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Feb 27, 2006 12:29 PM

best calamari in town

  • g


I've been to a lot of Greek places in MTL and they just don't always cook it right.

I'm looking for the best calamari in town, whether it's in a hole in the wall type of place or some 5 star restaurant.


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  1. According to the reviews on Marven's (880, avenue Ball) seems like the Calamari are a big hit. See link. Anyone else tried them here? I am also looking to have some of the best calamari in town!


    8 Replies
    1. re: Alex_H

      Ny favorite is Holder's (on McGill in Old Montreal) first course. A heaping plate full of lightly battered deep fried tentacles with a mayonaise-based sauce. If you have not been to Holder's, it's worth the trip,just for the squid!

      1. re: RAMGOD

        I really like Holder's presentation of the squid, but wasn't overly thrilled with the flavor or texture. Different strokes :)

      2. re: Alex_H

        Funny enough, I had never heard of Marvens! Yeah seems like it's worth a try.

        1. re: Alex_H

          Friends of mine went to Marven's and yes, they agreed it is the best calamari in town.

          1. re: Alex_H

            So Friday night my son was in need of fried calamari. Some google searching dug up this recommendation for Marven's, so we gave it a try.

            Our serving was just one plate. One roll of the dice. But it was not good. Puddle of grease on the plate. Batter falling off in our hands. Mostly rings and the tentacle pieces were oddly trimmed of any long tentacles. And the flavor was meh. My son was crestfallen. To be fair, we looked at other tables and their calamari did not seem to be swimming in grease like ours were. We may have just had rotten luck.

            Next night we ended up at Terrace Lafayette Pizzeria and the calamari was way better. I'm a tourist so I can't comment about 'best in Montreal', but there is no doubt that everything we had there was a lot better - the calamari, the salads, the fish... and a terrace too. The calamari flavor was just right. No excess greasiness. Nice and light and crisp. Highly recommended.

            1. re: BernalKC

              I think Marven's has lost its touch; when I was there about a month ago, the calamari was very oily, not a puddle like you mention, but nothing resembling its glorious past. It was soft but very one-dimensional in flavour and the batter was indeed limp.

              1. re: hungryann

                What's dishes were good at Marven's during their heyday?

                1. re: BLM

                  Besides the calamari, I used to enjoy the souvlaki pita but I haven't had those in at least 2 years and I remember thinking the last time that there are better options such as Nostos, Marathon and Village Grec. Although I have no personal experience, I think their rib steak with mushroom sauce is also very popular. I saw lots of people ordering that.

          2. Totally unpretentious, hot out of the oil at La Sala Rossa on St. Laurent.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sam

              I love the calmamari at Sala Rossa. Too tentacaly for my 10 year old, but perfect for me.

            2. For me, I'm also specifically looking for the best grilled calamari in town(can't remember the last time trying grilled calamari). Any suggestions for great ones in Montreal?

              5 Replies
              1. re: BLM

                I had great grilled calamari at Adega, a terrific little Portuguese restaurant, on Beaubien near 9th. Avenue in Rosemont.. I haven't been in a while, but I think it's still open. BTW, the chef is wonderful with fish (usually had 2 or 3 choices each time I went), and the grilled chicken and french fries were outstanding.

                  1. re: BLM

                    Jano's also does grilled squid - actually, I haven't seen a non-Portuguese grilled squid out there to my recollection. Hmm...

                    1. re: BLM

                      Just by coincidence, I had dinner tonight at Elounda (Marcel Laurin & Cote Vertu) with my brother & sister-in-law. He loves grilled calamari and ordered it for his main. I tasted them and they were sensational - perfectly grilled, nice and tender. My brother judged them as the best he's ever had. Humongous potion for $20.

                      1. re: davyboy

                        Not grilled, but Lemeac pan seared or sauteed calamari appetizer is to die for. Awesome. With thinly sliced zucchini...

                1. I have to say I think the fried calamari at Kaizen is sublime. Not being a fan of hyper expensive sushi joints, I really appreciate their light, non-greasy, crispy calamari.

                  They also have a delightful grilled calamari in a super flavourful basil sauce.

                  well worth a try!

                  1. I think CH censored me... I posted earlier that after eating an order of greasy lacklustre calamari, my sister & I walked out of Marven's a few weeks ago because a waiter called us f8cking beyotches after we expressed our frustration for waiting 45 minutes for a soulvaki pita platter while watching the table of 8 who arrived 30 minutes after us get their mains. Their calamari has gone downhill, just like the restaurant itself.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RhondaB

                      Wow. With treatment like that I wouldn't go there even if the calamari was the best!