EOS Greek Cusine in Stamford, CT – My New Favorite Cusine. Opa!

EOS Greek Cusine on Summer Street in Stamford, CT has a very sophisticated interior and a detailed menu that offers the most common and popular Greek dishes. The restaurant prides itself for being a contemporary Greek restaurant that brings together freshness and simplicity that remind us of the Mediterranean. I was pleasantly surprised that they delivered exactly what they promised.

Greek cuisine has never been ranked high on my list but after this dinner, I have found a new favorite. The vegetarian moussaka was the best. So good that I took the leftover home and had it for breakfast at work the next day. I stood in front of my monitors (I was lucky enough to have a standing desk), checked emails and had this Greek lasagna with béchamel cream for breakfast.


Eos Sliders: 3 spiced lamb sliders with caramelized onions and roasted red pepper sauce. My choice obviously since my friend does not like lamb. The lamb was acceptable but not outstanding because too much oil was used.


Saganaki: Kefalograviera cheese flambé. Live shot of the flambé. Should have taken a video instead. The waiter walked over, lit the cheese on fire and shouted “Opa!” in less than 30 seconds. The flame was put out with a squeeze of lemon juice. Darn, I wish I thought quick enough on my feet.


Saganaki: Kefalograviera cheese flambé. This is the after shot. The cheese was still bubbling. It was much better when warm and felt heavy and salty after cooling down. Still, this was quite a food experience.


Grilled Octapodi: Grilled octopus with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Both my friend and I are big fans of octopus. This was a big portion but we enthusiastically ate it all up. The addition of capers was a welcome accent.


Always enjoyed grilled octopus with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar combination. The slight downfall of this dish is that octopus is slightly overcooked before grilling. The consistency can be a little bit more bouncy.


Veggie Moussaka: Layers of zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, lentils, potatoes and béchamel cream. I felt heavenly with this veggie moussaka… Veggie moussaka is the Greek lasagna for me now. It’s more supple than the Italian lasagna pasta layers and is richer with the flavors of vegetables and béchamel. Happy and loving it. Thank you, Danny, for insisting on ordering the vegetarian version.

What a fun meal filled with fire, flavors and new openings for me. I learned that preconceived notions can be changed as long as I dine with the right company at the right restaurant. EOS Greek Cusine gets a two thumbs up, one for the food and the other for the eye pleasing interior. Highly recommend it. My senses were completely satisfied.

This experience took place at

EOS Greek Cusine
490 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06901
203.569.6250

Fortina in Rye Brook, NY – Wood Fired Oven Pizza and An Impromptu Octopus Dish Ranking

I found myself in the Rye Brook location of Fortina three weeks ago during a freezing night in February.  It was past nine and the restaurant was empty.  The Rye Brook location, in comparison to that of Armonk, is much more open and has better parking options.  Fortina is known for the wood-fired oven pizza and its simple Italian cooking.   Click here for my previous post.  A friend I went with apparently taught the Fortina owner Social Studies in a Bronx high school!  Look at that – our inner City education system can actually churn out entrepreneurs!

Spicy Olives – Simple? Yes.  Spicy? Yes.  Need to spit out the pits?  Yes. Good snacks for in between dishes?  Yes.

There was also supposed to be Wood-Fired Polpo with white beans, olives, and salumi vinaigrette but I forgot to take a photo.  Usually, this only happens when I am too excited about the food or the situation!  The octopus dish was excellent, too little to share in fact. We ate it very quickly.  I am a big fan of the octopus in every which way.  Of all the octopus dishes I have eaten that are shared on this blog, here is the ranking:  #Octopus

  1. Salt and Fat in Sunnyside, NY (in squid ink. Yum.)
  2. Osteria Laguna Bar and Restaurant in Manhattan, NY (with white bean paste)
  3. Zero Otto Nove in Armonk, NY / Roberto’s in the Bronx (grilled and a bit charred)
  4. Fortina in Rye, NY (with white bean paste).  This post here.
  5. Buena Vista Bistro, Miami, FL (grilled with butter)
  6. Casa Mono in NYC (tapas and too greasy)
  7. Kalbi House in White Plains, NY (wok-fried with noodles)

This is the Spicy Meatball Pizza with Fortina, pickled cherry peppers.  Do you see a theme here?  We like spicy food.

