One of my lunch guest Linds is from Crete so I was a little nervous having chosen the restaurant. Thing started off dody as we decided to eat at 1:30 and when we got to Panellinion it was empty. Oh oh I thought this place isn’t what I was told it would be – we sat down anyway which is when Linda told me: Oh Greek people don’t eat lunch until 3 – you’ll see at 3 it will be full. True to her word by the time we were ready for a nap the place was bustling.Panellinion means pan = All and Ellinion = Greece of course lest you think I was smart enough to figure that out myself, don’t worry Linda told me, the one thing she didn’t have to tell me was how delicious and lucky we were to be eating there. The menu was exhaustive with page after page of options – if I had to decided without help I may still very well be there! All the usuals familiar Greek dishes were there Saganaki, Greek Salad…along with many new and exciting things, my favorite of the ones we tried was Apaki a crete pork dish that looks like it was cooked in the same manner Shawarma is only spiced differently – the description in the menu suggested a spice blend – I thought I detected cumin but it was only a subtle hint in a complex mix that seemed to straddle flavors from Greece to India and bring it all together the spices are mixed with vinegar. All I’ll say is this is not the last time you will hear about this dish on this blog! OMG so good.
We also had a cherry tomato Salad that was called Santorini after the island which is desert like and any produce that comes from there is very special – in the case of the tomatoes I’d think it’s because fruits that are living in a stressed environment tend to hoard water and become more intense in flavor which was certainly true of this super sweet little tomatoes in a classic simple preparation.The meal began with a complimentary plate of grilled bread drenched in olive oil. I could easily have stopped there with the salad and the bread. Our friend ordered a typical grape leaf Dolma’s which I traditional do not like, this was the first time I have eaten a grape leaf roll up that I actually enjoyed – the tzatziki dip didn’t hurt! To round things out we order pork skewers and small deep fried ground meat patty’s both came with french fries. We were not the only hungry customers in the restaurant at this point.To wash everything down we ordered a bottle of local, organic Sauvignon Blanc which cost 7 Euro 30 (about $10)My friends There were many things I liked about this menu but the two that I liked the most was that they noted whenever a fish was previously frozen and proudly stated that all there meat was local anc charcol grilled.