December 22, 2009
I love Estia.
Last year, when I was living in Philly and me and Frank were really begining to get into the Philadelphia restaurant scene we were constantly looking for new places to have a bite to eat. He takes pride in how well he picks out restaurants (sure, there have been a few duds, but for the most part he always picks a great place) and still mentions how he was the one to suggest Estia (apparently I’m expected to know where all things greek are in the city). He’s so funny.
Anyway, we made our way to Estia the other night, gliding past the snow covered fields of Jersey to find our place in the city. If you’re familiar with Philadelphia, than Estia is a cinch to get to. It’s right off of broad street on locust, going toward Rittenhouse. It’s a large restaurant with stone ceilings and heavy wooden beans hanging down. Even when it’s full, it’s never loud or overwhelming. Greek rembetika plays softly in the background. You feel as though you’re in Greece visiting family, it’s like a home away from home.
The three times we’ve dined there (not counting the one lunch I had with a friend) I’ve tried a different dish and they have all lived up to and exceeded expectations. So far I’ve tried Arni Piadakia (Lamb chops marinated for three days in olive oil, lemon and fresh herbs served with potato tiganites and tzatziki), Kotopoulo (Organic chicken roasted served over caramelized onion and yogurt orzo with a lemon chicken thyme jus), and Arni Trahana (Lamb shank braised and de-boned served over cracked wheat pasta with tomato kampama and shaved mizithra cheese). While they were all unique dishes as well as delicious, my favorite would deffinetely be the Arni Piadakia – the taste of it has stuck in my mind since I got it the firsttime we visted the restaurant, and the tzatziki was phenomenal.
Frank compares the Filet Mignon to “almost” that of the late Brasserie Perrier, saying that if it was just a tad less dry it would be just as good (although he gets it well-done so part of me wonders if that may be the culprit). The whipped potatoes are a story all their own. Even as a non-mashed potato fanatic as he is, I do enjoy a bite or two. They are deffinetely made with olive oil and some sort of spice that I can’t pinpoint, that gives them a completely unique taste all their own.
As for dessert, the last two times I’ve just gone with a little bowl of gelato, as I’m usually almost stuffed and can’t imagine eating anymore. But I did try once, the Galactobourico which is Semolina custard wrapped in filo with orange, lemon zest syrup. It was deffinetely worth make the extra space in my stomach for. Frank love their chocolate lava cake and gets it everytime. I can tell you from trying a bite of it that it is pure chocolate, so for all you “chocoholics” out there, this is for you.
Here are the photos I got from the first visit (I forgot my camera the other night). Sorry about how horrid they are, but the restaurant is very dark, which is nice to enjoy a dinner in, but horrible for photos.
(Galactobourico & Greek Coffee)
Oh, and I must mention, that if you happen to go for lunch, get the Estia Chips. They are so amazing – me and my friend could have eaten them for meal!