Restaurant : Tavla (formerly known as Neos St-Leonard)
Event: Turquoise Blog’s #ExperienceTavla Insta Foodies Dinner!
Restaurant type: Greek, BYOW
Prices: $8-$19 entrées, $13-$29 mains
Date: Sunday August 4th 2019
Group of: 26
My favorite dishes: pikilia + fried calamari + tavla + kanolaki
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of hosting my sixth Insta Foodies event of the year, this time, a Greek feast at Tavla (formerly known as Neos St-Leonard) in St-Leonard! Tavla serves 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.
Present this time around to #ExperienceTavla, there was: myself @elisebgravel, Ghyslène @gigi.in.mtl, Shelia @shelia.guan, Jenny @jlennyx, Victor @vudememe, Emily @emilylylingtsai, Patrick @mtlfoodfrenzy, Sylvie @s2_vii, Mai @aziatik_foodie, Yu @yuqii___eats, Sian @global_yumyums, Louise @ruisa27, Ellie @lilytee1, Priyanka @pri_mtlfoodie, Kanitha @kanimen, Emily @wheres_emily_eating, Lisa @lisaay_, Vibha @vibsonthego, Saline @bellyfulfood, Mai @mtldelices, Charlie @charlieiacono, Nina @iaco_vino, Stef @smarkfoodie, Dini @dini_the_foodie_mtl, Andréa @thelovelyhungered and Annie @kawaiimyobu!
First Course: Pikilia + spanakopita
First up was a lovely pikilia platter (for two) and some classic spanakopita; the perfect way to start this dinner! I really enjoyed both dishes, as both had a bunch of things I really like. The Pikilia for two includes: tzatziki, taramosalata, kopanisti, tiropita, feta cheese, olives, dolmadakia, pepperoncini peppers, pita bread and a few little surprises. I loved the presentation of the plate, which was large and very appetizing. The spanakopita was very good and prepared the traditional way; phllo pastry wrapped spinach, feta and more. Delicious!
Second Course: Fried calamari + grilled octopus + grilled calamari
The second course featured a lovely trio of seafood appetizers. My favorite was by far the fried calamari, which was perfect on all accounts. The plate was beautiful, the calamari was nicely coated and deep fried, still moist on the inside and oh so yummy covered in grilled lemon juice and dipped in tzatziki. The grilled octopus was nice too, but the portion was on the smaller side. With that said, it had a nice grill to it which I love. Unfortunately, for me, the grilled calamari was under-seasoned and needed more time on the grill.
Third Course: Tavla + Xoriatiki
For the mains, we enjoyed Tavla’s famous Tavla meat platter for two, which includes: pork gyro, chcken gyro, loukaniko, chicken souvlaki, pork souvlaki, bifteki, grilled pita and tzatziki. If you love meat, this dish is certainly for you! The presentation is also quite impressive, so that’s cool for your Instagram pictures 😉 This was accompanied by something much lighter and fresher, Xoriatiki, which is a traditional and authentic Greek salad (no lettuce). Another great delicious and full of vibrant colors!
Fourth Course: Kanolaki + baklava
To finish things off (at Tavla anyway) we enjoyed two delicious desserts: baklava and kanolaki. Tavla’s kanolaki is one of my favorite desserts; its basically a cannoli shell filled with Nutella Greek yogurt, which is sooo good (I prefer it to real cannoli). The baklava was nice too, very sweet, as it was swimming in a pool of honey and cherries.
The SAQ wines: rosé, red & white
Because Tavla is a BYOW restaurant, wine was included! I chose a rosé, a red and a white wine, to accompany our dinner. The rosé is one of my favorites – Listel-Gris from France – as it provides a nice balance between sweetness and dryness, while still being a touch sweet to the taste and very light and easy to drink. The red wine – Ambo Nero Provincia di Pavia from Italy – was recommended to me at the SAQ as a nice, easy to drink and versatile red wine choice. Last but not least, another one of my personal favorites – Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc from New-Zealand – an excellent, easy to drink sauvignon blanc.
Overall, we had an amazing time at Tavla, where we got to try a lot of the items on their menu, as well as make new Greek culinary discoveries! My personal favorites were the pikilia, the fried calamari the tavla meat platter and the kanolaki. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to making this evening special, to my guests for attending and to Tavla for the fantastic dinner!
Part of the planning for this dinner also included the table decor and gift bags for my attendees. The floral arrangements were provided by Fleuriste Abaca. This time around, attendees did not receive a signature Turquoise Marketing / Turquoise Blog goodie bag; rather, they were treated to delicious gelato from Radikal Dezzertz! I personally opted for the strawberry and the coconut gelatos (in a cone), which were both excellent. I really liked that the coconut gelato had coconut bits in it; it made it feel more real, natural and authentic. To read more on Radikal Dezzertz, click here! Thank you all for your generous contributions!
Tavla is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious and authentic Greek meal, accompanied by one of your favorite bottles of wine (BYOW). They even have a terrasse, so you can enjoy a nice Greek meal outdoors. So, how will you #ExperienceTavla ?
*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