Thursday, May 9, 2013

Estia Review

There are many options for pre-theater dining in Philly. You can't go wrong with Sbraga or perhaps you'd like a juicy rib-eye from Ruth's Chris to induce a food-coma before the ballet (I kid, I kid). But if you're looking for a reasonable prix-fixe with well-executed Greek dishes in a beautifully designed space, I highly recommend Estia.

As you enter the foyer, it's hard not to notice the clean design - evoking the white of Mykonos, perhaps. 

The entirety of the main dining area is cavernous and spacious. 

There's an elevator to access the lower level, in case you can't traverse the stairs.

Book your private parties in the wine cellar room - gorgeous!

But let's get on with the food! 

Pre-Theater Prix Fixe ($30 pp)

The GF felt like a diet coke and loved the cute glass bottle. 
To me though, that simply meant no free refills! Womp womp.

Mykonos Mojito ($10)
Absolut Pear, muddle mint, lime, simple syrup

I had to try the Mykonos mojito, if not for the alliteration alone. The cocktail was nice - subtle notes of pear, not overly saccharine, nicely balanced. 


Meals commence with complimentary sourdough and garlic hummus, topped with radish and olives. Service is great by the way - non-intrusive and repeatedly replenishing the sourdough and hummus.

Spread Pikilia
Tzatziki, htipiti, melitzano salata, grilled pita

The GF opted for the Greek spread. The tzatziki on the right was creamy and bright with cucumber notes. The hitpiti in the middle was delicious - a mix of red pepper, feta, and olive oil. The melitzano salata was a savory blend of eggplant, feta, garlic and olive oil. The pita was nicely grilled and the cucumber and pepper slices had perfect crunch.

Estia Mezedakia
Spanakopita, feta-stuffed meatball, spring mix salad

I had this mezedakia/tapas, which included a well-dressed mixed green salad. But of course, I don't order salads. I ordered this for the meatball and crispy spanakopita, which was filled with spinach and feta. The spanakopita was actually more like an empanada to me as I'm used to phyllo-wrapped spanakopita.

The juicy lamb meatball was perfectly cooked and filled with funky feta. Nice.

Arni Trahana
Lamb shank, trahana pasta, tomato kapama, pine nuts, currants, feta cheese

Wow. This well-seasoned lamb shank was served off the bone, but it was no less luscious and fall-apart tender. The trahana pasta was similar to soft couscous - perfect little nuggets to be imbued with the essence of the deliciously tart tomato stew. The pine nuts added texture and the currants provided subtle sweetness. The feta cheese brought a bit of salt on top of the stew - simply delicious. A must order.

Organic chicken, caramelized onion, yogurt orzo, lemon chicken thyme jus

The GF went with the chicken, which was moist and juicy. It seemed a bit bland, but when paired with the perfectly crispy, salty skin, a nice bite indeed. The caramelized onion orzo had a depth of flavor that helped to bring this dish home.

Fruit Plate
Chef's choice of seasonal fruit served with yogurt

For dessert, we went with both prix fixe options. The fruit plate was replete with a melange of various fruit, including watermelon and pineapple, accompanied by honey and Greek yogurt.

Traditional walnut honey cake

This traditional walnut cake was extremely moist - similar to a tres leches, without being overly saccharine. Nutty walnuts within helped to provide an added textural component to the dessert.

Estia provided the GF and I with the perfect pre-theater prix fixe before we saw the Sister Act at the Kimmel Center. Well-executed dishes, attentive service in a beautiful space. Estia should be proud to be the Greek component to the stretch of Broad Street that strives to represent art and culture in Philly. 

Estia on Urbanspoon

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