Friday, July 10, 2009

Taverna Opa

Our experience at Taverna Opa can only be described as "unexpected." I guess I should have known from the name ("opa" means party in Greek) but when we walked into the almost empty restaurant at 7:30, I never would have guessed that in a half hour the whole place would be packed and waiters and patrons would be dancing on the tables alongside belly dancers. Opa indeed!

Not much for dancing on tables ourselves, we enjoyed watching the festivities and when we felt like shouting to each other over the din of celebration, it was mainly to comment on the super-yummy food. That was the other unexpected element. I just picked this place on OpenTable because the menu was vegan friendly and cheap, and I had few expectations of the food. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when some really great dishes appeared on our table.

Winner number one, and the best of them all, was the tableside hummus. This was unlike any other hummus I ever had, and that's really saying something! A mortar and pestle full of chickpeas, raw garlic, salt and good (like REALLY good) olive oil is brought to the table, and you mash it yourself. No tahini, no lemon juice. Only other ingredient is your own elbow grease, and that's really all it needs. Absolutely delicious. I will be recreating this some time soon in my own kitchen and think you should do the same. Most of the other dishes were pretty awesome too, and include your standard Greek fare like dolmas and falafel and sauteed greens. All were delicious, but there was one other stand-out; The Harvest Salad.Full of greens, tomatoes, red onions, roasted potatoes, chick peas, and topped with roasted aspargus, it was well seasoned, fresh, and downright yummy. Any vegan who walks in the door of this place and doesn't order it is a fool!

If you're like us, and you prefer to keep your partying separate from your dining, just head over a little earlier in the evening. On the other hand, if dancing and throwing napkins in the air is your activity of choice between courses, show up any time after 8. Your wild side, as well as your stomach, will be fully satisfied.

No comments: