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Greek for two..

I'm taking an out of town girlfriend for a latenight dinner this weekend and trying to decide on the place... cost isn't so much a concern as quality and intimate atmosphere/decor.

I recently had an excellent meal at Phillinos and tried to return last weekend but showed up too late (after 11pm) and was turned away. I'm thinking of taking it upscale a bit though and making res at Orexi on Bernard.

I've only been once several years back (around the time it was reviewed in the Gazette) and had a really enjoyable dinner (great fish!) with a large group of people. It seems like the right place for a late summer night with great ambience... but what about the food, does it still hold up??

We'll be going for the usual fare: salads, octopus, eggplant, zucchini, shrimp, swordfish, lamb...

Other option is Faros on Fairmount though for intended purposes on this particular night, I find the atmosphere a bit lacking. I've only been to Vegera once (family seems to love it) though it gets panned a lot in reviews and posts on this board so I've struck it from the list for this reason. Although truth be told, I do recall having a good dinner years back and it was nice to sit outside on the covered corner terrace people watching. My memory might be completely scrambled as all reviews seem to paint it as a tacky spot.

So what's the best way to go... am I safe with Orexi and should I go ahead and make the reservations? Has anyone been recently? Out of the 3 or 4 choices listed, which would you consider the best given the criteria listed?

Thanks!

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  1. For a modern take on Greek cuisine I would suggest adding Tasso Bar a Mezze, www.tassobaramezze.com, to your list.

    1. I think Orexi lost their liquor licence, you should call and ask

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      Orexi Restaurant
      1270 Av Bernard, Outremont, QC H2V1V9, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: isa1

        Ouch, as in very recently?? How do they even keep going w/o that... Thanks for letting me know!

        Has anyone been lately to attest for the quality and presentation?

        1. re: OliverB

          I went a year ago. The food was excellent but the service was atrocious and slow. It took 4 hours for us to get all our dishes and although they were delicious, we felt the serving sizes were too small and the price too high. There was only one waiter on that Sunday night but the place was not full; it was our group of 3 and another group of 5 . Without getting into details, the waiter was a class A jerk and ruined what would have been a lovely evening. I don't know if he's still around...

          1. re: hungryann

            That's too bad and I can understand why you wouldn't want to return... but as we're only two people I'm willing to chance it with the service. I'm glad to hear the food is still excellent though, that's what counts... and yeah, it's definitely a bit overpriced for Montreal considering we've no shortage of great Greek restaurants, but save the awful service you encountered, I feel the environment is suited to a slightly higher end dining experience than most of the others. Not saying it justifies the cost but for those certain special times... I hope I'll have a more positive report to offer!

      2. Btw, what was the alcohol situation when you went last year?

        I'm guessing that dinner for two with a few shared appetizers, two entrees, some side dishes and dessert will run us about $160 w/ tip?

        1 Reply
        1. re: OliverB

          There was alcohol served. We had Mythos (greek beer). Your price estimate sounds about right.

        2. We'll probably share some grilled octopus & shrimp starters, fried zucchini, eggplants & tzatziki apps. and greek salad, plus swordfish filet and lamb chops for entrees and fresh fruit plate with loukoumades for dessert... hopefully a reasonably-priced bottle of wine too if available! $160-180 approx?

          6 Replies
          1. re: OliverB

            I found an article dated June 19th on Cyberpresse and it confirms the restaurant doesn't have their permit. It expired last fall and the owner has not been able to renew it so far

            1. re: isa1

              That's so silly... I remember they had an entire wall lined with bottles. How could they let that happen?

              I wonder if they'd let us bring our own wine even for a small "corkage fee" or whatever since it's not taking anything away from them anyways and surely most people going out to a nicer place and spending that kind of money at a restaurant would expect a good bottle of wine with their meal?

              Wonder if it's affecting their patronage or business at all...

              1. re: OliverB

                If they lost their liquor license, chances are pretty good they don't have an apportez license either - in which case, I don't think you'd be able to bring your own. Carswell and others know the rules on this better than I do, but I would be highly surprised if you could bring your own bottle - and I seem to recall reading somewhere that corkage fees are illegal here.

                1. re: cherylmtl

                  I called Orexi yesterday afternoon to make reservations for Wednesday evening, and when inquiring about their liquor license, was told that they "should have it back by then".

                  I wonder how truthful that is considering it apparently expired last fall according to the article posted above. Seems sort of timely that it would be resolved just in time to coincide with my reservations, though it wouldn't have effected our plans one way or the other. I'll report back this week!

                  1. re: OliverB

                    "should have it back by then".

                    never bet your reservation timing on civil servants delivering liquor licenses.

                    1. re: Maximilien

                      yeah, the guy who answered the phone and took my res sort of laughed when he delivered that line to me; didn't make it sound too convincing.

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