Soula’s is a Greek restaurant serving cuisine from all over the country, including meat and seafood mezes and entrees. It takes over the space formerly home to Pan on the Danforth, and indeed many of the same staff still work here.
The space has a good nightlife vibe unlike some places along this stretch that can seem inappropriately bright and empty.
Relatively traditional decor includes wrought iron chandeliers and depictions of Mediterranean scenes, an upper loft providing a slightly more intimate dining area overlooking the main room.
Start with a trilogy of spreads for $15, though we try all six house dips, opting for 50 per cent of what we’d normally get of each. They’re all classics, from a tzatziki and very homestyle hummus to classic bring taramasolata, creamy garlic and potato skordalia and slightly spicy banana pepper and feta tirokafteri.
Saganaki ($12) flambeed tableside with ouzo produces a satisfying fiery column, the stretchy, gooey kefalotyri cheese with a puffy crust meant to be divvied into strips for sharing.
Zucchini croquettes from the “Taste of Greece” section of the menu are truly homestyle, rather oversized and a bit greasy on the outside, but they do feel nostalgic and handmade.
An octopus meze ($18) is beefy enough to make up a good part of a meal, grilled with lemon and olive oil until just a tiny bit overly rubbery, served over acidic sautéed veg that cuts the smokiness.
Angus select filet mignon ($28) is garnished with a retro rosemary sprig, garnished with a festive and moistening sour cherry balsamic reduction and served over grilled veg and garlic mashed potatoes.
Kakavia ($22) feels like a middle-of-the-road option price- and flavour-wise, a traditional tomato wine stew containing a seafood medley of shrimp, salmon chunks, mussels, calamari, scallops and shrimps, all cooked to a decent tenderness with a lot of juiciness retained thanks to the broth.
Caria lemon roasted chicken ($29) is named for an ancient Anatolian region, organic herb-crusted protein over scalloped potatoes topped with a zucchini “relish” that’s more of a sautée and crispy onion rings.
Kataifi ($6) is an upscale version of a traditional dessert that tops a baklava-like base of shredded phyllo soaked in syrup with layers of decadent custard and whipped cream.
There really is a Soula presiding over the place, a tiny woman who will probably call you sweetie in a Greek accent as she leads you to your table in clacking stilettos. She also headed up the restaurant as Pan previously.