Category Restaurant

Middle Eastern in Mississauga: Syrian Cuisine at Roman Zaman

Finally, a middle eastern restaurant in Mississauga that matches the quality of middle eastern food we are accustomed to eating in our favourite Montreal restaurants. It’s been a long time coming, baby! Roman Zaman serves delicious Syrian food, in a pleasant atmosphere, with lovely staff. If you like middle eastern, I urge you to try Syrian cuisine: a more refined approach to an already delicious and healthy way of cooking.

When they serve the tea like this you know you are in for an experience #damascenetea #syriancuisine

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Holiday Cheer: Copper Kettle

Baby, it’s cold outside! Cozy up next to the Copper Kettle’s crackling fire and toast the holidays in this charming pub, decked in festive greenery.

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Photo thanks to Grace Cutmore https://www.instagram.com/thesylvanpath/

The authentically renovated Copper Kettle is situated in a historical building, nestled in the quaint, wee village of Glen Williams. In warmer months, sit on the outdoor patio. If it gets nippy, there’s a large, outdoor fireplace to warm you up.

untitled1 What’s even better? The Copper Kettle’s new ownership is serious about serving well-prepared, fresh food, using locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible. They even make their own honey and maple syrup on their farm. There are plenty of healthy or indulgent, classic pub food options to choose from on their menu, as well as daily specials. I’ve heard everything on the menu is delicious.

 Margo, our lovely server, and my father.

Margo, our lovely server, and my father.

My dad and I enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Copper Kettle in the fall. His choice: Steak and Egg daily special with really flavourful, tender steak and grilled tomatoes.

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The open-faced Black Bean & Chickpea Burger is sumptuous: sliced baguette, layered with grilled vegetables and marinated tomatoes, slathered with mashed avocado, adorned with a generous pillow of black beans and chickpeas, topped with soft chèvre (fresh goat cheese), garnished with baby greens, and drizzled with balsamic reduction. Oh, happy Olive!

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Be sure to order a house made tart if there is one on the dessert menu: the crust is fantastic. The French Apple Tart has an almond filling and is garnished with a fan of thinly sliced apples and a light dusting of sugar that caramelizes into a very thin crust, a little like the crust on a crème brûlée. Oh…là…là!

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Come for a glass of local craft beer, cider or wine and a plate to share. The Charcuterie Board looked perfect for sharing: cured meats, daily cheese, honey roasted pecans, walnuts and house made pickled garnish with warm bread. If you are vegetarian, try the Bread Board with toasted breads, house made hummus, olive tapenade, and baba ghanoush.

Sunday night specials include Roast Dinner. There is live music on Saturdays from 9:00pm to 11:30pm and Sunday evenings from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

I gathered up some friends one Sunday night in December and returned. The duo who were performing were delightfully entertaining. The Mushrooms platter is healthy yet heavenly: a warm salad of oven roasted mixed mushrooms and tomatoes, decadent dollops of soft chèvre, wilted spinach and basil, and balsamic drizzle. I asked for some grilled baguette on the side and called it dinner.

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My friends loved the Black Bean & Chickpea Burger and a daily special wrap sandwich.

It was such a cheerful night amongst the Christmas greenery, twinkling lights, and rich, spicy fragrance of the fire. When we opened the door to leave, big, white snowflakes danced down from the dark night sky – the first snowfall of the season. Fade in Charlie Brown Christmas music…♪♫♪♫.

Photo thanks to

Photo thanks to Grace Cutmore https://www.instagram.com/thesylvanpath/

Have yourself a merry little Christmas! Love, Olive xx.

Copper Kettle
517 Main Street
Glen Williams, Ontario
L7G 3S9
905-877-5551

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Staycation: Summer in the City

Olive loves traveling around the GTA west, unearthing fine global flavours, and sharing her finds with you. Being the #snaphappy girl that she is, Olive loves the instantaneous power of instagram. But those of you who aren’t on instagram are missing out, so here’s a snapshot of her finds from this past week.

As much as she cherishes the time she is lucky enough to spend with family in Muskoka and Montreal, a staycation in the city is pretty nice too.  These boots are made for walking, so that’s just what Olive did this week…from one end of the GTA west to the other.

Georgetown Farmers’ Market with one of my besties on Saturday morning. Read why I love Georgetown Farmers’ Market here: http://olivetoeat.com/2014/07/georgetown-farmers-market-olive-it/

Thiessen Farms #georgetownfarmersmarket #olivetoeat #unearthingglobalflavours #gtawest #iloveartichokes

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And then Jerkfest in Etobicoke with our families Saturday night. What a great night that was!

#isthislovethatimfeeling

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And a celebration lunch at Jamie’s Italian at Square One with my husband and son. How do you celebrate summer?

Guess where I am? #Sauga #jamielove

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Sharing the Love: Saucy in Streetsville’s Small Plates

How did date night with hubby turn into such a bountiful feast? #hungerpains #hubbylove #saucylove. Saucy, you make the best appetizers! It’s hard to choose from the many delicious options, so we ordered a few (a lot) to share and called it dinner. Thank goodness I did most of the talking while hubby did most of the eating. Each bite was worth every calorie.

