228 Bernard O.
Bus: STM 46, 55, 80, 160, 435, 935
Visit: June 16, 2014
Family is a very important part of everyone’s life, whether you want to admit it or not. In restaurants, there are types of cuisine that lend themselves better to the family style dish delivery system. You order in tandem and you share. We all know that most families have to share. That’s where the concept of Namos comes in.
Over the course of the last few years, our family has been trying to bridge the gap that has unfortunately been created. Through the means of a monthly outing, we mostly all gather to share a meal. We make an honest effort in getting that done and at the same time, it has helped us to discover places that we probably wouldn’t ever visit on our own. In the month of June, we gathered to celebrate a birthday.
This particular day was quite beautiful. We came into the restaurant through the actual door and were led to the outdoor table by what I’ll assume was the owner. This setup was actually quite interesting. Normally, I want nothing to do with outdoor anything, but since this was a group affair, the consensus ruled. We were appropriately shielded from the elements and this position gave us fodder for discussion.
Namos is located in a part of town that is known as the Mile End district. During our evening, we noticed a number of school buses stopping and picking up passengers. Now, it was well past school hours and these passengers were a lot older than the normal student. It turns out that the local community, which doesn’t really like to mix with our own, uses their own private transport system. These are the kind of things that fascinate us.
When you have the cultural surroundings of this city, what makes things even better is the service. From what I mentioned before, I’m under the assumption that we were served by the owner of the place. You know things are good when you have banter going. We were able to trade jokes and by the end of it, we were all laughing. For the life of me, I can’t remember any of the barbs exchanged between my sister and the owner, but they were something.
The concept of the restaurant is quite simple, as it was explained to us by the owner. This is Greek tapas, much like it is done across the Atlantic. This way, a group like ours would order something like 15 to 20 small plates to share. This works out really well because you get to try a bit of everything as they come to your table when ready.
Feta and Olives ($6)
To begin with, one of our group members ordered every single side on the menu. Luckily, I’m on his good side (for now) and got to try a lot of them. This was the one that I liked the most. The feta was out of this world. I’ve had some stingy pieces of feta recently and this really reminded me of why I liked the cheese to begin with.
Traditional Greek Salad ($12)
This was one of my contributions to the table, despite the resounding apathy from the rest of my family. The salad was actually quite good and plentiful of the traditional elements. Again, I was quite thrilled with the feta inclusion and the size of the tomato pieces.
Grilled Oyster Mushrooms ($7)
This was the interesting discovery of the outing for me. I’ve only had oyster mushrooms once before and that was on a burger. So, I never thought of having the mushrooms on their own or them being part of Greek cuisine. With one bite, I really wasn’t disappointed either with that discovery.
This was probably the appetizer that I enjoyed the most and the presentation made it more unique. I haven’t seen spanakopita presented like this ever. Here, you have to cut up your own pieces. Unlike some of the other elements, this was a colder entry onto the table, but one that combined feta and spinach so very well.
Of all the appetizers, this one was met with the least fanfare. The meatballs, themselves, were fine. It was the sauce that raised some eyebrows at our table. The one member of the family who works in a kitchen found the sauce to be pedestrian, something that all of us who tried it, including myself, agreed with. This was probably the only slight we had against Namos during the entire visit.
Rib Steak ($19)
Much like the appetizers, the meats and fish dishes came to the table to be shared. The rib steak came to the table at the requested temperature and I have to tell you that each bite was incredible.
Greek Honey Balls ($7)
Also known as loukoumades, these honey balls are probably the most popular desserts in Greek cuisine. When you combine them with honey, these pieces of fried batter are quite nice. This version is among the better versions I’ve tried in recent years.
Namos has only been around for a short period of time and it has garnered the admiration of many. I found the experience to be quite good, as you had the mix of service and wonderful food. We will definitely come back because there were other things that we didn’t get to try.