Saturday, September 8, 2012

Film Festival Fever

The Toronto International Film Festival {TIFF} 2012 launched on Thursday night. For the next ten days the city will be a swarm of people connected with the film industry - Producers, Writers, Directors and of course the Stars. Film fanatics take the opportunity to enjoy the line-up of new films and indulge in a little star gazing.

TIFF was a vital part of my past work in publishing and events, it involved months of preparation and planning topped with ten days of hard work with very little sleep. But it was electrifying and fun. One aspect I loved about TIFF were the private dinner events I had the opportunity to plan. It takes a great deal more than just booking a good eatery for a movie premiere dinner, it takes an outstanding host at the venue and a kitchen that hits the mark every time.
If I was choosing a venue this year for film festival, I would have the red carpet rolled out at VOLOS.

Estiatorio Volos

Richard had been to Volos with clients and told me 'we have to go, you will love it'.
Toronto and area has a healthy list of Greek restaurants and we've visited many of them, so I was prepared for the predictable. During our trip to Greece we experienced many outstanding meals, so impressing us would take more than just the average.  {click on the image of the blue door on right side of the blog for our tour of Greece}

Before we get into the menu options, decor and atmosphere of VOLOS, let me get right to the point that always comes to mind when I think about visiting the restaurant ............. it's the Dolmades. Can I say I'm in love!

Dolmades                                                          source

Dolmades are delicate parcels of grape leaves that wrap around Arborio rice, pine nuts and sweet Mexata-soaked golden raisins. I've had my share of 'tough' Dolmades, but these tender little gifts at Volos are by-far-the-best-I've-ever-eaten. This is the type of dish that I call 'MORE'.

There are many items on the menu that are beyond 'the typical Greek menu'. Don't expect to sit down to a souvlaki dinner with heaps of potato's and rice. Volos offers an authentic Greek menu, the choices are parallel to those that we experienced while touring Greece.

Grilled Moroccan Octopus - one of our favourites.

This is a restaurant that offers a healthy selection of appetizers that gives diner guests the opportunity to explore different flavours. Richard and I will frequently play with a menu and order several appetizers to share rather than a main. With choices like Watermelon Feta salad, Crispy Green Zucchini Tower, Giant Sea Scallops in walnut and roasted eggplant puree {yum}, or Sesame Crusted Feta, the options are plentiful.
I mentioned the incredible Dolmades right? More please!

Exochico : Phyllo pastry stuffed with braised Lamb & vegetables, feta & Kefalotyri cheeses.

 'Principal Plates' include selections from the sea : Seafood Kritharoto {a delicious selection that includes Wild Pacific Salmon, Halibut, Tiger Prawns, Calamari and Mussels}, Pan Seared Halibut, and a daily whole fish selection.
The restaurant is 100% pork free and offers Mousakka, Corinthian Makaronia Pasta {another favourite of mine}, Lamb shanks or chops and Veal Tenderloin for meat lovers, as well as Exochico that neatly packages braised Lamb & vegetables in a delicate phyllo pastry. Roasted Cornish Hens with fig walnut stuffing is a flavourful change to typical chicken dishes.

There are wonderful International Wines on the menu, but the choices of wine from Greece should be experienced. One of my favourites is Boutari from Santorini.
And of course we couldn't leave Volos without sharing something sweet at the end of our incredible meal. I absolutely love traditional Baklava, but seriously - Ouzo Chocolate Mousse. Divine!

Large fishing float bouys strung in nets hang over the Celebration Table that offers a special spot for a party of twelve. There is a private dining room that closes off to the main dining area but offers a view of the activity via large wood framed glass doors {perfect for those VIP events}.

Andreas Antonio is well versed in delivering a 'premiere dining experience' from observing his father Antonio successfully operate Mediterra. It was two years ago that the keys were turned over to Andreas and the space, concept and menu took on the modern touch of this handsome young businessman {did I mention that he is handsome and charming}.

Crisp white table linen with white porcelain dishes and clear stemware brings a fresh elegance to the tables. Designer Marc Kyriacou wove his signature mixture of textures and finishes into the space that brings eye catching surprises to the vignettes. The open kitchen faces out onto the main dining room that is wrapped with exposed brick and comfortable aged wood floors. Pops of brilliance in the vignettes showcases over-sized pithoi and a feature wall of gold frames that sit gracefully on their own, everything is delicately lit bringing a warm glow to the space. You won't hear the thump of over-produced sound, but instead the perfect mix of music that allows easy conversation over dinner.


Richard and I have visited Volos several times finding reasons to go into the city and dine there. I enjoy the simple fact that they hit the mark every time with the meal, the atmosphere and service. If you are a Torontonian or visiting the area, I encourage you to enjoy VOLOS.

Estiatorio VOLOS
133 Richmond Street West

images via unless otherwise linked


  1. What a fabulous recommendation! Added to my list for next visit. Only a four hour drive and it is our first home (long ago) but we just don't get up that way enough. So many good restaurants there that is wonderful when someone in the know edits the choices. Thanks for sharing. XO

  2. How I enjoyed this post Katherine. Volos sounds like a wonderful place to dine for authentic Greek. Not only does the menu sound wonderful, but the space is amazing. I am not well traveled and don't have much experience in this area, but it fascinates me to learn about it. I love learning more about cultures and lifestyles.
    I hope you are enjoying the film festival my friend.
    sending hugs...

  3. What a lovely place! Greek food is delicious and those Dolmades look so good and I'm sure the wine list was extensive. Glad you enjoyed the Greek wines :) I also drink the local wines when I travel. The ambiance in the restaurant looks perfect.. love the fishing nets .

  4. Oh I love the place but love the menu as well. Miam miam!!!