A sparkling Santorini
Centre St. Taverna glows after overhaul
brighter. It’s always seemed like a breakaway piece of the Aegean island, a bluetrimmed, white plaster building on a busy stretch of Centre Street. But now it positively glows under a fresh coat of paint and, inside, the bathrooms are near-palatial. (Compared to the old ones that had seen 26 years of service, that is.)
In addition to new bathrooms and new paint inside and out, the Nicolaides added a separation wall in the upstairs dining area, brought in new chairs, added new lighting and revitalized the patio. They also refinished the wood floors, installed a new air conditioner and deepcleaned the tile floors.
They even replaced the cracked concrete-tile entrance, the one that was inscribed with Yiasou 1986. That marked the birth of the restaurant in August 1986. They hated to lose that inscription, but its time had come.
Meanwhile, the food hasn’t changed. It’s still the same rich mix of slowroasted lamb, thick slabs of moussaka, big bowls of horiatiki salad and the best deep-fried calamari in the city.
If you like to dine by the light of the moon, you might check out Mehtab in Cochrane at 120 5th Ave. W. (403-851-010).
(Light of the moon is a literal translation of the word mehtab.)
Mehtab is one of two fine Indian restaurants in Cochrane, the other being Jaipur. Mehtab has been around for a while, but just over a year ago Jag Thind and his family bought it and brought in their own style of northern Indian cuisine.
You’ll find tandoori roasted dishes such as tandoori chicken or prawns and lamb seekh kebabs and even lamb chops. They do paneer tikka — house-made cheese that’s marinated in ginger, garlic, lemon and other spices and cooked in the tandoor — and baigan bharta, a roasted eggplant dish that’s pureed with peas, tomatoes and spices.
On the meat side, there’s badami chicken, which is cooked in a sauce of cashews, cherries and almonds: a thick, mild dish that’s a different turn on the typical butter chicken. And lamb rarajosh, which combines chunks of lamb with minced lamb in a thick, meaty black pepper sauce. Most dishes are in the $13 to $16 range, reasonably priced for the quantity and quality.
Spicing is rich but mild at Mehtab, so if you like it hot, ask them to kick it up a bit. Regardless, Mehtab’s food is very fresh and high quality, a great addition for Cochrane.
It’s time again for Taste of Calgary, set for Aug. 16 to 19 on Eau Claire’s Festival Plaza. This year, 26 local restaurants will set up business on the plaza, serving sample sizes of their foods. Admission to the event is free, and then you buy $1 tickets to purchase food and drink. The food samples run between one and five tickets each.
This year, the 16th annual, the menu includes dozens of options, including papaya salad (2 tickets) from Delicious Thai, Fuji scallops (5) from Fuji Yama, Prime rib-stuffed Yorkshire puddings (4) from Halo, Caprese salad (3) from La Vita e Bella and saffron ice cream (2) from Shiraz.
Taste of Calgary also features 14 beverage stations in a separate area and live music throughout the event. Included in the performers are Donald Ray Johnson, The Latin Combo and Third Reel Celtic. In addition to the food, drink and music, there will be a number of artisans and craft folks on site with their wares.
Taste of Calgary runs daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Community Services of Calgary, the Calgary Chinese Community Service Association and the Calgary Saracens.
plus 2 granulated sugar 3 tbsp (45 cc) pose flour 1 tbsp (15 cc) lemon juice 1/4 tsp (3.75 cc) ground cinnamon
fresh Cobbler crust (see recipe below) * The recipe in the book calls for half blackberries, half raspberries and only 2 tablespoons (30cc) of flour, because blackberries are not as juicy.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly butter a shallow 2-quart (2 L) baking dish, 10 inches wide to allow for six to eight 2-inch-wide circles of pastry.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the berries with the ½ cup sugar, the flour, lemon juice and cinnamon, just until the juice in the bottom of the pan begins to boil. Stir to combine ingredients, gently so as not to break up the berries. Let cool.
Pour berry mixture into prepared dish, spreading evenly. Arrange the cobbler topping of pastry circles evenly all over the top, then sprinkle topping with the 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and serve while still warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Cobbler Crust 1 cup (237 mL) pose flour 1/4 cup (59 mL) granulated sugar 1 tsp (5 mL) powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
Maria and Andreas Nicolaides renovated the bathrooms at Santorini Taverna but soon found themselves in the middle of a full refurbishment. 6 cups (1,442 mL) 1/2 cup (118 mL)