Wow. Greek Food has never tasted so extraordinary.
Mountain Man and I went out on a date night tonight to “Kokkari”, a very popular Greek restaurant in the Embarcadero area of San Francisco. I knew it was going to be good based on what I had heard through the grapevine, but had no idea that it would be THIS good. Seriously.
Our Dishes at Kokkari
The menu is chock full of delicious sounding appetizers and main courses, so it was a little daunting making a decision. I had a feeling though that it would not be possible to go wrong.
We knew we wanted lamb and at least one appetizer. Watching all of the amazing dishes walk by us to other tables was making us want to try everything. The dishes were so well presented and aromatic, I felt like I was in a cafe in Greece. Note to reader: I haven’t actually been to Greece yet, but it is what I would imagine a hip, delicious smelling cafe to be resemble. 🙂
Side Note: Greece is near the top of my list of places I most want to visit. I want to see the magical white hotel showcased in “Mamma Mia”. I also want to jump off the dock into the clear blue waters as they did in the movie. I’ll get there some day. I’m sure of it.
So, anyway, back to the review. After some debate, Mountain Man and I decided on the following:
1. Garides sto Furno– wood oven roasted prawns with tomato and feta
2. Taramosalata – with housemade grilled pita
3. Moussaka – traditional baked casserole of spiced lamb, eggplant, potato and yogurt bechamel.
4. Kokinisto me Manestra – aromatic braised lamb shank with orzo and myzithra cheese
5. Two Glasses of Wine – Boeckel Riesling for me and Morgan, Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands for Mountain Man. These were both perfect to complement our dishes. I wrote the names down in my evernote app to ensure I will not forget them in the future. Really, really good and very smooth.
6. Filo Dough filled with custard and fried slightly with apricots drizzled on top. We also requested a scoop of the baklava ice cream. Good choice. 🙂
The prawn appetizer was a unique mixture of tomato and feta on top of wood-oven roasted prawns.
I’m not sure that I have ever had oven roasted prawns before, and certainly not with the perfect mixture of tomatoes and feta adorning them. YUM.
The Taramosalata with Grilled Pita was to die for. I just cannot think of a better way to describe it. Simply heavenly. It was the creamiest dip I have ever tasted in my life.
If that wasn’t enough, the dip was paired with the best pita bread in the universe. I know, I know, it sounds like I’m overstating its excellence….trust me, I’m not. 🙂 It is housemade and grilled to perfection.
I typically think of pita bread as a bit on the dry side and not delicious on its own. This pita bread would have been a treat by itself, but with the taramosalata, out of this world.
As you can tell, the meal was off to a great start with our appys. Then it was time for the Moussaka and Lamb Shank.
I could tell that Mountain Man was so pleased with his lamb shank order when it
arrived just from the looks of it. When he started to cut, the meat just fell off the bone. It was the moistest, most aromatic lamb I have ever encountered. It was served on a bed of orzo. The orzo tasted housemade, like they had just made it from scratch in the kitchen that night and then placed it on the plate immediately with the lamb while still piping hot.
The Moussaka was good as well with spiced lamb and eggplant layers, mixed with a potato and yogurt mixture. This was a very rich dish. Delicious, but very filling, very quickly. I made it halfway through the casserole, then had to stop. If I hadn’t indulged in the dip and pita and prawns, it probably would have been fine, but we just had to try as much as we could. 🙂
Luckily for me, I will get to enjoy the rest of the casserole for lunch tomorrow. So looking forward to it. It will be a nice change from my typical frozen tamales or turkey sandwiches I’ve become addicted to over the past year.
Last, but not least, was our delectable dessert. If you can believe it, I forgot to take a picture. 🙁 I was so excited to taste it, we both just dug in. The dessert was a lightly fried filo dough filled with custard and on top were small slices of apricots in a light syrup drizzled over it. To the side of the filo dough creations was a scoop of baklava ice cream.
I don’t know about you, but I have never had baklava ice cream before, and I can tell you this is DEFINITELY a GREAT idea. It was like eating a smashed piece of baklava that had been mixed into extremely creamy vanilla ice cream. So, so, good. A perfect ending to an absolutely scrumptious meal.
When you walk into Kokkari’s, you smell captivating aromas and see many full tables of smiling people enjoying incredible food. There are large windows surrounding the south and west facing sides of the restaurant that are wide open on most days to let the wonderful San Francisco Bay breezes whip through the restaurant, creating an outdoor European cafe feel. I just loved it.
Its the perfect place for a date night or a night out with friends and family. There were clearly also many groups of co-workers enjoying an after work dinner and social hour.
There is such a friendly feel to the restaurant that you find yourself making plans for your next visit while you’re enjoying your meal.
Kokkari is a wonderful oasis where you can enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle of life, while being treated to perfectly executed dishes.
I highly, highly recommend Kottari. I will be back very soon.