The Ikanos restaurant, recognized for its modern Greek cuisine, is changing its identity. The address in Old Montreal becomes a seafood steakhouse. Chef-owner Constant Mentzas has another surprise in store for us: the opening of a new kind of fishmonger’s at the Jean-Talon market.
At Garde Côte, we move away from Greece and the Mediterranean to gain more freedom. “We remove the brakes that we imposed on ourselves,” says Constant Mentzas. The chef-owner wants to explore more new playgrounds: fermentation, dry-aged fish and various influences – including Mexican, he slips.
The regulars of Ikanos will not be confused, however, he assures. Fish and seafood remain the stars of the reinvented steakhouse – whether raw or grilled. A “raw bar” will be there as well as a sashimi section. Who says steakhouse, says meat; cuts of meat have therefore been added to the menu. A few signature Ikanos dishes will still be on the menu, such as fried zucchini and sea bass. in 2014.
“We want to better reflect where we are at,” says Constant Mentzas. The wine list will no longer be just Mediterranean, but will be “winemaker’s,” he says. On the cocktail side, there will be classics, but “with a twist”. “We want more surprises,” the chef expresses.
The decor will change little, but the service will be more present, with manipulation at the tables, specifies Constant Mentzas. Especially since customers, since the pandemic, come to the restaurant to have fun and live an experience, he noted.
Constant Mentzas is working twice as hard and will also be opening a fishmonger’s at the Jean-Talon market, the Palomar, in the coming weeks. “It’s going to look like a butcher’s shop,” explains the chef. Dry-cured fish that we will have whole or in cuts, charcuterie and fish-based sausages will be found at the Palomar counter – which will also have its cellar and café-refreshment areas.
Guests can go there in the morning for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich with fish charcuterie. At the end of the morning, it will be time for oysters and shellfish, and the place will turn into a wine and tapas bar in the evening. “We want something casual,” says Constant Mentzas.
With these two addresses, the chef gives himself the freedom to reinvent himself and innovate – which we won’t complain about!