OPA!

The one perfect choice for a date night, a celebration, or just to have a wonderful time, is to have Greek food. The robust flavors, the fire shooting into the air, and the bouzouki music blaring create an atmosphere begging to be enjoyed. Baring this in mind, I headed to the Greek Islands Restaurant, in Chicago. This staple of the classic Greektown area has become well-known for its appetizing meals, and its lively environment. 

So let’s start at the beginning. The first time I found myself at the Greek Islands Restaurant could have been no less than 15 years ago; my family is Greek, and we find the best authentic spots. At this point in time, this particular establishment was little known, and Greektown at large had not yet been embraced widely and enjoyed largely. In the years to come, this exciting area has evolved greatly. Now, Greektown boasts high quality eateries with environments that still hold true to the authentic Greek traditions. 

Now, let’s talk food. If you are new to Greek cuisine, my first, and most important recommendation is as follows; get the saganaki. Trust me, you will enjoy it; it is table-side cooked cheese that is charred with alcohol, fire and lemon.

Next, stick to the basics. Greek food normally consists of some sort of lamb, or seafood. The best options thus remain in these two categories. Pictured to the right, the lamb is served in an au jus with a completing rice with tomato. The flavors in Greek cuisine are crisp and kept simple; the finest tastes are the least complicated. 

For those who prefer seafood, I highly recommend the broiled octopus. The crispy morsels of octopus combined with a somewhat salty, lemon based sauce tantalizes the taster. The octopus is always fresh, and I promise you will not leave hungry. 

So, the next time you have a date, or the next time you feel like experiencing the magic that is Greek food, give the Greek Islands Restaurant a try, and tell them we sent you.

Give us your recommendations for Greek food near you! Cheers!

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