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Feb 16, 2010 09:14 AM

Le petit Milos

Does anyone know what is going on with Le petit Milos? (Corner St. Viateur and Parc). It has been papered up for years (I believe it was a Greek deli before) and a couple of months ago they started renovating ... I believe it's still in the hands of the Milos people because I see their van parked there and they use it as a valet for the restaurant.

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  1. Milos's owners are renovating the space with an eye to opening a fancy Italian restaurant (don't recall the name).

    1. Looks like a swishy wine bar. The sign outside reads "CAVA" and the paper is off the doors. I peeked in last evening, lots of dark wood on the interior. Wine bottles run floor-to-ceiling behind the bar on the left, with an impressive number of wine glasses hooked on wire racks overhead.
      Appears to be ready for business.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wapiti

        I heard that Costa is putting in a high line Italian Resto and hopes to be open for the Grand Prix.

      2. Yas, passed by this eve and there were a couple of tables filled in there. Looks quite swank. I think I saw hunks of meat hanging in the back a la Queue de cheval.

        13 Replies
        1. re: chilipepper

          Check out today's Gazoo - its all explained there in a flattering article about Costa and his resto empire.

            1. re: porker

              But what about the new MTL restaurant? Is it Italian? Is it a wine bar? Is it Spanish (Cava is the Spanish bubbly)?

              1. re: estilker

                Not Italian. Read The Gazette article. There will be a focus on wines at Cava. It opens today.

                1. re: BLM

                  Unless I missed, I don't see what type of cuisine it's going to be. (I read it twice, but hey it's Monday).

                  Oh wait there's a link at the bottom of the article:

                  So it's still Greek, but focused on inland cuisine.

                  1. re: BLM

                    Edit: OK, not exactly clear. Sounds like central Greece, though Spiliadis is drawing parallels with Tuscany. And other employees have said outright (though off the record) that Italian is the model.

                    From the accompanying Gazoop piece ("After Cava, Costas Spiliadis looks to Vegas and Miami"): "The Montreal restaurant, Cava – located in the spot that held the now-defunct Le Petit Milos, at 5551 Park Ave. (near St. Viateur St.) – will open Monday (May 10). As for what to expect, Spiliadis says: 'Milos is about the Greece of the islands: summer, sea, blue and white. But Greece has another important reality and that’s the inland, the mountains, where the cuisine is based more on meat, game and comfort foods cooked in a fireplace, similar to the food of Tuscany. That’s what we’ll be doing at the new restaurant. And Cava is also the name of our wine importation company run by my son George, so there will an emphasis on wine there as well.'"

                    1. re: carswell

                      Thanks for the clarifications. So Franca Mazza is head chef of this new Cava restaurant(if you know)? Is opening night today invitation only?

                      1. re: BLM

                        Don't know the answer to either question. That the opening's on a Monday might indicate that it's invitation only, though.

                2. re: rosario

                  Wonder if Lesley Chesterman will get an invite to the Grand Opening of Cava restaurant. She was there as a invited guest at the Grand Opening of Le Petit Milos several years ago.

                  1. re: BLM

                    can t wait to give it a try, had wonderful food on road trips across greece eating in places recommended by locals or drivers of tour buses who avoid the touristy restaurants; there should be a good variety of dishes other than what we call greek food according to the montreal greek restaurants.

                    1. re: wilmagrace

                      I'm gussing it may be a tad more expensive than non-touristy places in Greece. (save on the airfare, though...)

                      1. re: wilmagrace

                        Maybe it will be their practice to invite patrons into the kitchen to view what's available that day - this is the way restos for the locals work in Greece. Beats perusing a menu with all-too-often incomplete descriptions.

                3. We went to try Cava tonight. Came from a cocktail party with a group of four of us, so we did not have full meals. We shared four appetizers, two main courses and two desserts. The restaurant has a beautiful interior in a minimalist modern way, with whitewashed walls, a section of the dining room clad with dark wood, and a nice mosaic floor reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Also, there is a beautiful bar area with showy wine display that then wraps around to the far wall with the meat and cheese display that others have talked about.

                  For the appetizers, we ordered the lemon chicken soup, the field greens salad, the spinach and cheese phyllo rolls with Greek yogurt, and the mixed mushroom platter. The mushrooms were delicious, lightly seasoned and done just right with an interesting selection of mushrooms (including trumpet mushrooms). The lemon chicken soup (Avegolemono) was just ok, but nothing spectacular - it was not lemony enough and the rice was mushy/overcooked, but it was nicely presented when served from a pot poured into a shallow bowl at the table. The field greens salad was very nice with a tasty vinaigrette. I was not impressed by the spinach phylllo rolls at all - way too salty, and the phyllo pastry was so thick and chewy you could not tell it was phyllo (I was expecting thin delicate layers of crispy phyllo), and basically shaped like a burrito cut into four pieces then stacked on a plate.

                  For the main course, we had the rib steak and salmon. The salmon was done just right. The steak was ordered medium but came in at medium rare/rare, so we were a little disappointed with the steak. However, the steak came with French fries cooked in olive oil and lightly salted, which was a nice touch.

                  We had a creme caramel and poached pear with home-made ice cream for dessert. The creme caramel was excellent - one of the richest, creamiest I've ever had! The poached pear was also very nice and was lightly coated with chocolate and stuffed with nuts. Overall, desserts were the most consistent and best course.

                  Overall, I give the food a 70% grade. NOTE: the food is very expensive - appetizers/soups are in the $12 to $20 range, and the salmon was $36 and the steak I think was $48, so watch your wallet carefully. I think there were two main courses priced at over $100 (served for two people). Also, one of us was not a meat eater, and there was only one fish option (salmon), so for those expecting Milos (or some of Milos' menu on this menu), this is not Milos!! Given the common ownership with Milos, we were expecting something more interesting than just salmon for fish, especially at a Greek/Mediterranean restaurant. However, as a new restaurant, I'm sure they are trying hard to get things right, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt and will try them again. Service was overly fussy, with way too many people checking on us all the time, but that I attribute to new restaurant syndrome as well, and I can't hold that against a new restaurant - it shows they are trying hard to make things work.

                  Anyone else have Cava dining experiences to share?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: panpam

                    Wow expensive!!! and only Salmon for fish ??!?!?!

                    1. re: Maximilien

                      Per the article posted by Carswell, Cava is about inland cuisine, so salmon was the token fish. I think it's a great idea: go to Milos for fish, and Cava for meat. Certainly is expensive, but so is Milos.

                    2. re: panpam

                      They should consider having a few more fish items on the menu. Greece is a peninsula with water on three sides so I'm sure lots of fish is served inland too. However, even if salmon is not a traditional Greek item, agree with souschef that salmon is good to have at Cava to make sure they get enough customers. Even the best Montreal ethnic restaurants do some Canadianized / Americanized and Quebec-centric items to broaden their appeal - Japanese with chicken teriyaki and california rolls, French-influenced restaurants with poutine, Chinese with sweet and sour pork and general tao chicken, etc.

                      1. re: panpam

                        So the rib steak was done the traditional steakhouse way(nothing Greek about it)?

                        1. re: BLM

                          I'm not sure how Greeks do their steaks. The rib steak was rubbed with a steak spice mix, like at a steak house. It came with a side order of fries (cooked in olive oil) on a separate side plate.

                          1. re: panpam

                            Thanks. I was also thinking their steak might be cooked a little differently(maybe grilled on fireplace type contraption like in Tuscany & parts of Greece). Fries cooked in olive oil is interesting.