Montreal's senior monthly since 1986

Feb '10

Columns

Redefining an understanding of pita

In a picture, on the menu of Carveli Restaurant, a grandmother bakes in her stone oven a piece of bread the length of your forearm.

It’s traditional Greek bread and it is called carveli.

Though Carveli did not have this amazing loaf on its menu, their pita bread keeps the homebaked freshness that the image calls to mind. I can honestly say Carvelli’s fresh-baked pita bread, made as soon as you enter the door, redefined my understanding of pita. When I received the pita, buttered with margarine and grilled until crispy, I polished it off and wanted more.

As we looked at the lunch menu, I imagined myself sitting in a Greek house on a cliff, looking out to the Aegean Sea through the painting behind the fake windows. The décor is quite convincing, one of the greatest features being the ancient Greek-style painting on the wall of a woman holding a bird, as if taken right off an amphora.

Carveli offers pasta, a grill menu, entrées, and even omelettes. You can order traditional Greek bean soup alone or with a meal for $3. It was creamy, with carrots and vegetables so soft they practically dissolved in my mouth. For extra enjoyment, dip your pita in your soup. I ordered the Linguine alla Primavera ($7.45) to get the flavour of Carveli’s Italian food while my friend Jodie had the chicken brochette in a pita, a grill favourite ($8.45). Some of Carveli’s Greek food options include tzatziki as an entrée (a full portion for $3.45), Carveli salad, which has chickpeas, mozzarella, and a whole egg ($7.45), butterfly shrimp ($12.95), lamb brochette with pita ($6.95 plain, $7.95 with pita), and Greek Moussakka ($8.25). And if that isn’t Greek enough for you, you can top it off with baklava for dessert ($2.65). If you feel like Italian for dinner, there is penne Arabiata ($6.95), eggplants Parmigiana ($7.45), or simple spaghetti with meat or tomato sauce (6.75), which can be served with linguine or rigatoni.

Our food was served quickly, since it was just after the lunch rush. Both the Primavera pasta and the chicken brochette sported vibrant colours, the red and green of peppers in my pasta and the grilled tomatoes of Jodie’s salad.

I smelled the peppers in the pasta and added more hot spices and cheese. I had the pasta with chicken, cooked just right. Jodie enjoyed the grilled vegetables with her brochette. She said the tzatziki was “tasty.” She had golden French fries thick with genuine potato fluff. Our waiter was nice, the food was good, the pita original, and the fries excellent, so if I am ever in the area again, I shall certainly return to this little Greek island.

Carveli: 6860 Côte St. Luc Rd. corner Rosedale. 514-489-7575

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