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Greek Cuisine Dining

by Lou Seibert Pappas

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Dining in Greece

On a recent cruise of the Crystal Harmony with members of the Newspaper Food Editors and Writers Association, we dined in Athens and Rhodes at select restaurants. Ouzeries are a popular new style of restaurant, featuring an assortment of meze. Certain fish restaurants are stellar. On earlier trips I have enjoyed the simple taverna fare at the island beaches. Canopied lunch stands serve Greek salad, pita sandwiches, rice-stuffed tomatoes and peppers, and grilled souvlakia.

To Cafenio (The Cafe)
26 Loukianou

Located in the fashionable Kolonaki section, this ouzerie offers regional specialties from throughout Greece. A luncheon menu features 16 meze. They include:

fava bean puree
zucchini fritters
cabbage leaves stuffed with beef and rice and served with avgolemono sauce
eggplant puree
cheese pie
spinach pie
potato salad
melizana papoutsaka
eggplant stuffed with ground beef with tomato sauce and cheese
lamb intestines rolled into a sausage
fried Kasseri cheese
kolokithia yemista
zucchini stuffed with ground beef and rice and served with avgolemono sauce
fried white bait
beef meatballs baked in the oven
fried beef meatball
house salad
artichoke zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, and onion dressed with dill vinaigrette

Zefiros (The Wind)
48 Alex Koumoundourou

This is an excellent fish restaurant located in the little yacht harbor next to the port of Piraeus.This is one of 15 to 20 psarotavernas or fish restaurants in this area.The owner, Thanassi Panagiotou, insists on top quality fresh fish. A superb menu there consisted of grilled octopus dressed with oregano vinaigrette, fried white bait, fried crayfish, Greek salad, boiled wild greens dressed with olive oil and lemon, grilled sea bream served with olive oil and lemon sauce, melon, grapes, and baklava. Ouzo, beer, and a dry white wine accompanied.

Alexis Restaurant
18 Socrates Street
in the Old Town of Rhodes

An outdoor and indoor taverna, this restaurant features a comprehensive display of fish and seafood and an excellent selection of Greek wines from small boutiques. Dining there, Yannis Katsimprakis, the chef, served grilled octopus dressed with olive oil, vinegar, and oregano; tiny fried shrimp, mussels steamed in white wine with onion and herbs; sea urchins, large clams on the half shell, little clams on the half shell, oysters, arugula salad, tzatziki: a dip of yogurt and cucumber; grilled prawns; grilled white fish, and spinach sauteed with tomato and garlic.

A Sampling of Bay Area Greek Restaurants

Stoyanof's Cafe
1240 9th Avenue near Irving Street
San Francisco, Calif.

Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Excellent fila pastries, both savory and sweet.

Asimakopoules Cafe and Deli
288 Connecticut Street at 18th Street
San Francisco, Calif.

Open for lunch weekdays and dinner daily.

420 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, Calif.

Charming taverna featuring Hellenic cuisine with a California emphasis in an upscale atmosphere. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner; closed Sunday.

more on Greek Cuisine...
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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