Ομογενεια

581ff84a03591-imageCroatia is a long way from Laval’s Sainte-Dorothée districtand local star deejay Andrew Pololos knows it.

Pololos, 24, recently returned from the South Eastern Europe country where he spun tunes in the City of Split (Vanilla Bar), Island of Hvar (Hula Hula Beach Bar and Carpe Diem Club) and The Island of Vis (Lunatic Club and Fort George).He produced a terrific highlight reel you can see on YouTube (https://youtu.be/LCyjnSFj4z4). “I produced the track in the video and I had some friends come to the gigs and film,” he says. “There is also a personal Facebook and Instagram link that has reached 40,000 people. There is also another recent preview of the track on Facebook that has been viewed over 700,000 times.”

Pololos was in Split for the very popular Yacht Week. “It was the most amazing DJ experience I’ve had in my life so far,” he said. “ I got to DJ the most amazing parties in Europe at beautiful outdoor venues for crazy party people from around the world. I was treated like royalty; I stayed on a yacht and sailed the Adriatic while a hostess served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every night and day I DJed at a new venue on a new island for the most energetic and wild crowd I’ve performed for.”

This year Pololos made some significant progress in his music career. He had the honour of representing Montreal in his gigs and travels, working alongside some of the biggest DJs in the world and he celebrated life with many new and old friends. “For the winter I’ll be working mostly in Montreal and working hard on producing more new music for everyone,” he said.

You can find Pololos’ tracks and mixes on most social media outlets and he has and will perform at some of the most popular nightclubs such as Beachclub, Buonanotte, École Privée, Flyjin, Moomba, New City Gas, Pandore, Somwhr, Soubois, Terrasses Bonsecours, Time, Velvet and many more.

Andrew Pololos is a star on the rise. And to think when I first met him he was six years old.

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Screenshot_2015-11-14-16-32-17-1Oceanos

The owners of Oceanos import ingredients from their farm in Greece. The seafood-centered menu blends traditional Greek with modernity, and is delicious.

Good fish ain’t cheap and cheap fish ain’t good,” reads a sign at the Hunts Point fish market in the Bronx, where chef Peter Panteleakis and his son, Nikos, shop before dawn for fresh seafood for their family’s restaurant, Oceanos, in Fair Lawn.

“Greeks in Greece are very fussy over the quality of ingredients,” Nikos, who manages Oceanos, told me on the phone after my visits. “It’s part of the culture, so we are fussy as well.” Indeed, the family imports its olives, olive oil, oregano and honey from a 300-year-old farm they own outside Krokees in Southern Greece, worked by tenant farmers.

Nikos, who has a background in architecture, is already at work on a renovation of the restaurant to begin in 2016. One thing that doesn’t need an update is the menu, which deftly combines tradition with modernity. One of those traditions is the daily feeding of the sourdough starter—which, having been brought from Greece in 1969, is the oldest living thing, other than the humans, that makes Oceanos Oceanos. Mixing sourdough with pumpernickel dough, chopped shallot, garlic, white onion and herbs de Provence produces the restaurant’s signature marbled loaf coated  with sesame seeds on the bottom. The bread is so good diners often ask for a loaf to take home. Don’t be shy. The family is happy to oblige at no charge.

Modernity on the menu is exemplified by the excellent 10-ounce grilled filet mignon (served with a portobello mushroom cap, crispy pancetta and a lavender-peppercorn-cabernet demi-glace) and fried calamari (with a delicious sweet-spicy Thai chili sauce). There are superb crab cakes with Dijon aioli, crispy coconut-coated shrimp and mussels Lyonnaise sautéed in Dijon mustard, garlic and white wine.

Modernity even creeps into the $15 starter of four Greek spreads, all excellent. Taramosalata, made with whipped salmon roe; hummus; and roasted eggplant are classic. The fourth spread is made from feta, manouri and graviera cheeses puréed with roasted red pepper.

Some of the treasures fetched from Hunts Point receive modern treatment, such as Arctic char with lime and ginger beurre blanc and yellowfin tuna with ginger, noodles, scallions and soy vinaigrette. Yet for the most part, the family’s heart aligns with tradition. “We like to keep it simple, keep it Greek,” Nikos said. That largely means whole fish cooked on the wood-burning grill. Whole red snapper, brushed with olive oil and seasoned just with salt and pepper, was moist and flavorful, and came with a perfectly cooked medley of string beans and carrots.

A deservedly popular side dish (which comes with certain entrées) is lemon potatoes. Yukon Golds are sliced, marinated overnight in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then roasted. They emerge irresistible and almost buttery.

Not everything works. Shrimp scampi were overcooked, the garlic-herb butter sauce unaccountably sweet. Colorado lamb chops, cooked medium rare, as ordered, had a too-sweet herbed red wine and shallot sauce.

Fortunately, desserts were exceptional, especially ekmek (shredded filo topped with custard and pillowy meringue); galaktoboureko (a custardy cousin of bread pudding); and a cultural outlier, tiramisu, made with sponge cake instead of ladyfingers. Peter’s wife, Varvara, bakes wonderfully crunchy Greek butter cookies, free on request with a cup of coffee.

Taverna Mykonos

Click here to visit our sister restaurant Taverna Mykonos.

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