Even with their sights set on eternal glory, the well-greaved Achaeans besieging Troy had to break for dinner. Today's Groupon brings bounteous Hellenic fare across the wine-dark sea and straight into your mouth, the skilled breaker of horses: for $15, you get $30 worth of Greek fare and drinks at Taverna Plaka.
Plaka's authentic Greek offerings and libations—prepared according to owner Stelios Kyriacou's family recipes—are just part of the fun. Every night, Taverna transforms into a veritable Greek wedding celebration, complete with flying napkins, a dancing wait staff, belly dancers, and plate smashing to save on washing time.
Lounge around the enormous outdoor patio and get noshing on small, sharable meze such as tzatziki ($5), domadakia (stuffed grape leaves $5), skewers of souvlaki kebab ($6), and table-side ignited halloumi (aged cow's milk) or kefalograviera saganaki (aged sheep's milk) ($8). No Greek meal is complete without the simple horiatiki, a country salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and olives ($6), or a heaping plate of béchamel moussaka ($14). There's also a hearty grilled beef filet for your consideration ($20) and a gyro plate of shaved, roasted lamb with greek fries and salad ($14).
Starting at 10 p.m., Taverna is filled with fresh-spun, live DJ tunes and generous glasses of ouzo. Diners are invited to join in dancing and celebrations, or simply sit and nibble savory desserts such as syrupy baklava ($5) and mille feulle, a custard-filled puff pastry ($5). Taverna's communal tables make an excellent party spot for large groups celebrating birthdays, the last night of bachelorettedom, or bar-hopping bar mitzvahs.
- They have excellent Saganaki (flaming cheese) which is the greatest appetizer ever created. Order it. You will NOT be disappointed. – J D., Yelp, 12/4/09
Long after dinner hours, guests at Taverna Plaka may feel as though they've stumbled into a Greek wedding party. Ouzo and wine flow as belly dancers swivel to Mediterranean techno spun by a DJ on the outdoor patio. Meanwhile, staffers lead revelers in throwing napkins, breaking plates, and cheering Greek chants. These festivities align with the restaurant's name, which pays homage to the ancient Plaka neighborhood in Athens, which, according to mythology, was the earthly place where gods once drank, danced, and exchanged balloon animals with mortals.
Proprietor Stelios Kyriacou's menus are equally authentic, anchored in old family recipes. Tzatziki, hummus, and eggplant spreads complement orders of horiatiki salad, lamb kabobs, and grilled salmon with lemon potatoes and spinach, as do specialty beverages such as the Greek Crush—a blend of Level vodka, blue curacao, and pineapple juice. Servers ferry flavors across stone-tiled floors between exposed brick walls and a bar backed by rows of Mediterranean spirits and neoclassical columns.
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