At malls, atriums, and street locations across Canada, Feta & Olives counters stand like bright-green beacons, calling out to weary shoppers with the promise of authentic Mediterranean specialties. The kitchen crew fires traditional souvlaki and grilled, spiced meats and prepares specialties according to customer preferences. The menu includes falafel, salads, and Mediterranean chicken entrees, which may be served as dinner platters or wrapped in pitas for easy transport and last-minute anniversary gifts.
Tucked into a downtown Hespeler storefront, Montys on Queen boasts a Spanish-style tapas selection and international wine list that helped earn it a spot on Drew Edwards' 2010 Fantastic Five list in the Waterloo Region Record. Specifically, he praised it as a “truly rare find: something that out of nowhere exceeds all expectations.”
The restaurant's chef and sommelier coordinate their talents as they create complementary menus that emphasize locally sourced ingredients and Canadian-produced wines. This local flavour appears in the small plates' ocean-fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables, although the chefs incorporate chorizo, spicy chipotle, and edible geography textbooks to lend an international flair.
Although a green, illuminated sign advertises "Bier," the bartenders can also mix martinis and shake cocktails for diners to either sip at the bar or take back to one of the tables that line the neutral-toned wall on the opposite side of the dining room. Outside, a small patio area contains two small tables within an enclosed area, allowing guests to enjoy their meal outdoors during the warmer seasons.
Chefs at Crepe Delicious Cambridge swirl paper-thin layers of batter onto their piping-hot crepe griddles, perfuming the air with a lightly sweet scent. Shortly after, the cooks lift away wafer-thin crepes ready to be stuffed with sweet or savoury ingredients. The crepes themselves weigh in at only about 130 calories each, with just 3.5 grams of fat. They are designed to be a light vehicle for a healthy meal of fresh vegetables, eggs, and cheese or to be camouflage for Nutella with New York–style cheesecake, strawberries, and dulce de leche when your personal trainer is watching.
Cambridge Pizza’s cooks slather made-from-scratch sauce onto thin- or thick-crust dough that’s made fresh everyday. A nearby farm furnishes the pizzeria's arsenal of vegetable toppings, which flaunts nontraditional toppings such as asparagus and eggplant alongside more classic options such as mushrooms and green olives. Staffers also decorate their pies and scrapbooks with specialty meats, including smoked ham and hot or mild italian sausage. Additionally, Cambridge Pizza decorates its tabletops with fresh lasagna, salad, and wings that they marinate in-house.
New chef Mike Boyd rears a rhapsody of culinary concoctions at The Groove Kitchen and Music Room. The inspired menu serenades diners with such musically named eats as the Sweet Home Alabama ($14), a barbecue-glazed and braised pork shoulder with sweet potato pancakes, and the Sgt. Pepper ($9), a Salisbury steak sandwich covered in a collage of peppercorn gravy, sautéed mushrooms, and cardboard cutouts of Carl Jung. On the weekends, live bands paint the walls with sound, blaring from saxophones, guitars, trumpets, and harmonically stretched vocal cords. The Groove Kitchen and Music Room tickles taste buds and tympanic membranes past midnight Tuesday through Saturday.
Bouquets of leafless branches nearly reach the ceilings over Ye's Sushi's sleek dining rooms, formed of charcoal-coloured fixtures, tabletops with eye-catching wood-grain patterns, and accents in every shade of dusty rose. Patrons at any of the three restaurant locations can select from over 100 items on the menu, including teriyaki, fried rice, and noodle dishes. In addition to wrapping up traditional maki, chefs flex their creativity with special sushi rolls, including the king roll with a california base and a crown of eel and avocado.