1. The terrasse is petite in the cozy kind of way.
2. The terrasse is in shade in the afternoon/evening, so you won’t burn.
3. McGill turns into a wind tunnel some days, but never fear because the back of Ikanos’ interior dining room feels like a hidden terrasse and is a suitable sub.
4. If you’re still pissed off you couldn’t sit on the terrasse, drink a couple of cocktails with Metaxa (Greek heavy hitting booze) and you’ll be sitting pretty. Recommended: the Héphasïstos, a take on a negroni with vodka, Campari, blood orange syrup, mango and lemon.
5 (Because we’re a continent of duodecimal sheep). The late-night menu (Thurs-Sat after 10:30pm) lets you choose four mezze (small plates) so you’re not stuck with the app, main, dessert structure, which is miraculous for anyone who’s rather three savoury courses or is gluten free and is plagued by fixed menus with the inevitable result of endless, cheap sorbet for dessert. I’d rather have swordfish in citrus broth, grilled octopus, seared filet mignon with roasted red pepper purée and lamb tartare (see above) than bread pudding at 11pm.
That pretty much sums it up. Oh! I guess you should know that’s there’s nary a bit of hummus on the menu! Tzatziki, sure; melitzanosalata (eggplant), yes; tyrokafteri (hot pepper and cheese for luck dairy non-intolerants), yup.
But what you really want to know is:
What’s the chef’s favourite dish on the new summer menu? (Hint: it’s not on the late night menu.)
“I like the fish,” said executive chef/owner Contant Mentzas. He’s embarrassed to admit it because it’s such a simple dish, he says, but he loves it. It’s served simply, grilled, with olive oil, lemon, parsley and capers. But then he talked about his Josper grill and it made a heck of a lot of sense why he loves that fish. The restaurant is the second in Canada to get one of those grills, and it’s only the second because some jerk in Calgary got one first, apparently.
When I asked about finishing a grilled fish in the oven to combine a seared skin with a fully cooked interior, Mentzas explained the luxury of having the Josper. It’s a combo grill and oven with fancy temperature control. All the better for the sea bass (farmed, from Greece) and sea bream (didn’t ask from where. Sorry) to be perfectly tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.
Ah, heck. Screw duodecimal. Two more things you should know:
6. The Greek white wine, Skouras, goes better with the filet than the red! It bring out the buttery flavour (it’s dairy-free)
7. The citrus broth for that swordfish is a tiny bit of grapefruit and a bit of tomato for colour. It’s very light.
Other questions? Leave a comment. And if you hit up the late night menu at Ikanos, let me know how it was!
112 McGill, suite 1
Cost: $25 after 10pm for four mezzes. $22 at lunch. Otherwise, about $75 a person for a mezze and main with wine.