By Peg DeGrassa
The vibrant bar in Estia Greek Taverna, now open in Radnor.
Local diners are in for a real treat when they walk through the doors of Estia Greek Taverna, opened just this week in Radnor. Fans of Estia Philadelphia on Locust Street will not be disappointed with the restaurant’s newest location, offering the same fine Greek cuisine and exotic ambiance that has made Estia a regional favorite.
The menu includes something for every taste, specializing in fresh-caught fish and Greek comfort food. Tantalizing appetizers include Estia Chips, paper-thin sliced zucchini and eggplant, lightly fried and served with homemade tzatziki; and charcoal-grilled Octopus with onions and capers. My three dining partners and I began our meal with the Spinach Pie and it was fabulous! The spinach was laced with feta, scallions, and leeks in Estia’s homemade phyllo dough.
Settling in to the relaxed, Greek Isle atmosphere, we also ordered “island” cocktails. My “Dionysus,” a house infused berry vodka, fresh lemon and sparkling wine was just what the doctor ordered at the end of a hot summer’s day. My dining partners tried the Athens Smash (Bulleit bourbon, fresh berries, grapefruit and mint) and Estia Rum Punch (Don Q Rum, fresh pineapple juice, lime and club soda). We toasted the new Estia Greek Taverna, wishing it many years of success at its newest location.
We followed our appetizers with Estia’s Greek Salad. More like a tomato salad than the classic Greek salad that includes lettuce of which we are familiar, the plate was piled with flavorful, juicy red tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives and a hunk of feta cheese in a red wine vinaigrette. Every one of us enjoyed our choice. Appetizers and salads range in price from $7 to $13.
The entrée menu choices include Estia’s famous Lavraki, a whole Mediterranean sea bass; traditional Greek Moussaka, a casserole layered with seasoned ground beef, sliced eggplant and potatoes, topped with a creamy kefalograviera béchamel; and Daily Specials, including: Short Ribs Stefado, a beef stew simmered with pearl onions and mashed potatoes, and Mixed Seafood Hiliopites, a mix of plum tomato sauce, Greek pasta and fresh mussels, shrimp, calamari and scallops. Lobster is always available at market price. Dinner entrees range from $15 to $28.
Although my dining partners and I all opted for the same appetizer and salad, we differed on entree choices. I chose the Organic Chicken, a roasted leg and breast served over caramelized onion and yogurt orzo with a lemon chicken thyme jus. Although not large in size, the chicken was tender, juicy and delicious. I was pleased with my choice. One of my fellow diners ordered Halibut Plaki. She said the Halibut tasted very fresh and she loved the flavor of the tomato sauce on top. The fish was baked with onions and potatoes.
We were torn which dessert to order to finish off our delicious meal so we decided to each order a different one and all try each other’s. We ordered Baklava. (How could we possibly eat at a Greek establishment and not taste their Baklava?), Karidopita (walnut cake with cinnamon and lemon syrup), and Ekmek (pistachios layered between shredded phyllo custard). After sampling them all, my dining partners and I all decided we favored the Ekmek, but it was a difficult decision since they were all scrumptious.
Our server, Aaron, was knowledgable about the menu and helped answer questions to influence our choices. He was pleasant, efficient and enthusiastic about being a part of the team that is making Estia’s fine food available in the suburbs.
The casually elegant indoor-outdoor dining destination is light and airy. The 200-seat restaurant features a wrap-around patio for outdoor dining surrounded by flowers and greenery, as well as white-washed stone arches, repurposed wood plank floors and table tops and a welcoming bar. A visit to Estia will leave guests feeling as if they ventured to a laid back Greek Island, right there in Radnor.
The new restaurant at 222 North Radnor Chester Road is owned by Pete and Nick Pashalis, along with Pete’s brother-in-law, John Lois – owners of Estia Philadelphia. This past spring, Estia Greek Taverna opened in Marlton, New Jersey, and also has an airy, transportive quality, making diners feel as if they’ve traveled to the Mediterranean.