(photo credit: PR)
Greek food is one of my favorite comfort foods. And Sparta is a great place to enjoy some authentic Greek dishes in a very relaxed atmosphere.
Situated on Tel Aviv’s bustling Yermiyahu Street , the restaurant has a lovely interior. A sleek long bar functions as the centerpiece of the restaurant, and customers can sit there for a quick drink or at one of the surrounding tables. One can also enjoy the outdoor open terrace.
For our first course, we shared an array of mazettim (NIS 59). The tzatziki and skordalia – garlic, almond and olive oil spread – were creamy and delicious, and our server kept the homemade bread coming.
However, what really stood out was the tirokafteri – roasted pepper spread with feta cheese.
This is a cheese lover’s delight! If you like cheese and some spice, you have to try this.
We were then presented with haloumi a la Romana (NIS 48).
This was comprised of generous slices of haloumi grilled up crisp on the outside and molten in the middle, served on a bed of rocket and artichoke a la Romana, topped with tomato confit, chunks of toasted bread and Mediterranean chimichurri. It was simply divine. I will definitely be going back for that dish.
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Sparta’s manager really wanted to make sure we had a good time, so he invited us to do shots of ouzo after each course.
Our waitress returned bearing a traditional Greek salad (NIS 42) that consisted of flavorful feta cheese, Kalamata olives and tomatoes and a wonderful blend of vinegar and olive oil with some spices. The salad was very fresh, light and tasty.
Equally good was the fisherman’s bread (NIS 42). This mixture of diced fresh fish, purple onion, tomatoes and Kalamata olives, served on toast, got my taste buds dancing. The fish was very tender and a touch spicy, with an intricate interplay of sweet and salty flavors.
After a bit of a breather, we were served a series of main dishes. First up was the classic Greek shwarma (NIS 62) served on tahini with beef broth, tomato salsa, grated purple onion and Greek pita. It had a strong meat flavor, tender pieces with the combination of the oil and lamb fat coating the palate at every bite. This is a must-order dish! The Greek kebab (NIS 64) was flavorful, well cooked, perfectly seasoned and had just the right balance of tomatoes and onions.
It was served with a side of grilled vegetables and warm pita. The best way to eat it is to sandwich it between the pita with a dab of tzatziki or tehina.
We also tried the chicken souvlaki (NIS 62). This consisted of charcoal grilled chicken skewers lovingly wrapped in a warm pita with the right accompaniment of tehina. The chicken was perfectly cooked and not dry at all (overcooked chicken is a huge pet peeve of mine).
Last, we had the grilled fish kebab (NIS 74) served in a spicy tomato sauce with tzatziki and toast. The kebabs were moist and nicely spiced.
Already bursting at the seams, we valiantly strove on to dessert and enjoyed the delectable and decadent chocolate fudge cake.
Overall, it was a delicious dinner. I like the fact that Sparta sticks to making the traditional, classic Greek dishes, just better than you would get them at most Greek restaurants. It is a wonderful place for parties or large groups.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
54 Yermiyahu St., Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 605-6575
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