Estia Greek Taverna and Bar / The Gathering Place

May 22, 2012

in Main Course,Palm-Beach,South Florida

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Estia Greek Taverna & Bar

Royal Palm Place
507 SE Mizner Boulevard
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
561-245-8885

www.estiagreektaverna.com

Written and Photographed by: Tom House

Food & Service: 

Owner Thanasis Vasilakis and Hostess Kara Greet Everyone with a Smile

I do not eat at Greek restaurants very often, but I have always loved the healthy, freshly made foods of this Mediterranean country. Maybe it’s because it is very difficult to find an excellent Greek restaurant around these parts? Well that problem is solved for me now that I have dined at Estia Greek Taverna & Bar, Boca Raton, Florida.

Owners Thanasis Vasilakis and Zafeiris Zambiyadis chose the name Estia, which is derived from Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth. Hestia in Greek means fireplace or hearth. The Goddess Hestia is the center of home, the welcoming warming fire at the heart of the home. Her duty is to always keep the fire burning, a source of light and warmth. That is the ambitious goal of the owners and the chef in this Boca Raton, Florida restaurant and as you’ll soon see…they have succeeded.

Estia Super Fresh Greek Salad

We entered to a warm welcome from a beautiful smiling hostess, and took a seat at the bar. We were soon greeted by Thanasis, who likes to be called Tommy, as we enjoyed some before dinner cocktails. Then restaurant has warm light blue colors mixed with white and is quite relaxing. The aroma of fresh food wafting from the kitchen made our stay at the bar a short one, as we soon headed for a table with the rest of our group.

Tonight Chef Silvestros Sotiradis, classically trained in Greece, would send a vast array of items from his wonderful menu for us to try. We are always down for a culinary adventure, and settled in for the long haul. Massive

Greek salads arrived, surrounded by some of the reddest tomatoes I have ever seen. Everything is so crispy and fresh, and the chunk of bright feta cheese on top was incredible. How much can you say about a Greek Salad you ask? You’ll have to stop in and find out for yourself.

Estia Cold Appetizer Platter

A cold sampler platter was placed in the middle of the table, brimming with Greek specialties, colorful and delicious. Tzatziki, Taramosalata, Hummus, Tirokafteri, olives and Dolmades galore! The Taramosalata is a slightly pink spread made from Carp fish roe, lemon juice and bread crumbs or mashed potatoes, olive oil and lemon juice. It is naturally salty, but is so good with the soft warm pita pockets Estia serves in a basket to enjoy with these spreads. In Greece Taramosalata is mainly eaten at the first day of the Easter lent, known as Clean Monday. Might as well learn some Greek culture while we enjoy such authentic food, right?

Estia Grilled Octopus

The spread called Tirokafteri has a spicy, slightly salty taste, with mellow undertones of olive oil. Also incredible eaten with the warm pita bread, it is made with feta cheese and other soft cheeses, hot peppers and roasted peppers, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and Greek yogurt. The other spreads, although more familiar like Hummus, were all deliciously fresh and cold.

We dove into a hearty dish of Mussels Santorini. This is sautéed mussels with garlic, and served in a tomato and feta Ouzo sauce. So good! Grilled Octopus also wrapped us in its tentacles of tastiness; simply char-grilled with Greek olive oil and real Limoncello.

Mussels Santorini a Garlic Tomato and Feta Cheese Ouzo Sauce

As we were relaxing with our wine and plenty of laughter, the lights began to flash, accompanied by a dramatic change in the music. Suddenly we’re being entertained by a beautiful belly dancer, with stunning black hair, dressed in a colorfully swishing costume!

The owners were throwing napkins in the air, customers were banging tambourines, and everyone in the building was having a great time! Going out to dinner is supposed to be entertainment!

Estia's Belly Dancer is Amazing

The party was going full swing now, as main courses were served by Estia’s confident, well trained staff. A huge Lamb Shank arrived, over orzo with tomato sauce; Mousaka is layers of eggplant, potatoes, ground beef, and béchamel sauce, and finally Pastitsio; Greek pasta with ground beef and more béchamel.

A 3-pound+ whole snapper was deftly de-boned in the center of the room by one of our servers Constantine. This large fresh fish was simply char-grilled and finished with Greek vinaigrette.

Estia Giant Veal Shank over Orzo

All of these dinners were outstanding, and great care is taken by Chef Silvestros Sotiradis to insure everything is always authentic and fresh. With every bite of these Greek specialties, we became bigger fans of Estia!

Don’t let the Greek names of these dishes intimidate you, because they’re all over the menu! Owner Tommy and his knowledgeable staff are always  happy to explain the foods they have grown up with to each and every customer. One of the best features of Estia is how hospitable they truly are…and it’s from their hearts.

Chef Silvestros Sotiradis was Classically Trained in Greece

Somehow we made room for dessert, and we are glad we did. Time for Bougatsa and Baklava! Bougatsa is oven baked phyllo dough filled with custard cream then topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Of course Baklava is also oven baked phyllo, but this time it is filled with walnuts and honey. Both were outstanding, and soon gone from sight, but not our memory.

The tempting menu and dedicated Greek chef, as well as welcoming owners and professional service staff makes a visit to Estia one you don’t want to miss. Make sure you tell them that Tom House and DinnerReviews.com© sent you! Kalee Oreski (good appetite)!

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