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A Taste of Greece in River Edge


Picture yourself in a Greek taverna, close your eyes, smell the sea air, sip your wine and start eating small bites of fresh wonderful food, beautiful appetizers and dips. Open your eyes, look out the window and see Kinderkamack Road somewhere out there, beyond this experience. It was a freezing cold winter night a few weeks ago, but we were determined to celebrate our world-traveler friend’s birthday somewhere different, where he had never been. Having been to most Mediterranean style and upscale restaurants in Bergen County, we wanted some adventure.

We didn’t look back. From the minute we walked in, the service at A Taste Of Greece was outstanding, the food was spectacular and the chef/owner,Themis Mourelatos, greeted us with his usual big wide grin. The Greek music played in the background, every table was set with fresh flowers, they opened our wine and immediately brought out a special appetizer dip tray with fresh warm pita bread.

The kitchen is open so we could see the teamwork of the staff. The waitress recited the specials. I was so happy to hear that they source their fresh fish from Peter’s Fishery, the same store where I get my fish at home. A major plus for me. Also their chicken special was organic and beautifully plated with fresh herbs galore. The chef/owner sent out a tray of Pikilia for us, which included many different interesting dips: Taramosalata (red caviar dip), feta cheese with olive oil and oregano, Tyrokafteri (spicy feta cheese dip), incredible hummus, and Melitzanosalata (the classic eggplant dip)—wonderfully smoky and delicious, served with grilled pita bread and olives.

We ordered the arctic char, the salmon, and the sea bass specials. Each was served a bit differently, either with rice or roasted potatoes and spinach or with grilled vegetables over the most delicious mashed potatoes infused with beet and feta. Creamy and wonderful, beautifully presented as you can see with a balsamic glaze. The lamb chops were also a special that night, and my friend wanted french fries and rice. Hearty portion; he loved them. He also raved about those sardines. Even the chef’s vegetables are wonderfully cooked and presented.

The menu features the usual Greek dishes, but here you have a chef-owned restaurant with the actual chef in the kitchen. Mourelatos is a true artist: you can see how he goes beyond the usual in his exquisite presentations, including edible flowers in his Greek salad and real Greek yogurt in his Tzatziki dip—not sour cream like some other places. He does many  vegetarian dishes, such as meatless Mousaka with layers of eggplant, potatoes, zucchini and bechamel sauce.  The most incredible chicken Avgolemono soup, better than any  Greek around including in NYC.  His grilled octopus is out of this world, marinated, tender and oh-so-flavorful, with quality olive oil, fresh herbs, and chopped roasted tomatoes. The menu included the usual gyros, shish kabobs and platters, but all of these are a step above anywhere else, with large portions of perfectly grilled meats, chicken, and veggies. The platters include a choice of salad or soup. There are plenty of choices for the meat eater, vegetarian, or vegan.  All dishes are done on the spot with tender loving care by Chef Themis himself. And within minutes of serving the food, the chef will come out and ask how it is. I think he knows.

The many times we’ve been to A Taste of Greece and the many dishes we’ve tried keep us coming back for more. The prices are really reasonable, the place is small but charming. It’s BYOB and reservations are suggested on the weekends.

A Taste Of Greece
935 Kinderkamack Rd.
River Edge
201-967-0029

Lauren Lee is the founder of Laurilee’s Healthy Cooking and lives in Bergen County. She shares healthy eating information with her followers on a daily basis. Her recipes include seasonal ingredients and forever changing menus without red meat, pork, veal, or lamb, which she gave up many years ago. She does eat more of a Mediterranean diet that includes fish, chicken (organic, when possible), lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and lentils. She dines out at many ethnic restaurants and loves to share her best experiences. She is also a longtime pancreatic cancer survivor (21 years) and finds this diet works well for herself and her family. She has been a sel-taught chef for more than 30 years and her fans swear she is Bergen County’s best-kept secret. Contact Lauren at [email protected] for healthy cooking classes.

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