinach, mushroom, cilantro, and chicken sausage. Sprinkled with parmigiano regianno.  Oh …so…gooood!

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (454 g) Chicken sausage encased with cheese and garlic (or any other sausage);substitute hard tofu for vegetarian meal, but add cubed tofu to cook last ten minutes

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 scallions (chalots)

1lb spinach

1 lb rapini

1 cup of your favorite mushrooms, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped  (may use parsley)

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

two 340g (12oz) boxes of tricolor rotini

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PROCEDURE

Set a large pot with water to boil for pasta; set the rotini to cook when add the cilantro below or whenever ready to eat.

In a large (8-Qt.) sauce pot, add oil and braise the sausage links on all side before cutting

add the garlic, scallions and onion

add the rapini and add 1 cup water, cover pot to let the rapini whither and cook, stirring occasionally

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add the spinach and mushrooms after the rapini has cooked for 15-20 minutes

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add salt and pepper to taste

add the cilantro and let simmer for 10 more minutes

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Sprinkle some Parmigiano Reggiano or some Pecorino Romano on top & ENJOY!

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Breathe, Eat, Drink

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One of the coffee chains (or franchising options) that is international is Presse Café with really good coffee, wraps, panini or “presswhiches”. It has coffee shops in Canada, Australia, Cyprus, France, Morocco, and Sénégal. Exotic locations include, Presse Café Dakar.

On the menu is a Mediterranean flair:

Presswiches
Chicken and sun dried tomatoes
Smoked salmon and capers
Grilled vegetables and provolone
Tahini chicken
3 cheese panini
Chicken decker
Sautéed mushrooms and goat cheese
Roastbeef and swiss cheese
Prosciutto and bocconcini
Ham and swiss cheese

If you visit a city with a franchise, give it a try!
http://www.pressecafe.com/en/

Spinach and Vegetable Soup

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INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb spinach washed and ready to use

3 carrots, sliced lengthwise, quartered, and finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise, and finely chopped

3 scallions

1/2 cup of diced mushrooms

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped  (may use parsley)

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1/3 cup of fresh dill or 2 TBSP of dill pasre

¼ cup olive oil

curry powder, salt and pepper to taste

3/4 to 1 cup of Acini Di Pepe Pasta (optional for extra energy/carbs)

PROCEDURE

In a large (8-Qt.) soup pot add the oil, the garlic, the onion, carrots and scallions and simmer until golden brown.

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Add the wet spinach and cover to let shrivel, stir occasionally.

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When spinach is reduced, fill with 6 – 8 cups of cold water (vegetarian) or chicken stock; if use water you can add a chicken boullion.

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Bring to a boil.

Add the mushrooms and cilantro.

Add  fresh dill or 2 TBSP of paste

Add salt and pepper to taste. (I like to add some curry powder too!)

Lower flame and cover, allow to simmer for  45 min to 1 hour, add salt and pepper as needed

At the last ten minutes bring to a boil and  add the optional Acini Di Pepe and cook for ten minutes

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Once cooked, allow to stand covered for 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with a Caesar salad and/or a nice crusty French or Italian bread that can be dipped in the soup!  Invite a friend over and share life over a hot meal.  Nothing better!

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