Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Greek Islands Taverna -- by Florida Fine Art Blog

Last Friday my wife Christine, my sister Kate our cousin Christine and I all met at one of our favorite restaurants, Greek Islands Taverna. Greek Islands is located on A1A in Fort Lauderdale just north of Oakland Park Blvd. My wife and I had not been in a long time and were looking forward to another great meal. We were not disappointed.

Greek Islands is not a secret, in fact I have never been there when there wasn't a long line waiting for a table, even on a Monday night the restaurant is packed. They take no reservations, it's first come, first serve. Don't let the line deter you because the restaurant is run so efficiently that it never takes more than 20 minutes to be seated.

The restaurant is owned and operated by brothers Sam (Sotiri) and George Kantzavelos. From their website; "The Taverna boast many of the staples of the Greek diet- fresh vegetable dishes, fresh fish, lamb and salads prepared with fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil. Customers enjoy the authentic Taverna interior as well as having dinner out of doors on balmy Florida evenings...Hospitality is the hallmark of the traditional Greek culture, and at Greek Islands Taverna it is our pleasure to offer this unique dining experience to our clientele."

There are some dishes that we never miss but everything on the menu is fantastic. When you first sit down they bring fresh baked bread with terrific hummus spread. For our starters we had a large Greek Salad (more than enough for the 4 of us) and two orders of my favorite, the large baked shrimp with Sotiri's Secret sauce named for one of the owners. This shrimp dish is to die for. Three huge jumbo shrimp butterflied and then covered in this wonderful garlic butter lemon sauce. I never miss it and something that I highly recommend. We also ordered my wife Christine's favorite, the Saganaki, which is Kefalotiri cheese fried with Brandy, yum! Also ordered was Dolmathakia (Grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs) and Keftedes, something I had never ordered before but my cousin Christine suggested. Keftedes are basically small Greek hamburgers prepared by char-broiling ground meat patties with mint, parsley and garlic then finished with fresh lemon. Such a unique taste, the Keftedes were a big hit.

For our main dishes my cousin Christine ordered the roast leg of lamb which is prepared with rosemary, garlic and oregano and my sister, wife and I all ordered the lamb chops. The chops are marinated in lemon, oregano and olive oil then char-broiled. It's the lamb chops more than anything that keep us coming back, they are always seasoned and cooked to perfection. Along with dinner we had two bottles of Pinot Noir from Greg Norman Estates, a wine I had not tried before but paired nicely with dinner and was reasonably priced. The Greek desserts are all excellent but on this occasion, like most at Greek Islands, we left no room for dessert.

The restaurant is reasonably priced with most appetizers under $10 and most main courses around $20. The portions are large and all main dishes come with potato's and mixed vegetables. The service is friendly and helpful. I recommend this restaurant all the time and this is my go to spot for anyone staying on the beach from out of town. I have never heard a bad word about Greek Islands and have gotten many thanks for my recommendation. This a great time to go as the lines are not as long as in the height of tourist season. Yiamas! GL

Greek Islands Taverna Website
3300 N Ocean Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308   (954) 565-5505

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