From the time it was first established in 2003, Restaurant Elounda (www.restaurantelounda.ca) in St. Laurent has regularly packed its 130-seat capacity dining room at the corner of Marcel Laurin Boulevard and Côte Vertu.
In November 2019, the father and son team of Gary and Jonathan Makris became the exclusive owners. Gary has been there since day one while Jonathan began busing tables as a teenager. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Elounda closed its doors. “We were not a take-out and delivery type of place,” reasoned Jonathan.
By April, father and son came to the realization that it be worth it to give this option a try since really was no alternative. “We were shocked,” Jonathan reported. “It took off immediately and exceeded our wildest expectation. Quickly we adapted to the new normal. We knew that traditionally items such as fish, lobster and octopus were not your typical take-out items. Well, now they are!”
As for delivery, Jonathan was opposed to using one of the main delivery services since they take so much off the top. Instead, he assembled a team of family members, headed by mom Toni and himself and since that time they have driven as far as the West Island, Westmount and Côte Saint-Luc. As word caught on and customers liked the quality of eating at home options business grew. While they were able to reopen in the summer, they maintained the take-out and delivery service. It is strong enough now to sustain them through the pandemic.
Take-out and delivery are available seven days a week, from 4 pm to 9 pm. allow me to vouch for the quality of this excellent service. On a recent Friday evening, I called in my order in the early afternoon. Jonathan himself was already working the phones. I arrived at the large parking lot at 5:45 pm. Jonathan loaded orders for myself and my mother-in-law and father-in-law into the car and I was back in Côte Saint-Luc in under a half-hour.
First of all, everything was packaged so beautifully and cooked to perfection.
For my mother-in-law and father-in-law, the order included a Psilokomeni salad (lettuce with onions, endives, lemon and oil dressing), the Elounda special (crispy zucchini and eggplant chips with tzatziki and saganaki), a two-pound completely de-shelled Nova Scotia lobster and lamb chops, both with rice.
As for our house, there was a large Psilokomeni salad (enough for six people), an Elounda special, Pikilia spreads with pita, a nearly four-pound Nova Scotia lobster for two-de-shelled) and an Octopus Plate – all with rice. Both orders came with decadent honey balls for dessert.
As noted there is plenty of free parking in the lot and even a handicapped-accessible ramp for people who cannot handle the stairs.
Overseeing the kitchen is chef Vijay and his team.
For take-out and delivery, you can order from the main menu posted on their website.
Other options include the popular Greek salad, which contains tomatoes and feta cheese. The olive oil they use is shipped to them exclusively from Greece.
Let me say something about the octopus. My late dad was with me when I first dined at Elounda. He did not like seafood and for certain had never tried octopus. When it arrived at the table cut into small pieces, he grabbed his fork and gave it a try. “This is the sweetest tasting chicken I ever had,” he said with a big smile. When I told him what he had just consumed he could not believe it, yet kept eating. Their recipe is simple. The chef pre-cooks the octopus in the oven with some spices. It is then warmed up on the grill, cut into bite-sized pieces and sprinkled with some olive oil, a touch of lemon juice and even some red wine and vinegar.
You might also want to try the grilled calamari on a bed of spinach or their large selection of fish (subject to availability). This includes Greek Porgy, Black Sea Bass, Greek Red Snapper, Pompano, Mediterranean Sea Bass, Mediterranean Porgy, Red Alaskan King Crab, Salmon, Swordfish and Sesame Tuna “Sushi.”
You can also order shrimp, scampi, chicken, steak, veal and pasta from the menu if you so desire.
Elounda is located at 1818 Cote-Vertu, at the corner of Marcel Laurin. For orders call 514-331-4040. You can log on to www.eloundarestaurant.ca to view the full menu and make sure to like their Facebook page.