30 January 2013

Elegant Greek dinner in San Francisco

I first started writing about the restaurants we visited in northern California several months ago, after returning from the second of our two trips. I wrote that my wife’s favorite meal was at La Mar on the Embarcadero. My favorite was at a reliable standby, actually not too far from the Embarcadero.

We’ve dined at Kokkari Estiatorio on previous visits to San Francisco. (Click here to read my first review.) When we travel to The City, it’s always a dilemma. Do we revisit a fantastic restaurant like Kokkari? Or do we sample some of the other fabulous restaurants? The best decision is to do a little of both. And since it had been quite a while since our last visit to Kokkari, we didn’t have to think about it long to decide it was time for a return.

There are so many delicious choices on Kokkari’s menu that it’s hard for two people to narrow it down to just a few items. So this time,we took a slightly different approach. DSC00281

We started out with a couple of appetizers (mezethes). One was kalamari (squid), grilled and stuffed with feta and served with fennel, orange, and black olives. It was much more nuanced and interesting than the standard fried calamari so commonly available. The second mezethe was called ‘kolokithokeftethes’ on the menu. It was a crispy zucchini cake served with cucumber and mint-yogurt dressing. Also very unique, light, and refreshing.

Then I did order an entrée. I had one of their fish specials – a whole, grilled dorado served with lemon, potatoes, olives, and fennel. It was delicious.

But Linda, unable to decide on an entrée, decided to get two more mezethes. One was ‘spanakotiropita’ or spinach pie, layers of filo, spinach, leeks, dill and feta. The other was ‘soutzoukakia’ which consisted of lamb meatballs, in a spicy tomato sauce with Greek yogurt. It was a great decision. Between all the dishes, we had a real variety of Greek delicacies.

We did split a dessert at the end. It was called ‘galaktoboureko’ and it was a custard in filo served with pistachio ice cream. An excellent ending to a delightful meal.

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