A virgin mojito that is entirely way too syrupy and soda like. But it does wash out the meatball and the octopus taste from your mouth.

Would I return?  Absolutely.  We should always support entrepreneurs in this economy.

This experience took place at

Fortina

136 South Ridge Street
Rye Ridge Shopping Center
Rye Brook, NY
914-937-0900

 

Osteria Laguna Bar and Restaurant in NYC – Authentic Venetian Italian Food that I Love

What can I say about authentic Venetian Italian food? When I was in Venice, what impressed me most was the grilled octopus from this little restaurant by one of the canals. But the most impressive was that I did not have a bad meal while I was in Venice; every meal was cooked using fresh ingredients and everything was made with care and love. Here I am eleven years later, I came upon Osteria Laguna Bar and Restaurant with my family during the holiday season by chance. Although Osteria Laguna is a well-established upscale restaurant in a prime location of the City, the food is not pretentious; the food is homey, high quality and even satisfies the palate of the youngest eater.

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CARPACCIO DI MANZO: Thinly sliced raw beef served with baby arugula, shaved parmesan & a lemon mustard dressing. Never was a fan of the carpaccio and was also wary of the raw beef. Raw fish is perfectly fine for me but anything raw from a land animal is something totally different. Nevertheless, once I get over the initial hesitation, this carpaccio was highly enjoyable. The combination of the slightly bitter arugula, umami from the parmesan and the clean-tasting beef was perfect. The textural contrast between the leafy veggie, shaved hard cheese crumbles and slightly moist and soft beef slices was perfect.

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POLPO AL CARBONE: Grilled baby octopus, grape tomatoes, corona beans, black olives & red onions. I am a fan of grilled octopus. I seek out grilled octopus in any restaurants. I pick restaurants often because they have octopus on their menu.  This was very nicely done. Loved the corona beans. The olives were a nice touch. Best part of this dish is that you get enough of the octopus to really satisfy the craving. Most restaurants’ grilled octopus only gives one tentacle and that is not enough for eating! That is sampling.

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This is what it looked like when the octopus was cut up and ready for be shared.  Buon appetito!!

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PENNE AL POMODORO E MOZZARELLA: Penne pasta with tomato sauce & mozzarella cheese. This dish may first appear to be nothing special but it is not. The youngest eater (and a picky one) in the group was so happy with this dish that she finished the entire plate. Let me be clear – the size of these dishes are Italian family sized. The portions are big. She said she could not stop eating because “it is the best pasta she has ever had.” How is that for an endorsement?

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RISOTTO GAMBERI E RUCOLA: Lemon risotto with shrimp & arugula. This is a superior preparation of the risotto. The acidity of the lemon really made it shine. Unfortunately, this was not my dish and I regretted it very much. Luckily, I was able to sample some for me to realize what I missed.

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RISOTTO AI FRUTTI DI MARE: Seafood & shellfish risotto with tomato sauce. This was mine. The risotto was well prepared but it was not the RISOTTO GAMBERI E RUCOLA. In comparison, the seafood one note and added no shine to the risotto. If it were not contrasted, I would have said that it was good.

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Crème Brûlée: This was the second best Crème Brûlée I have ever had in recent history. The best one is the Black Sesame Crème Brûlée at Cha-An; see my post here. In fairness, this was the traditional preparation for the crème brûlée. It was rather fantastic and I polished it off after having all the above dishes. No, it was not a small-sized dessert.  I am not a big eater and this really tells me how good the crème brûlée was.

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And we ended the meal with some good Italian cookies, complimentary of the restaurant. 🙂 Last but not least, the bread and the bread sticks were to die for. This was a very happy end to a Thanksgiving dinner substitute.

Highly recommended. Authentic Venetian food rocks. Will need to go back again myself.

This experience took place at

Osteria Laguna Bar and Restaurant
209 East 42nd Street
New York, New York
tel. 212 557-0001