Monday, February 21, 2011

A Closer Look: EOS - A Taste of Greece in Stamford

A sure sign of a great ethnic restaurant is feeling that you are there, wherever the ‘there’ may be. Crossing the threshold from the cold, snowy streets of Stamford into the small yet charming dining room of Eos transported us directly to the coastline, mountains and delicious aromas of Greece. While you won’t be greeted with the undulating azure waters of the Mediterranean, Aegean and Ionian Seas, you will be treated to the freshness and olive oil infused flavors of Mediterranean cuisine.

What better way to begin a Greek meal than with a delicious triangle of flaming cheese? The Saganaki meze—Greek kefalograviera cheese—arrived nestled in its own skillet, flambé style. Once the flame was doused, the salty goodness of the cheese prevailed and it was an enticing treat from the first bite to the last.

The Avgolemono soup—made with chicken, lemon, egg and rice (and this variation also contained carrots)—was reminiscent of egg drop soup. The flavors were hearty without being overburdening and the warmth took the edge off the chilly winds that blew outside.

The Mezedes primed us for our main courses. While we waited, we were serenaded with the sounds of traditional Greek music wafting through the overhead speakers. Our table at the back of the dining room would have been the perfect intimate and romantic spot had the serenity not been spoiled by the clunking of the ice machine, which was nearby, hidden behind a curtain. At 8:00 p.m., the restaurant was bustling to capacity, which was a very good sign, but it meant that moving to a different table was a dream unfulfilled.

Kotopoulo Yemisto
 I ordered Kotopoulo Yemisto from the Specials menu, and my husband opted for the regular dinner menu selection of Kotopoulo me Prassa. When the plates arrived, we forgot all about the ice machine. The Yemisto, two boneless chicken breasts snuggled side-by-side stuffed with spinach and feta cheese, was more than enough to make me salivate. The lemon potatoes side only added to the beautiful medley. If we truly are what we eat, then address me as poultry and potatoes and call it a day. This was a dish that tasted as alluring as it looked. The chicken, stripped of all pretense, was a tender and juicy taste treat for the mouth.

Kotopoulo me Prassa
The Kotopoulo me Prassa, sautéed chicken breast filets with leeks in a lemon butter sauce, was equally tender and just as delicious. The addition of the leeks to the plate was an inspired move by the chef that made an already flavorful dish even more indulgent. With such a healthy portion, it was hard to believe the meal would be totally devoured . . . but it was, with nary a leftover to spare. A simple bowl of rice pilaf rounded out the entrée.

The night was progressing so smoothly that we decided to have dessert. While my husband had Kataifi—shredded phyllo with almonds, walnuts, honey and cinnamon—I chose the homemade Greek rice pudding known as Rizogalo. While the Rizogalo was not a stunning sight to behold, the flavor totally defied its looks, and the cold and lumpy dessert was comforting. The many layers of phyllo, along with the nutty mixture, created a captivating Kataifi. Sweet, crunchy and sticky, it danced on the palate and ended the meal on a sugary high note.

Eos is on my short list of restaurants to keep in rotation. The atmosphere is consoling and the cuisine is authentically luscious.

Dinner price ranges: Mezedes $5-$17; Soup & Salads $6-$10; Sides $5-$6; Main Course $19-$32 (with $12 Eos Burger). Eos is open for lunch and dinner M-Th 11:30am-10:00pm; F-Sa 11:30am-11pm; Su 12-9pm.

490 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 

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