For our ninth wedding anniversary dinner, I picked The Greek Corner. I’ve wanted to go ever since I saw Juice Imports post about the fabulous food. I also heard the restaurant serves organic wines from Greece, which instantly made it a must-go destination. For this post, let’s listen to “Eight Days A Week” by the Beatles.
The coziness of The Greek Corner reminds me of Greece. The small restaurant was dark, illuminated by the blue string of Christmas lights and hazy white pot lights. The music matched the service – warm, hospitable and upbeat.
I ordered a glass of premium white wine ($13), and L picked a bottle of Fix, a Greek beer ($7.95). For food, we chose Tzatziki ($9.99), Saganaki ($17.95), Calamari ($18.95), the Mixed Grill ($28.95), and Ekmek Kataifi ($8.95). The wine was noticeably different than the house wine I drank in Greece, as it was bright and tasted like wild, unfiltered sunshine. I thought this was the ideal liquid to wash down the cheese and mountain of steaming fresh pita.
I can tell the owner Yanni has a flair for theatrics, as he joyfully lit our saganaki on fire. We ate the cheese as it was still sizzling. The fried cheese was caramelized and salty, bright from the squirt of lemon. I like how the cheese was soft and melted on my tongue.
The homemade pita was better than I had in Greece. Soft and fluffy, I would tear off a warm piece of bread and drop velvety spoonfuls of garlicky, cucumber-infused yogurt all over it. So good I could happily feast on just bread and tzatziki.
Of all the dishes, I was most excited to try the calamari. The squid was tender and silky, encased in a fluffy, golden brown batter. The best thing about this dish was the freshness of the squid and the soft, chewy texture.
The mixed grill is a winner! The platter contained two pieces of chicken, lamb, and beef, a pilaf of fragrant saucy rice, fluffy oven-roasted lemon potatoes, and a basket of pita bread with tzatziki. The meats are simply seasoned, which allows the natural juices of the chicken, beef and lamb to shine. Of the three types of meat, the lamb was my favourite because of its tenderness and delicate, grassy flavour. Lamb done right is so good. Next time we visit, I want to try the roast lamb.
We shared Ekmek Kataifi – a concoction of lemon custard and sweet noodles. I relished the delicate crunch of the almond slivers and the spicy scent of cinnamon. When we finished our dessert, Yanni brought us two Greek Christmas cookies. The moistness and soft texture reminded me of a Fig Newton, but infinitely more delicious. Yanni has an exceptional talent for hospitality. He certainly knows what he is doing, and you can tell he loves his profession.
We rolled out of the restaurant feeling stuffed and well-loved. We plan to bring L’s parents here for the roast lamb and shared platters. In fact, our meal was so enjoyable, The Greek Corner is going on my list of best restaurants in Calgary.