I had stopped in to the Greek Flame Taverna’s grand opening several weeks ago, but it was so crowded and manic with people having a good time with the buffet service and Greek music that I wasn’t able to get a good feel for the place. (Although having a restaurant so full of fans does say something about the place.)
I returned later to enjoy a more relaxed, less boisterous lunch. And enjoy is the operative word. I had previously sampled some of the meze, or appetizers. I liked the flaky crust of the spanakopita, a turnover-like spinach pie with feta cheese. And the dolmades, stuffed grape leaves with rice and beef. Greek Flame also serves an array of Mediterranean dips, including hummus, tzatziki, taramosalata, melitzanosalata and skorthalia. The latter is a garlic dip, and let’s just say if you’re on a date you’d both better eat it.
For my main course I had the mousaka, the traditional Greek dish made with layers of eggplant, potatoes and ground beef, topped with bechamel and parmesan cheese. It’s the creamy bechamel that keeps this dish lighter than you expect it to be.
My lunch guest had the souvlaki sampler, which included both chicken and lamb kebabs, seasoned witha variety of herbs and grilled, served with a rice and pine nut mixture. Both meats were delicious, but the lamb was especially tender and tasty.
For dessert we shared the kataifi, a pastry made with shredded phyllo dough that comes out looking like the rolls of shredded wheat you’d have for breakfast, although this one has nuts on the inside and is sweetened with syrup. nice with a cup of coffee.
Service was friendly and efficient. Greek Flame Taverna has been around for years, but only recently moved from its Winter Park location to the former Tang’s Thai space in the Dr. Phillips Marketplace. It’s a slightly more upscale space than the former Pizza Hut hut it was in before, and the addition of tablecloths makes it even more so.
Winter Park’s loss is Restaurant Row’s gain.
Greek Flame Taverna is at 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd. (at Sand Lake Road), Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. Click here to download the lunch menu , and here to download the dinner menu . This link will take you to Greek Flame Taverna’s Web site.