In Toronto's vibrant Greektown where restaurants abound, quality is revered and the dining experience is cherished, stands the longtime favorite, Pan. Vibrant, energetic hosts welcome patrons to scintillating aromas and breathtaking food that, for over 25 years has separated Pan on the Danforth into a class unto itself.
Upon entering the restaurant one immediately feels welcomed with open arms - literally! Hugs and handshakes are both a common greeting and a tradition that owners, Chris and
Soula, have become famous for. This is not for show. Both are genuinely humble and happy to speak with patrons. By making everyone feel like family they turn an ordinary lunch or dinner into a truly memorable dining experience.
"When we speak of food, people have the choice of where and what to eat. We understand that there are many restaurants to choose from and that's why we whole-heartedly appreciate and thank those that choose to dine here at Pan," says Chris.
Warm interior colours, soothing lighting and flat stone walls with embedded candles set the mood and raise the ambiance level to new heights. However both Chris and Soula have an insatiable appetite to improve and refine their establishment on all levels.
One of these initiatives includes establishing a year-round prix-fixe menu ($15 lunch; $25 dinner) the menu itself has several new items with a plethora of vegetarian dishes included.
"There's always something to do," says Chris, who recently introduced and updated an extensive two-page wine list. Sommelier Alexander Hamilton played a major role with respect to selecting the restaurant's impressive selection of local wines.
"A 100-mile menu is in the works. Ontario lamb is already being served but we are always striving to make everything as local as possible, emphasizing the importance of freshness and originality," shares Chris.
The menu currently includes items such as Halloumi ($11), grilled Cypriot cheese with capers and cilantro vinaigrette. The Syracusae Smoked Double Pork Chop ($18) served atop feta scalloped potatoes is finished with an orange glaze sauce. The Aioli Lamb Souvlaki ($17) is served with pan seared vegetables and mixed greens
Meanwhile Stifatho ($18), a dish traditionally served at Greek weddings, is available on the menu. Consisting of tender, succulent lean beef cubes seasoned with fresh spices such as cinnamon; pearl onions, cloves, rosemary and garlic aromatically enhance a port wine reduction. This was a rich and delectable dish with flavours that tingled and satisfied the taste buds.
The Red Snapper Filet is lightly seasoned and served with a white wine and lemon dill sauce and served with pan seared vegetables and new mini-potatoes. This dish was light and bursting with flavour, a perfect summer time meal.
The dessert menu has traditional favourites such as CrÃ¨me Brule ($6) and Baklava ($6). Another popular item is the seasonably available Fig and Port Ice Cream ($6) which is topped with fresh figs caramelized in a red wine and cinnamon reduction.
Pan is an ideal restaurant for any occasion, day or night. Reservations are strongly recommended if you choose to dine on Friday or Saturday evenings. A live jazz band, traditional Greek music and belly dancing all bring out one's inner passions for a uncommon night out. Add mouth-watering meals and wine into the mix and the result is a dining experience fit to be savoured.