BEST GREEK/MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT - 2004
No dark paneling or red leather booths, no heavy oregano or cigar smoke, this place glows with Mediterranean light. An open kitchen, white walls, and elegant black-and-white photos of the Greek isles welcome you in. The menu is traditional Greek/Cypriot turned out with a light hand and careful attention to seasoning. Longtime favorite shrimp Mykonos tosses seasonal fresh vegetables with salty feta, while the pork souvlaki is tender and lovingly charred. The lamb tavas, in onions, tomatoes, and potatoes, is fragrant and silky on its pillow of rice. And standbys such as moussaka, spanakopita, and tryopita in crisp, flaky phyllo are made for friends with long forks. If you're going to order octopus anywhere in the Twin Cities, this place is a sure bet. The classic octapodi, marinated in wine, olive oil, black pepper, and fresh herbs, will convert the squeamish. Though the waitstaff appears suspiciously Scandinavian, they knows their baklava from their rizogalo. The wine list features southern Mediterranean favorites: Most of the whites are young and raspy, the reds all a bit rough, though they'll hold their own against garlic and olive oil. You can sit sipping retsina and picking at gyros as long as you like, watching Eat Street's ever-fascinating traffic.