Gazi Toronto

Gazi

Gazi aims to intelligently fuse modernized twists on Greek meze with the tradition of tapas. Everything on the menu is either made in house, or imported from Greece.

Don’t expect chicken souvlaki dinners here, though Greek families often eat in this sharing-style fashion in the home.

Gazi Toronto

The decor is inspired by the nominal Gazi neighbourhood in Greece, which owner George Aivalis describes to me in Toronto terms as Queen West meets the Distillery District.

Gazi Toronto

Kritikos Dakos ($12) is a base of rusk, a hard whole wheat bread, soaked in water and olive oil with a finely chopped tomato salad with cucumber, roasted red pepper, red onion, aged feta, thyme, oregano, fried capers and olives. It’s a bit crumbly and unmanageable on a fork but fresh-tasting.

Gazi TorontoSarmades ($10) are basically cabbage rolls, the cabbage leaves brined and stuffed with rice, spearmint and pancetta. I find the dish a bit watery and find myself longing a bit for Eastern European tomato sauce, but the filling is flavourful and the pancetta is hearty.

Gazi Toronto

Pantzaria ($12) is a salad of thickly cubed, sweet red and yellow beets balanced by acidic pickled radish and red onion with big chunks of caramelized walnut and crunchy, salty beet chips, all on a tart but airy bed of yogurt and wild honey.

Gazi Toronto

Greek ceviche ($17) is a nice accessible fusion, an even fine dice of Greek sea bass, scallops, shrimp, spearmint, coriander, citrus, chili and ouzo for a refreshing and not too fishy seafood sharing dish.

Gazi Toronto

Htapodi ($22) is a dish of thick grilled octopus tentacles draped over a puree of fava beans sourced from Santorini.

Like many, the tentacle is crispy at the tip but gets chewier and tougher towards the end, but the earthy puree topped with sweet cooked-down cherry tomatoes and fried capers almost outshines it.

Gazi Toronto

Xinos Trahanas ($13) is a sleeper, an ancient homestyle dish of sour cracked bulgur and yogurt invented to utilize sour milk curds before refrigeration. The porridge-y, almost risotto-like grains are amped up by mushroom broth, basil, and delicious zucchini and village leek sausage.

Gazi Toronto

A baklava cheesecake made in house by the pastry chef behind Staij & Co runs around $7. It’s topped with everything that would usually go in baklava like honey and walnuts, served with a honey yogurt and honeycomb.

Gazi Toronto

A Squid Ink Martini ($16) is made jet black with house squid ink syrup, gin, Tsipouro (a relative of grappa and ouzo) with anise and lemon juice, which provides most of the citrusy flavour that contrasts with the cocktail’s witchy look.

Gazi Toronto

To say the restaurant is spacious is an understatement: it seats hundreds, with an upper level and a patio.

Gazi

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Gazi

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