By Mike Cohen
Petros Taverna has officially come out of COVID-19 hibernation with a take-out and delivery service at its Westmount (4785 Sherbrooke Street West) and Mile End (234 Laurier Street West) locations. Owner Ted Dranias plans to expand the program to his Griffintown (1613 William Street) restaurant soon. A fourth Little Italy spot was supposed to debut this spring, but that has been placed on hold until authorities give the green light for restaurants to open for diners.
Petros Taverna has a strong and loyal clientele. Dranias and his partner on Laurier Avenue, Peri Kalivrousis, had been fielding calls for weeks to reopen for take-out. They are doing so now with all the necessary precautions related to the pandemic, notably constant sterilization of the kitchen area. Any staff working in the restaurant, including those doing deliveries, have their temperature taken before they start their shift with an infrared thermometer. They also wear masks and gloves. Hand sanitizers appear at the entrance for people doing pickups, as well as circles on the floor to ensure social distancing towards the front counter. Take-out orders can be done via credit cards. Customers also have the option of calling when they arrive for curbside pickup.
“We have to get the economy going again and restaurateurs like myself will do our part,” said Dranias. “Until restaurants can reopen under normal conditions or with a smaller capacity, I think you will see more opt for the takeout and delivery model. At Petros it will be the same quality food and excellent customer service we pride ourselves on.”
It was in May 2015 that Dranias opened his first Petros on Notre Dame Street in Griffintown. The name was a tribute to his late father (named Petros), who always wanted to have a Greek restaurant of his own. In December 2016, a second Petros was established in Westmount followed in April 2019 by Petros Laurier. The Griffintown restaurant relocated to William Street last fall.
Specializing in Greek Mediterranean Cuisine, Petros Taverna is offering a variety of homestyle menu choices such as traditional moussaka, yiouvetsi (veal cubes with orzo), fish filets (cod, salmon, swordfish and seabass), pastisio (pasta with bechamel sauce and minced ground beef), gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers, with rice, fresh green herbs ground beef and ground veal), the Greek spread medley (any four spreads such as taramosalata, tirokafteri and tzatziki), Petros Special (lightly fried zucchini chips with tzatziki), Greek salad, finely chopped romaine salad with Greek balsamic vinaigrette, beets with crumbled feta and for dessert, homemade loukoumades (little yeast-risen dough drizzled with honey syrup and accompanied by some yogurt) and baklava.
My family and I did the take-out experience at Westmount and Laurier. At Westmount it was Gennaro Dranias, son of Ted, working alongside Tasso Roussopoulos who was delivering orders. Attired in gloves and a mask. Gennaro had everything well-organized inside: a couple of orders of lamb chops, pastisio and moussaka as well as the Petros Special and the Psilokomeni chopped salad. Gennaro or Tasso will bring it right to your car and pop the bags in the trunk.
At Laurier, Kalivrousis and Chef Shiva were creating culinary masterpieces the night I arrived. There were plenty of parking spots in front. Peri brought everything to the car. We ordered the Petros Special, Greek spread medley, Psilokomeni, two orders of lamb chops, moussaka and salmon. Everything was fantastic. The drive from Laurier to Côte Saint-Luc took under a half-hour and Peri packed everything so well nothing needed to be reheated. It was all fresh and tasty. Peri even threw in some pieces of baklava.
The complete special menu packages can be found at www.restaurantpetros.ca. All orders of $125 and more will come with a $25 gift certificate, to be used when in restaurant dining resumes.
Dranias has been donating meals to front-line health workers during the pandemic.
To make an order please call 514-938-5656 for Westmount and 514-312-0200 for Laurier. Hours of operation are 5 pm to 10 pm (Wednesdays to Sundays for now). If you do not wish to come inside, call the number when you arrive. You only need to pop open your trunk or back seat and the order will be placed there for you.
You can follow Petros on Facebook @PetrosTaverna.