I've eaten a fair amount at Estia on Spring Garden Road in the last couple of months. As opposed to doing individual blog posts, I thought I'd combine the meals to provide a good snapshot of the offerings on the appetizer, entree and dessert menu.
Estia is located in the same spot as the ill-fated Sebastien's restaurant, and the space of the former Deco Restaurant. When I first saw its Aegean blue awning, I thought: "Oh great, another Greek spot in Hali." Little did I know that I'd soon refer to Estia as "The best Greek spot in Hali."
Estia is truly one of those restos that, upon walking through the door, makes your mouth water. The aroma of freshly baked bread is the first scent to meet you. This seasoned caraway bread comes to the table with a zesty lemon-oregano dipping oil to take the edge off your hunger. Now I'm the type of person who generally considers the bread basket as filler, however, I would go to Estia simply for a glass of wine and a bread basket - Yeah, it's that good.
Some of my favorite apps include the Saganaki; melted oeey gooey cheese flambeed with brandy, ans served with THE bread. Another favourite is the crispy calamari, served with the richest, creamiest tzaziki I've ever encountered. Lastly, is the Greek Nachos - a fantastic idea and a dish that lives up to its name. Deep fried pita chips are layered with black olives, green onions, tomato and topped with Mozzarella, Romano and Feta cheese. With cheese that stretches as you pull the thick, hearty chips apart, this dish should launch an all new category of 'Best nachos in Hali'.
Pan-fried kefalogravieria cheese flambeed / Metaxa Brandy
served w/ tzaziki
Deep-Fried Pita Chips sprinkled w/ Mozzarella, Romano & Feta Cheese
topped w/ green onion, tomato & black olives
served w/ creamy tzaziki
The Greek platter is great for 3-4 people wanting to try a bit of everything. With all the Greek
specialties, the platter provides a taste of the traditional Greek dishes. My personal favorite is
the stuffed tomato.
Greek Platter for 2
Moussaka, pastitsio, stuffed pepper & tomato, chicken & pork skewer.
Served with lemon roasted potatoes, rice & tzatziki
Estia also does a great breakfast/brunch. I only wish I hadn't been so hungry so as to devour my Aegean omelet before taking a photo. However, lunch provides a good mix of options as well. My BF always seems to go for a sandwich/soup combination, so I've pretty much tried them all; Smoked Applewood Cheddar Panini with Pineapple Chutney or the succulent Lamb Burger with Tzaziki and Feta. He tends to pair these with soup; the traditional Avoglemono egg-based soup or the Tomato soup with Lamb and Orzo pasta. The panini below is so tasty, it could almost do without the chicken for a killer vegetarian sammy...again, with the melted cheese...
Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini
Charbroiled Chicken Breast, Roasted Red Peppers,
Melted Provolone and Basil Pesto
And, when you're jonesin' for something light, the Greek salad always fits the bill. A meal in itself, a small salad and one of the tasty soups is a fantastic pairing.
Romaine, Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives,
Red & Green Peppers and Tomatoes
I'm not normally one who goes for dessert in restos. A big piece of cake may appeal to some, however, I'd rather use that extra stomach space for savoury items. However, when I dine at Estia, it's tricky to resist the homemade Ekmek. Somehow, this desert contains all the elements of richness; whipped cream, vanilla custard and honey-drenched phyllo, but still appears light on the palate. Sneaky...
Shredded phyllo, honey-syrup, vanilla custard &
whipped cream topped with pistachios and almonds