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Glenn J. Nashen: A Taste of Greece in Montreal’s West End

By Glenn J.Nashen

Nestled among Sherbrooke West’s ethnic eateries in the heart of Montreal’s West End, Restaurant Limeni offers a truly authentic Greek dining experience that transports patrons to the sun-drenched shores of Greece. Owned by the affable Nikolaos Tsarouhas, fondly known as Nikolas, Limeni is a culinary gem that embodies the warmth and flavours of Greece.

Nikolas’ journey to Limeni is as intriguing as the flavours he serves. Originally arriving in Montreal to pursue a medical degree at McGill University as a Greek-trained nurse, Nikolas found his calling in the Greek restaurant industry as a med student, first as a busboy, then server and manager. After supervising some of the city’s finest venues, Nikolas realized his dream of owning his restaurant, opening Limeni 12 months ago. Named after the town of his grandmother’s heritage, Limeni captures the essence of Greek hospitality and cuisine.

Limeni cuisine uses traditional cooking techniques passed down through generations, deeply embedded in the Greek food culture and perfected over centuries, creating a culinary heritage unique to Montreal. Always following the latest culinary trends but with a love for the genuine ways of the Mediterranean, Limeni focuses on the authenticity discovered in tradition and the deep respect for raw materials found in nature. At the heart of the Limeni kitchen lies the classic simplicity of preparing and serving fish and seafood in a way that first and foremost respects genuine flavours. An unquenched desire for a deeper exploration of taste, while tuning in to the finest aromatic accents and enjoying the beauty of basic treatment of the gifts of the sea, gives shape to delectable dishes that highlight the natural flavours of the amazing ingredients found here in every plate.

Limeni values the quality of the ingredients that enter the kitchen and emphasizes fresh, healthy cooking. They select fish and shellfish each day along with daily fresh vegetables, capers and extra virgin olive oil sourced directly from Limeni village in Greece. All of this personal attention leads to masterful creations with vibrant colours and extraordinary taste.

On a recent visit with my family, we were warmly welcomed by Nikolas himself, whose attentive and professional service mirrored the genuine hospitality of his homeland. As we settled into the charming ambiance, complete with authentic Greek music and decor, we knew we were in for a treat.

Our culinary journey began with a bottle of Thema, full body, dry, red Greek wine for my wife, Judy and daughter Nicole. Daniel, Nicole’s boyfriend and I each had a bottle of Virginia, a savoury Greek beer. We all shared a large Greek salad, featuring creamy feta cheese made from sheep and goat milk imported directly from Greece. The freshness of the tomatoes, grown hydroponically here in Quebec, lent a vibrant burst of flavour to the salad. Additionally, Daniel and I indulged in a seafood salad for two, showcasing tender octopus, succulent shrimp, and perfectly cooked calamari, all delicately dressed in a light Greek vinaigrette.

Continuing our feast, we savoured the Limeni Tower which is fried, zucchini, and eggplant with saganaki cheese served with tangy tzatziki – a delightful combination of cucumber, garlic and creamy yogurt dip. 

For the main course, Daniel and I sampled a variety of traditional Greek dishes, including tender lamb chops and succulent grilled chicken, while the ladies shared a beautifully prepared Mediterranean sea bass. Each dish was accompanied by a medley of mixed vegetables, including broccoli, perfectly complementing the flavours of the main courses. We were all thoroughly satisfied.

As the evening drew to a close, we indulged in a decadent dessert of loukoumades—sweet sugar-dusted honey dough balls drizzled with sweet honey accompanied by aromatic mint tea. The irresistible combination of crispy dough and sweet honey was the perfect finale to our meal, leaving us with satisfied smiles.

Nikolas tells us that business is ramping up with so many regular customers returning from wintering down south and others in the neighbourhood coming out of hibernation. He has a dedicated patronage, many clients having followed Nikolas from his previous restaurant ventures in Westmount and Ville Saint-Laurent. Impressively, earlier this year, Limeni hosted the Montreal branch of the International Wine and Food Society.

Earlier this year, Mihalis Mavromihalis joined the Limeni team as a partner. As Nikolas said, “This is a strategic plan for a possible expansion, such as a second location or a franchise of the Limeni brand.”

We look forward to returning soon. I would like to try Nikolas’ favourite dish, seafood pasta. Chefs Arif and Costa have a winning menu that is sure to please your dining experience. The friendly staff work hard to ensure an outstanding visit.  

Limeni offers a welcoming atmosphere both indoors and on its terrace, providing seating for up to 70 guests indoors and 30 on the terrace. While Friday and Saturday nights tend to be busiest, reservations are recommended to ensure a stress-free dining experience. Additionally, with plans to expand business hours to include a business lunch Tuesday through Friday, there will be even more opportunities to enjoy Limeni’s delectable cuisine.

In summary, Limeni is more than just a restaurant—it’s a culinary journey to Greece’s shores, guided by the passion and expertise of owner Nikolas. With its authentic flavours, warm hospitality, and charming ambiance, Limeni is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable taste of Greece in the heart of Montreal’s West End.

Restaurant Limeni is located at 5942 Sherbrooke Street West at the corner of Belgrave. For reservations visit them on Facebook, Instagram or call 514-419-2719. You can also reserve on OpenTable or simply walk, and be sure to say “yiasou” to Nikolas!

Glenn J. Nashen

1 thought on “Glenn J. Nashen: A Taste of Greece in Montreal’s West End”

  1. Pingback: Restaurant Limeni: A Taste of Greece in Montreal’s West End | Nashen Notes

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