12 Islands Greek Taverna…It’s all Greek to Me

I  live in an area of North Jersey where you can get Italian or Asian food on every corner. Restaurants are a plenty however; there are a few cuisines that are not properly represented….Greek for example.

I enjoy Greek food although I have had limited encounters with a truly Greek culinary experience (Barring a visit or 2 to the chain It’s Greek to Me).  So when I came across an authentic Greek restaurant within a decent proximity I jumped on the idea of making a night of it. I grabbed a girlfriend and we ventured to Millburn, NJ for a girls night out.

12 Islands Greek Taverna is one of the small store front establishments that line one of the main roads in town.  My first impression upon walking in was that it was quaint, quiet, and beaming with Greek pride (Flags, maps, music and all!…but it wasn’t too over the top either).  We were greeted by the hostess who seemed like they were most likely was a part of the family who owned the restaurant. Our server, Nick {I truly felt like I walked into the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Although no Windex was sprayed during the course of this dinner ….} was very pleasant and attentive.

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After surveying the menu and all of it’s deliciously appealing items we made our decisions. Before our starter came we were treated to pita, olive oil, large green olives, and my favorite part…the red wine infused feta cheese (This was quite possibly the best bite of the meal!).  After polishing that off our appetizer came quickly after. We ordered the Keftedakia, or fried Greek Meatballs (I loved that the menu had the items listed in both Greek and English!).  These were perfectly crispy outside and yet surprisingly moist and flavorful on the inside. I really enjoyed the side of lemon wedges to squeeze on top of the meatballs.  The lemon’s themselves were very fresh and sweet.

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We moved on to our main courses and they were delectable too. I went with the traditional Greek (potentially Americanized traditional…but hey I like it!) dish, Spanikopita. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this dish it is a spinach pie that contains feta and is baked in phyllo dough. It was paired with a Greek salad with cucumber, lettuce and tomato. I enjoyed the simplicity of the dish. My only minor complaint was that the Spanikopita could have had a bit less olive oil. But, it would not stop me from ordering it again!

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My companion had the Solomo, Salmon, with Briam which included eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onion, garlic, and a light tomato sauce. I did not try her dish however; it looked scrumptious. She had nothing but good things to say.

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After finishing our meals we used our willpower not to indulge in the Baklava or custards that Nick tried to tempt us with.  I don’t doubt they would have been great-I was merely stuffed!

12 Islands Greek Taverna will definitely be on the return list. It’s BYOB, reasonably priced, and the staff was very cordial.

They have locations in Millburn, NJ, which was where I dined, as well as Stirling, NJ. Check them out at 12islandsgreektaverna.com
 
OPA!

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