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Greek Restaurants


MicBacchus
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From this week's Wash Post chat with Tom Sietsema - we had some more than respectable apps. there.

"Alexandria, Va.: Tom: With the Olympics starting on Friday, what are some fun Greek restaurants in Northern Virginia or D.C.? I am looking for inexpensive/moderate price and authentic flavor so I can pretend that I am actually there celebrating! Thanks.

Tom Sietsema: I like newish Mourayo myself. It's on Connecticut Ave. "

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I'd be willing to go to Balto - heard there was an area of Greek restaurants there but haven't looked into it. What's there that's good? Thanks

Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---

Brillat-Savarin

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Tom Sietsema is always going on about Black Olive in Baltimore, which is apparently the home of some really great simply grilled whole fish. I have not been. Has anybody from eG dined there?

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Tom Sietsema is always going on about Black Olive in Baltimore, which is apparently the home of some really great simply grilled whole fish. I have not been. Has anybody from eG dined there?

Yes, though it has been going on three years. Based on my two experiences at both establishments, Black Olive's whole fish reminded me a lot of Al Tiramisu's near Dupont Circle: great fresh fish (last time at Black Olive I think I had Bronzini), that was overcooked and somewhat dried out, expensive, and maybe even a little boring. Their big hunks of spinach pie also came across to me as a little too homey, if that's possible - they'd be great for takeout, but for a sit-down app, it was rustic and enormous the one time I tried it (the second time, they "looked" the same in the display case, so I didn't order one).

Don't get me wrong: despite the above paragraph, I enjoyed both of my meals at Black Olive and would return. It's a charming atmosphere in a great location, and I remember finding a reasonably priced Greek white wine on the list, but the fish isn't all that cheap, and it's only going to be as good as who's grilling it at that moment. My guess is that if it hits on a given night, it could be a really nice dining experience.

Cheers,

Rock(fi)s(h).

P.S. Another place I've always sort of liked is Greek Taverna in downtown McLean. They sometimes have a lamb shoulder special in a lemon sauce with fried potatoes (mmmm), and it has been a great dish every time I've tried it (more so than when it's served with orzo in a tomato-based sauce, which to my palate lacks the citrus needed to cut through the fat of the lamb, but that's personal preference).

P.P.S. I just found this thread on Simple Grilled Fish, Greek Style

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I'm kinda surprised that you had dry fish at the Black Olive--I've always had fish there that seems pretty darned perfect. My issue with the Black Olive, besides being incredibly expensive, at least to me, is the service. I've had really, really bad service there to the point that I am hesitant to return and I live in Baltimore. A particularily bad evening there actually included my helping myself to the very good bread in the kitchen that no one took the time to put on our table. Thankfully, we were seated within reaching distance or else my table would have gotten really cranky. I'm ok with slow service just so they keep the bread and wine coming--but they didn't even do that. I'd like to think that my experience isn't the norm but I've heard other slow service horror stories. I haven't been since they expanded so perhaps things have improved. And, I don't want to scare someone off but just thought I'd post a warning. Greektown is really on the opposite end of the "fine dining" spectrum, for the most part. The only place I go to there with any degree of regularity is Samos. It has a diner like atmosphere and is almost always packed. But, it is BYOB and they'll give you wine glasses while you wait. The food isn't fancy and neither is the service but you won't be ignored.

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I'm not going to pretend to know too much about authentic Greek food, but when I'm downtown, I have a hard time passing up lunch at the Greek Deli on 19th Street (between L and M). And judging by the lunchtime lines at the Greek Deli, a lot of other people can't pass it up, either! I have tried a lot of their offerings, but I generally crave their pastitsio and spanakopita.

I also recently tried Mourayo, which I *loved*. Our waiter was kinda young and goofy, but he was so excited to tell us about every single item on the menu, that it really added to the experience.

Edited by annsyp (log)
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  • 1 month later...
Tom Sietsema: I like newish Mourayo myself. It's on Connecticut Ave. "

Any idea if this place has a bar? And if so, would I be able to get a little space for 3 or 4 folks at around 6:30?

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Any idea if this place has a bar? And if so, would I be able to get a little space for 3 or 4 folks at around 6:30?

Yes, it does have a very small (maybe 5 seats bar). The bartender there is usually a guy named John. He is a generous pourer (probably because he is otherwise bored).

Oh, and the pork is good (at least the prep a few months ago), and so are all the dippy things that you might share with three other people at a bar (honorable bread too). The octopus, on the otherhand, is just like you'd expect overcooked octopus to be. And that is all I remember...

Edited by morela (log)

...

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