Authenticity is the aim for restaurant modelled on traditional Mediterranean tavern.
Food is usually one of the highlights of a trip to any Mediterranean country, and there are few finer experiences than a flavour-laden feast in the sun.
Sheffield might not boast the glorious weather of Greece, but the owners of Dimitri’s Greek Taverna are trying to recreate the highly social atmosphere of dining in their home country at their restaurant in Abbeydale Road.
This is obvious from the moment you walk in the door, with decoration taken straight from the colours of the Greek flag. There is blue everywhere, from the curtains to the tablecloths. A mural of four figures in traditional Greek dress is painted on one wall and plastic vine leaves cover the ceiling. It’s by no means the classiest decor, but it does give you a sense that you are somewhere other than South Yorkshire.
We were welcomed with a smile by manager Dora Nearchon and given a table by the window. A quick glimpse at the menu shows a range of dishes, from standards such as moussaka and souvlaki to more unusual options including exohico, an oven-cooked pork roll with mustard, tomatoes, peppers and cheese.
To start we chose a spinach and feta filo pastry tart, and melitisana psiti - a baked aubergine with feta, onion, parsley, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and olive oil.
The tart was fine, although the pastry was a little thick, but the aubergine was excellent, the vinegar and parsley giving a rich flavour.
For our main we couldn’t resist the mixed grill, which arrived in a huge dish with two skewers hanging above it. The selection was excellent, from pork and chicken souvlaki to sausage and pork belly.
Everything on the plate was delicious and there was so much that we had enough for tea the next day. But to our dismay we did find a couple of hairs in the kofte kebab.
Manager Dora apologised and explained the kebabs were made in the town of Kavala in Greece before being sent to Sheffield - like many of the ingredients used in the kitchen. She took our drinks off the bill and afterwards insisted such problems were rare, but if they did occur she was straight on the phone to her supplier.
A complimentary pastry and syrup dessert rounded off the meal nicely and despite the hitch we were satisfied with a good meal for just over £30.
Dimitri’s has gained plenty of friends since it opened in March - several customers were clearly regulars - and as long as you are not expecting fine dining you should come away feeling full and happy.
“We want people to have an authentic Greek experience and taste,” said Dora. “We want to give people a feeling just like being in a traditional Greek taverna.”
THREE MORE TO CHOOSE FROM:
The Greedy Greek, Sharrow Vale Road Alyssum, Barber Road, Crookesmoor
Parthenonos, London Road