frantik | Jan 2, 200311:24 AM    

Hello and happy new year:

Just wanted to report back the anniversary dinner that my husband and I had at Kokkari. I had asked the board for thoughts and we got some great feedback, which I very much appreciated.

I will say that I absolutely loved the food and the service, while the atmosphere was a bit of a mixed bag. One of the posts said that the portions were large and that was good to know. (Thankfully, though, it's all about quality AND quantity there--not always the most common combination.) I would've been tempted to order more-since everything sounded good to me- and as it was, I took my most of my entree home for another meal. Everything we ordered was recommended on the list, the gigantes and fried smelts as appetizers, a side of pita bread, lamb chops and moussaka for entrees and greek coffee and grappa at the end, oh, and wine from Greece. The gigantes (large beans) were cooked like a casserole, with cheese, tomatoes, etc. It was very, very tasty and spiced perfectly. I had the smelts, an enormous platter of these little crispily fried fish. YUMM! I must admit that I'd been looking forward to that since I read about them here, and they didn't disappoint. My husband was very happy with the lamb chops; they were very tender.

I thoroughly enjoyed the moussaka. The yogurt sauce was exceptionally creamy and tasty, mixed with eggplant, potato and ground lamb. There were interesting spices going on, with a definite taste of nutmeg. My husband wasn't so crazy about the spices, but it worked for me. And my only complaint, a personal preference really, was that the moussaka's mix of ingredients wasn't completely to my taste. Seems that it was about 50% ground lamb, and 50% everything else. That was definitely too much meat for me. I am not a moussaka expert, so perhaps that's perfectly authentic, but I found myself eating around the lamb quite a bit-wishing for more vegetables.

I would've loved to have ordered dessert. I enjoyed just reading the menu and imagining what it would be like, but I was stuffed to the gills. I did go for the coffee that was strong and sweet (as I ordered it). You can order three types, not sweet, mildly sweet or sweet.

Some small issues, that might be bigger issues for others, with the atmosphere. (Or might have been bigger for me if I hadn't been enjoying the other qualities of the restaurant so much.) We were seated right by the bar-happily near the fireplace. But the bar got crowded and people were noisily chatting around us and leaning on our chairs. A bit irritating, but something I could easily live with. It was a holiday week, after all, and every place seemed crowded with big groups and families. I give it a very high recommendation and can't wait until another splurge opportunity to go back and try more things on the menu.

Thanks again for the feedback.

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