The TBEX conference in Toronto had officially wrapped and as I stood on the corner of King and Bay Street I smiled with great anticipation for the delicious day ahead. I’ve had the great pleasure of becoming good friends with Mary Jo, TBEX Conference Director and blogger at Traveling with MJ. I really wanted to show MJ a few of the city’s great restaurants and so over the course of several weeks planned a feast friendly trilogy.
I was excited to play culinary tour guide and thrilled that the weather was agreeably sunny. We walked through Toronto’s Financial District, with our first stop at Estiatorio Volos. I had been meaning to drop in to Volos for some time, ranked as one of the cities top Greek restaurants, it sits directly across from LA’s Italian and Food owned and operated by the same team.
Pushing through the glass doors we whisked our way past a bright yellow adorned lemon tree and into a classically Greek bar featuring weathered stools and ancient urn. The main dining room filled with warm light from York Street as we made our way to our seats. I appreciated the nautical theme featuring sailors rope and green and blue glass blown orbs which hung as an installation over the space.
The culinary team at Volos is doing a fantastic job at showcasing authentic Mediterranean textures and flavours. I was most impressed by the Grecko beverage offerings, a fantastic wine list which offers guests a taste of Greek grapes and spirits. We started off with a refreshing cocktail dubbed “The Sintorini,” which features the spirit skinos which had been muddled with red passion alize, lime juice and soda.
Our first dish arrived to the table in flames, a classic Saganaki Cheese splashed with metaxa brandy and lemon. Other highlights included spetzofai a roasted spicy lamb sausage, horiatkiki salad (the Greek salad we have all come to love and adore) and a pistachio encrusted rack of lamb adorned with tart caper berries and kalamata. We finished off with a subtle and sweet balklava: a whisper of honey, walnut and pistachio.
skinos, red passion alize, lime juice, soda
2012 Assyrtiko “Santorini” Boutari, Santorini, Greece
2011 Agiorgitiko “Agiorgitiko” Gaia Wines, Nemea, Greece
2008 Vinsanto, Boutari, Santorini, Greece
kefalotyri sheep’s milk cheese, metaxa brandy, lemon, a mighty flame
grilled calamari, grilled moroccan octopus, spetzofai (roasted spicy lamb sausage)
cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, bell peppers, kalamata olives, feta, VOLOS organic olive oil
Pistachio Encrusted Rack of Lamb
warm red potato salad, caper berries, asparagus, kalamata olives, mint vinaigrette
phyllo pastry, honey, walnuts, pistachios