Restaurant: Tavla (formerly known as Neos St-Leonard)
Restaurant type: Greek, seafood, meat, BYOW
Prices: $6-$18 entrées, $7-$40 mains
Date: Thursday February 7th 2019
Table of: 2
My favorite dishes: taramosalata + bifteki + pork souvlaki + konolaki
Last month, Ryan @hungryhungryhipgrave and I had the pleasure of trying out Tavla as their guests! Tavla is a Greek BYOW restaurant located in St-Léonard, on Jarry just off of Viau. They serve all of your classic and popular Greek dishes in a casual ambiance, like fried calamari, tzatziki, gyros, souvlaki and more. They also have “fancier” dishes that I love – like grilled calamari, grilled octopus and grilled lamb chops – which you won’t always find in casual Greek restaurants.
- Taramosalata: carp caviar spread with potato and lemon juice
- Kopanisti: feta cheese spread with roasted peppers and roasted hot chillies
- Fried calamari, served with tzatziki
- Tavla – carnivore platter for 2: pork gyro, chicken gyro, loukaniko (Greek sausage), chicken souvlaki, porc souvlaki, bifteki (Greek hamburger seasoned with mint and parsley), grilled pita and tzatziki
- Kanolaki: Greek cannoli stuffed with Nutella Greek yogurt
- CK Mondavi and Family, Merlot, California, 2016
Overall, we had a fantastic meal at Tavla, which was a real meat lover’s paradise! Portions were very generous and everything was delicious. Although I enjoyed everything, I did have some personal highlights, starting with the taramosalata, which is a traditional Greek dip made of fish caviar. Pretty much every time I go to a Greek restaurant, I see this dish on the menu and I’ve always shied away from it because its a caviar dip. Well, let me tell you something, Tavla’s taramosalata is amazing and I loved it. The owner, Sarah, actually told us that an old Greek man who lives in Montreal is the one who makes it and he’s a pro. Its a dish I’ve never had before that I definitely plan on having again in the future!
My two favorite meats from the Tavla meat platter for two was the bifteki and the pork souvlaki. The bifteki is a Greek equivalent of a beef patty, seasoned with mint and parsley. As I love keftas, the bifteki reminded me a lot of them and the flavours and seasoning and grill on the meat was just perfect. The pork souvlaki was my other favorite, as the meat had a great marinade to it, it was nice and grilled and the meat was juicy on the inside. Something else I’d never had before and tried at Tavla for the first time was a konolaki, a Greek equivalent of a cannoli but way better in my opinion (sorry not sorry). Its like a cannoli, because the shell is the same as a cannoli shell (actually Tavla gets their cannoli shells from Pasticceria Alati-Caserta, an Italian bakery in Little Italy), but they stuff them with a Nutella Greek yogurt filling, which is so light, delicious and perfect. You could eat five of these and never feel it, versus richer and denser Italian cannoli, in my opinion. I even drank some red wine, which is rare and really liked it. Ryan brought a bottle of CK Mondavi and Family, Merlot, California, 2016, from his work trip in Vermont and it was nice and smooth and a bit sweet. I would drink it again.
So although those were my favorites of the evening, I have to say, everything was delicious. I’d love to go back any day and try other dishes like the grilled octopus, the grilled calamari or the grilled lamb chops (can you tell I have a thing for grilled protein?). I highly recommend Tavla to anyone who loves good food and especially meat! With that said, they do have other dishes worth trying as well as vegetarian options. Last but not least, Tavla is a BYOW restaurant, so how can you go wrong?
UP NEXT: Mon billet sur le Clairon (Un de mes coups de coeur de l’année!)
*This restaurant post does not contain my usual restaurant review criteria of restaurants, as this is a sponsored post where I was invited to the restaurant as a guest.
*All photos and comments are mine