by George Froehlich
Greek food has been the same old for eons in Vancouver.
But now Piato Estiatorio, located on West Fourth Avenue’s bustling restaurant row in Vancouver, has hit a home run with its approach and techniques.
This modern room with its white walls, sleek tables and chairs reflects the food perfectly.
The Salata Plaka, tiny sweet cherry tomatoes nestled among the mixed crunchy greens, some mint and candied pecans, dressed in a creamy feta vinaigrette. And that extra little touch of mint elevated the salad to memorable.
The Padzaro beet salad was non-traditional, the golden beets were sweet and a bit on the crunchy side, the red beets were earthier with a slightly less sweet taste to them.
Surrounding the beets was peppery arugula with soft creamy rich Manouri cheese with a touch of roasted garlic and topped off with a lemon vinaigrette.
An order of fried zucchini croquettes – Kolokithokeftedes -was disappointing, lacking seasoning.
The grilled octopus was excellent; tender morsels of sweet delicate white meat. The slightly charred taste with some great olive oil and oregano turned a simple peasant dish into something divine.
The share platter with four dishes was a hit.
The meatballs were topped off with a rich and intense tomato sauce the flavours of garlic, onion, cumin and red wine placing this dish in the finger licking good category.
Griddled spinach pie, light and not heavy, and fresh baked three cheese phyllo pie consisting of Feta, Mizithra and Kefalotir and of course the traditional fried calamari, completed this wonderful share platter.
Dessert consisted tiny Greek donuts called – Loukoumades, delicious little golden puffs, drizzled with aromatic honey syrup and sprinkled ground pistachios.
George Froehlich has more than 35 years media experience abroad and in Canada. He is an avid cook, art collector and world-wide traveler. New York still is his favourite city. For more than two years he has been producing the Savvy Insider, a funky, eclectic newsletter that’s all Metro Vancouver and what makes it one of the great cities of the world. Check out his site, and stay bookmarked to Poivre Media for weekly “edible” anecdotes from George.