With his plans for an Eataly-style Middle Eastern food hall in the Montreal Forum put on hold by the pandemic, chef Fuad Nirabie has launched a 2,500-square-foot grocer/takeout counter — right across the street from his celebrated Syrian fine dining restaurant, Damas. Fortunately, he’s an expert at getting big flavours into small packages. The shelves are packed with some 200 products he sources mainly from Syrian refugees in Lebanon — from olive oil, Aleppo pepper and pepper pastes and freekeh to oil-soaked and walnut-stuffed fermented eggplants, aged pomegranate molasses, za’atar blends and sumac. The butcher counter sells grill-ready marinated meats — and, of course, there’s baklava.
Photo Credit: Michael Vesia