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Mike Cohen finds out why Restaurant Molivos has such a loyal clientele

    For nearly four decades Restaurant Molivos (www.molivos.ca)  has delighted Montrealers with fine food, specializing in  Greek, grill, Mediterranean and seafood cuisine.

    George Kaklamanos started it all on March 20, 1980 when he opened up shop on Parc Avenue, between St. Joseph and Villeneuve. His sons, Leonidas and Maki, began working there part time and by 1987 they assumed ownership at their dad’s request. In 1994 the restaurant moved to larger quarters, its present location on Guy Street just below Sherbrooke.

    Decked out in the style of a Greek taverna, the crisp linens, curtained windows and Aegean seascapes create a setting conducive to the ultimate enjoyment of fresh seafood and superb Greek specialties.  Guests are offered lunch and dinner service, plus the convenience of delivery and takeout. To start, the saganaki, dolmades, taramousalat and charcoal broiled octopus are well worthy of their enduring popularity. And after sharing some appetizers, recommended specialties include the charcoal broiled rib steak, chicken brochette, and lamb chops. However, Molivos is most beloved for its seafood, where options range from fresh red snapper, black sea bass, shrimp and squid, to striped bass, sword fish, salmon and trout.

    The restaurant seats about 90 people and is split into a larger bar area and rooms with the capacity for about 26, 12 and eight respectively. “We do a lot of corporate events,” says Maki. “They can be for a group as small as eight and as large as 80. We have a loyal and regular clientele that has been coming here for many years.”

    My family had not been to Molivos in many years. One day I was driving up Guy and I vividly remembered the last time I dined there with friends.  The memories were of excellent food.

    We were warmly greeted at the door by Maki. He showed us to a nice table and introduced us to our server Peter. Maki and Leonidas make it a point of visiting with all customers; the ones they have known for years and the newcomers. Since we fit into the latter category, Maki asked what foods we like and made some excellent suggestions.  We were a party of four. After a basket of bread arrived, we started off by sharing an order of impeccably prepared wild oyster mushrooms. Peter told us they are delivered twice a week from Poland. Next came the Molivos Plate – fried eggplant and fried zuchinni, with green peppers and tzatziki. It was out of this world!

    The best was yet to come. We were excited to see charcoal broiled octopus on the menu and the dish did not disappoint us. One member of our party had never tried octopus before. He was pleasantly surprised.

    Next came the Molivos Greek Salad. This too was perfect for sharing with the table. It contained tomatos, onions, greens and some fabulous dressing.  A shrimp platter was one of our choices as well. The beautifully grilled pieces that arrived on a plate tasted fine and juicy.

    For the main course we shared two pieces of perfectly prepared grilled mediterranean  sea bass, which came with rice and French fries  on the side.

    We did somehow find space for dessert and an order of loukamados, yeast-risen dough puffs which are deep-fried to a golden brown, then drizzled with honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon.

    Maki notes that weekday lunch hours are always hopping, with table d’hôtes ranging from $18.95 to $25.95.

    It was a wonderful dinner, one that definitely bears repeating.

    Molivos is located at 2310 Guy Street. Hours of operation are 11:30 am to 9:30 pm Monday to Thursday; 11:30 am to 10 pm Fridays and 5 pm to 10 pm and 5 pm to 9:30 pm Saturday and Sundays respectively.  For reservations call 514-846-8818.

    Mike Cohen

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