(photo credit: PR)
Greek food is one of my favorite comfort foods. And Greco is a great place to enjoy some authentic Greek dishes in a very relaxed atmosphere. Situated in the secluded Tel Aviv neighborhood of Ezor Chen, the restaurant has a lovely interior. We loved the blue-on-white, Greek- themed accents. I haven’t been to Greece, but at Greco I felt as if I were sitting in a cafe in Mykonos... or what I would imagine Mykonos to be.
For our first course, we shared an array of mazettim. If you’re part of a group, opt for the assortment of 10 items (NIS 178). The tzatziki (NIS 34) and skordalia (NIS 34) – garlic, almond and olive oil spread – were both creamy and delicious, and our server kept the special imported souvlaki pita (NIS 22) coming.
However, what really stood out was the tirokafteri (NIS 32) – roasted pepper spread with feta and blue cheese. This is a cheese lover’s delight! If you like cheese and some spice, you have to try this. The dolmades (NIS 46) – stuffed vine leaves – were a real treat. Forget those slimy, greasy canned ones you get from the supermarket. These were warm and wonderful.
In between, we were treated to a variety of delightfully refreshing ouzo-based cocktails. Next up was fried zucchini patties (NIS 38) filled with feta cheese, kafalotyri cheese and herbs. This dish is a must-have. It had great texture: soft, moist and cheesy on the inside, crisp and lightly battered on the outside and not overly greasy like fried things tend to be. The tzatziki complemented the patties very well.
This was followed by the 12 gods’ pastry (NIS 48), which has already become a signature dish. The phylo pastry stuffed with feta cheese was fried to golden perfection. I loved the addition of sesame and honey, which gave it a beautiful sweetness that just cut through the saltiness of the cheese.
After a bit of a breather, we were served a series of main dishes. I am not the biggest fan of moussaka because I usually find it too heavy. However, this eggplant and meat moussaka was so much lighter than normal (NIS 72). I liked that the portion size showed some restraint, making the moussaka just satisfying enough without leaving me tired halfway through. It was delicious.
Next up was fava cream with spring chicken. Fava (not to be confused with the fava bean) is a traditional Greek dish of yellow split peas. It is a purée, flavored with onion and cooked and served with olive oil.
The lamb kebab souvlaki (NIS 62) was well cooked and flavorful, and there was just enough roasted tomatoes and red onions. It had a strong meat flavor, tender pieces with the combination of the oil and lamb fat coating the palate at every bite.
The desserts (NIS 39 each) were delightful, too. We shared the semolina and milk cake with toffee sauce, as well as the kaimaki goat yogurt ice cream with raspberry syrup and toasted almonds.
Overall, it was a delicious dinner. I like the fact that Greco sticks to making the traditional, classic Greek dishes, just better than you would get them in most Greek restaurants. It is a wonderful place for parties or large groups.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.Greco Not kosher 25 A.Z. Grinberg St., Tel Aviv Tel: (03) 741-1022