Octopus Grilled at the EVOO Restaurant in downtown Ottawa
EVOO, which I have always presumed to stand for ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil’ is a terrific Greek restaurant in downtown Ottawa. I have only made two visits there so far, but both meals were excellent and the place is well worth a stop if you find yourself in Canada’s capital. In any event, Octopus tends to be something that Greek restaurants do very well and I can never resist either an appetizer, or main course featuring it, especially if it is grilled. The Grilled Octopus at EVOO actually fell just a little short of being worthy of top marks, but I still enjoyed it very much.
The appetizer of Grilled Octopus at EVOO was very prettily plated and was accompanied by black olives and sliced tomatoes. The tomatoes were absolutely perfect and when I asked the waiter about them he told me that the ‘secret’ to their great taste was that the restaurant bought them fresh at the market each and every day and did not refrigerate them.
The Octopus itself was not quite perfectly grilled, with the thick end being a little overdone and dry, and the tips being slightly mushy in texture. The middle portion was very nice, though, and the slight charring enhanced the natural sweetness of the meat. I probably shouldn’t be too critical of the grilling job, given I largely enjoyed the dish, and, in all fairness, I have had other grilled octopus not nearly so good.
What did make this dish shine was the Greek oil and Lemon dressing known as Ladolemono (or sometimes Latholemono). A squeeze of lemon juice is lovely on Octopus (and a wedge of lemon is a common accompaniment), but this sauce gave the flesh an extra special tangy flavor boost without being overwhelming. The sauce also worked well with the tomatoes and the olives and, all in all, I was very satisfied with this delightful little appetizer.