Ever since I got into the whole “foodie” trend, people have been telling me about a certain Greek restaurant in Fort Lauderdale that I absolutely must try, and I kept saying over and over that I would go, eventually… Eventually turned into a year later. I finally got around to going to Greek Islands Taverna and I’m a little mad at myself for not having made the effort to get there sooner. I thought my favorite little Greek Bistro in Delray Beach was good, but this was 100 times better. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat at another Greek restaurant and be as satisfied as I was after this meal. It was a super easy drive too, right down A1A. The restaurant is adorable and felt very authentic. Traditional music playing in the background, cute checkered tablecloths and a largely Greek staff really made you feel like you were there in Greece enjoying a meal. Our waiter was at our table in no time and brought out drinks in even less time than that. He gave us some good recommendations on the restaurant’s top picks after bringing out their delicious homemade hummus.
We got the Pikilia to start, which is a dip platter of four traditional Greek dips served with pita bread. It came with a generous portion of each — From left to right: Tyrokafteri (feta), Tzatziki (cucumber and yogurt), and Taramosalata (caviar), Melitzanosalata (baked eggplant). I didn’t care much for the caviar dip; it reminded me of lox, which I’m not a huge fan of. The eggplant and tzatziki were both really good, but the feta dip stole my heart. That was one of the best dips I have ever had in my life, hands down. All it was was feta cheese blended with olive oil and hot peppers, which sounds so simple, but it tasted so complex. It had a kick to it from the peppers and the feta was so pungent. My mouth is watering just thinking about how good it was. The dip platter was definitely a meal on its own; there was so much! I boxed up the leftovers to bring to my manager, Amy, the next day. Out of all the people who suggested Greek Islands to me, she’s the one who really got me to finally go, so I wanted to thank her for such an awesome recommendation.
Something else she suggested I get was the grilled octopus. I’ve been wanting to try octopus for the longest time, but it isn’t something you find on too many menus. I know it’s a popular Greek menu item, so I was just waiting for the opportune moment (and good enough restaurant) to try it. I am so glad that I finally got a chance to have it. First of all, it really looks like octopus. Those weird little holes that are on the tentacles — yep, they were there. Sounds a little creepy and weird to eat, but OH MY GOD it was so good. It’s a little on the chewy side, but wow…this is definitely one of my new favorite seafood dishes. If you would have told my 10-year-old self that one day I would grow up to love OCTOPUS I would have laughed in your face.
The waiter told us that one of their most popular entrees was the lamb, so my date, John, decided to get that. He had a hard time deciding between two lamb dishes on the menu. He ended up going with the lamb youvetsi, an extremely tender fall-off-the-bone lamb shank in a red wine sauce served with orzo that he so eloquently described as “gourmet spaghetti-o’s.” I tried a bite and he was totally right. The sauce the orzo was cooked in really did make it taste like the childhood favorite. Not a bad thing; spaghetti-o’s was popular for a reason! We were both extremely impressed with the food. I don’t want to go anywhere else ever again for Greek food. Urgent message to all my Florida foodie friends: you need to get over there. STAT!