My friend and I are so glad we decided to try out Nemea Greek Taverna to celebrate his birthday! From drinks and appetizers through dessert we enjoyed tasty and healthy food in the soothingly beautiful decor of Nemea Greek Taverna.
We arrived hungry but ordered drinks to sip as we studied the menu since everything looked so appealing. For the birthday toast to his health, I had the Free Markers cocktail (Makers Mark with Luxardo and Bitters), and he had three half glasses of wines before him for his White Wine Flight. As I had thought from my tasting wines in the Greek islands, he enjoyed the final one, the one from Santorini, the best, but he found all refreshing and delightful as a way to try different wines. As we sipped our libations, we enjoyed the complementary assorted olives and bread with the dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.
Our octopus appetizer was amazing, easily the best octopus either of us had ever had. Neither of us had ever had grilled octopus before, but our wait person had explained that the octopus is marinated before grilling, so that's why it was succulent rather than rubbery or chewy as sometimes octopus can be. The light crunch of the char on some of the exterior gave way to moist, flavorful flesh that was rather silken, a great contrast. There were so many pieces alongside a small salad garnish (that we also ate--remember: we arrived hungry!) that it's good we hadn't ordered any other appetizer or we might have filled up on just appetizers. I would have taken a photo of this appetizer had we not devoured it quickly and happily.
Then our mains were brought out: the grilled double cut pork chop with mashed potatoes for him and the grilled swordfish atop a bed of couscous for me. Our eyes widened at the size of these entrees, and I remarked that on days I eat out for lunch, that becomes my primary meal for the day; he agreed. We started working away at our meals, him remarking on the delicious flavor of his juicy pork chop and me sharing with him a piece of the moist, tasty swordfish simply seasoned so the genuine taste of fresh swordfish could shine (he had offered me a taste of the pork chop, but I had plenty to try to eat on my plate!). The sauce that circled the plate and ringed the couscous and that was a dollop atop the swordfish added an alternative flavor to the fish, a nice tomato flavor, matching well with the fish. It particularly added pizzazz to the couscous, adding flavor while matching the healthiness of the entree in general.
Neither of us could -- or wanted -- to finish our entrees so that we could enjoy dessert to continue the birthday celebration. Reviewing the dessert selections, he chose the berry cobbler while I opted for the Nemea Special, which was described as "a tasting of baklava and galactoboureko with ouzo sorbet and honey ice cream." The wait person suggested having the fig ice cream in place of the honey ice cream, and the fig ice cream was indeed good, distinctive, unique. Paired with two pieces of galactoboureko (semolina custard rolled in phyllo with orange marmalade), which you can't find on just any Greek menu, the fig ice cream was particularly nice--and the galactoboureko was close to as good as I've had in Greece. But we agreed that the ouzo sorbet was truly the tastiest of the selections -- I could have happily made that my entire dessert. Again we ended up not finishing, both feeling happy and full. I had a tough time finishing my frappe, which also brought back memories of warm summers in the Cycladic islands. I ended up taking home the baklava for my husband besides a good-sized portion of the swordfish and much of the couscous, and my friend admitted that night he could eat only a dish of scrambled eggs. He saved the remainder of his huge pork chop for, he kidded, a luau the next evening.
Yes, with the drinks and the three courses, lunch cost $100 for the two of us before tip. But worth it? Yes, yes, and yes. Rather than lunch being my primary meal of the day, it was my ONLY meal of the day since I wasn't hungry at all the rest of the day and in fact most of the next morning. And we did order from the higher end of the menu rather than the sandwiches or gyros part. And it was a celebratory meal made all the merrier by the fabulous flavors of all the foods.
The wait person was attentive but not overly so, and he knew the menu well, able to describe and explain different ingredients that we were unfamiliar with (such as what Luxardo was in that Free Markers drink). His professionalism was excellent, adding to the ambiance of the restaurant.
Both of us know we'll be back--the food was some of the best Greek food we've had, and there are many selections left to try!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.