BEST GREEK RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2007 - Christos
Pop into the Nicollet Avenue Christos any weekday lunch and the room is bustling with happy customers. They come for things like a daily special of fresh-baked moussaka, an individual casserole of tangy eggplant and beef united by a savory sauce and a salty, piquant lid of grated, melted cheeses. It's not just that the moussaka is a classic homestyle comfort, it's also that for just $7.25 they get the whole casserole and a choice of soup, such as the lemony, silky avgolemono, or a big salad. Add a $1.50 cup of rice pudding to the table and you're eating like a Greek patriarch, at prices that'll allow you to expand the family. It's hard to find fault with any of the homespun, sturdy delights of Christos' table: The koupepia, grape leaves stuffed with lamb, beef, herbs, and rice, has all the weight of sustenance, all the lightness of careful cooking. The melintzanosalata, a lemony eggplant puree, is silky and rich. Octapodi, octopus baked in vinegar and red wine, is as briny and oceanic as a gusty breeze from the Mediterranean. Dinner is equally value-oriented: It's hard to find an entree that tops $12, though there is the $27.95 Iliad feast for two—and if you and your date can finish that groaningly generous sampling of five of their most popular entrees, including the no-man-can-resist-them gyros, you two are truly epic. Greek food culture is one based on doing things plainly, generously, hospitably, and well—and Christos could be the picture in the dictionary.