Top left clockwise:

Braised Beef Poutine: chunks of gooey Quebec cheese curds and tender braised beef in a rich jus over Yukon frites

Pernod Prawns: so decadent and my all time fave. I have raved about before here http://olivetoeat.com/2014/10/brilliant-flavour-streetsvilles-saucy/

Caesar Salad: fresh garlic dressing over crisp romaine. Garnished with big chunks of warm bacon, crunchy croutons, and shaved parmesan

Mussels: poached in a garlic, white wine, and tomato broth and served with grilled bread to mop it all up

Spiducci: skewers of tiny cubes of succulent lamb marinated in Indian tandoori spices and grilled to perfection. Served with mint coriander sauce.

Saucy in Streetsville111 Queen St. S
Streetsville, ON
L5M 1K7
905-542-9600

 

 

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Postcard from Montreal: Restaurant Damas

Need ideas for a trip to Montreal this summer? Feasting at Van Horne Avenue’s Damas is like a magical night in a sultan’s tent. You’ll be charmed by this Syrian restaurant’s opulent but modern décor, attentive staff, and lively ambiance but it’s the food that will blow your mind. Damas serves the best middle eastern food that we have ever tasted – and that’s coming from my husband’s family (who have Syrian roots and have eaten middle eastern across the globe).

You come to Damas to eat, so come hungry. Order the tasting menu, a traditional Syrian mezze of small plates; Damas makes it an outstanding gastronomical experience. The chef will surprise you with his choice of course after course of little works of art: refined, traditional recipes with creative touches that will leave you swooning.  Here are a few instagram photos of the tasting menu we enjoyed recently with our brother and sister-in-law. Sorry the photos don’t do the food justice – I was too busy enjoying the food and conversation to focus.

Cold mezzes started with fattouch salad, finely chopped so that every bite was a medley of flavour: romaine lettuce, radish, tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, and mint, topped with grilled pita and crimson pomegranate seeds, in traditional lemon vinaigrette spiked with Aleppo pepper and sumac. Isn’t beet mutabbal (a puree of roasted beets and nutty tahina paste) so pretty? Mouhammara is seductive dip of roasted sweet red peppers, nuts, tomato, lemon, pomegranate molasses, and Aleppo pepper. I have a recipe for mouhammara on my blog but I wish I knew how Damas makes theirs divine. The hummus is silky smooth and dead-on delicious, the best hummus I have ever tasted. With house-baked pita, served warm and puffy. I should note that this photo shows the portions I put on my plate and not how the chef plated them.

The Arabs have an even better version of steak tartar, called kibbé nayyé: finely minced, top-quality raw beef with bulgur and seven spices. Damas stuffs theirs with mouhammara, mint, and pine nuts, and garnishes with shaved onions and house-made chili puree. A real delicacy.

Kibbeh nayeh… phenomenal

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But we are just getting started. Next in line are succulent proteins grilled over an open charcoal fire.

#youcametodamasyouareheretoeat #syriancuisine #montreal #chargrilled #tastingmenu

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I’ve never been a fan of octopus but Damas chargrills it and serves it with a chickpea salad. My son will be happy to know I now love octopus.

Grilled octopus salad with cilantro puree

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Chargrilled sea bass on a pool of tarator (a sauce made from ground sesame paste, garlic, lemon, and cumin) is already my favourite fish meal but Damas blows it out of the water. Tarator sauce is easy to make at home and pairs especially well with grilled fish but also chicken or beef. I have a recipe for it on my blog (my husband’s family calls it tahina).

The totally unexpected fillet mignon of veal was fabulous: deglazed with lemon, garlic, and Aleppo pepper. Served with confit tomatoes and tiny cubes of crisp potatoes.

Filet mignon of veal. Fabulous

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Lamb chops were dusted with seven spices and chargrilled to sheer perfection, as soft as butter. Served on a drizzle of baba ghannouj (smoky, grilled eggplant mashed with ground sesame paste, lemon, and garlic).

Dessert is not included in the tasting menu but don’t miss the orange blossom baklava ice cream: rich vanilla ice cream perfumed with orange blossom water and spiked with chunks of sticky sweet baklava….heavenly.  And the fresh mint tea is so fresh and minty.

Mint tea how it is mint to be

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Gorgeous glass lanterns are strung across the ceilings. Click the link to the Damas website to see photos of their beautiful interior.

Beautiful ambiance

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There is an outdoor terrace, two rooms, and a bar beside the charcoal grill (which is entertaining in cooler weather but a bit too toasty in the summer). Make reservations well in advance; this place has earned its popularity. The tasting menu is available for entire table only. It’s expensive but so worth it. Make Damas your special night out.

Restaurant Damas
1201 Ave. Van Horne
Montreal, QC   H2V 1K4

Telephone: 514-439-5435
http://www.restaurant-damas.com/

 

 

 

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