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“Excellent Greek Restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nemea Greek Taverna

Nemea Greek Taverna
96 S First Street, San Jose, CA
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Ranked #4 of 1,919 Restaurants in San Jose
Cuisines: Greek
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Santa Clara
1 review
“Excellent Greek Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

The staff was friendly and the food was excellent. I highly recommend checking this place out if you ever find yourself by Santana Row. Reservations would be helpful as it was busy when we went Friday evening.

Visited October 2013
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great food, nice decor in San Jose”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Glad to have this establishment in Downtown San Jose. Attentive service, beautiful facility, extensive choice of wines and delicious and healthy food.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Excellent Service - OK Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

Nice ambiance and very good service. However, I was slightly disappointed by the food having read all the other reviews here. It was pleasant but not outstanding. I found my moussaka to be stodgy with little flavour. The mezzo appetizer was nice though.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The Best Lamb Chops!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Had dinner at this restaurant recently while on a business trip with a friend and the experience was amazing. The restaurant is beautiful and the service was warm, attentive and informative. The food, however, was the peak of the evening. There were complimentary Greek olives, bread and a very peppery olive oil brought to the table before our appetizers and mains. We tried the charbroiled octopus as a starter and it was delicious. Anyone who likes octopus will love this, and for someone who hasn't tried it before, the meat was white, meaty and perfectly with a perfectly charred, lemon flavor. Following the appetizer, we each had a different lamb dish: the lamb chops (which everyone in the restaurant appeared to be ordered), as well as the braised lamb shank. Both were two of the best lamb dishes I've ever had, but the lamb chops were amazing - tender and meaty.

Following the lamb, we shared a dessert sampler that included some house made ice cream - honey, and ouzo. Delicious.

I would recommend the Greek wine flights as well. Overall, of the three restaurants we tried in downtown San Jose, this was the best by a mile.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

Wow!!!!! My husband and I just had a late lunch (1:30 on a Friday) at this fairly new restaurant in downtown San Jose. I had read all of the reviews and since we both love Greek food, it was time for a visit. The atmosphere is a very open concept with Greek decorations. There is a wall mural of a Greek ruin; square columns almost covered with cream colored brick (giving the illusion of being in a ruinous state); terracotta wine vessels and wooden barrels; and shadow boxes filled with Greek statuary. There is a long communal table, that was decorated with fresh sunflowers; traditional tables with high backed chairs; and nicely padded circular booths. Also, there is a semi-private room in the back seating about 10 or 12; a bar area; and a few outdoor tables (which have the appeal of light rail trains, traffic noise, and spying pedestrians).
Now, for the food. It was all fit for the Greek gods! I have eaten Greek food all over the world and I just loved Nemea's approach. We ordered a Greek red wine tasting flight and a glass of white Hatzidakis - Assyritiko 2011 from Santorini (which I also savored in the Greek islands). All the wines were very nice. Complimentary green and black Greek olives and a rustic bread, served with superior olive oil and balsamic vinegar, arrived as soon as we were seated. We started out with the "Kalamarakia" - supremely tender, crispy fried calamari served with a spicy aioli. There were mostly squid rings and a few whole bodies with tentacles (which we would have preferred more of!). The sauce was not too spicy - perfect. My husband decided on the mousaka and it arrived in its own bubbling casserole dish. HUGE!!! We couldn't believe how big the serving size was! The combo of lamb, eggplant, potato, and bechamel sauce, we both agreed, was silky and yummy. I ordered the "Kotopoulo Pita" after I saw another patron with the dish. I think the name of this dish is misleading because of the word "pita." It is really a "Kotopita" dish as I know it. The description is correct in saying it is a phyllo wrapped pie of chicken breast, mushrooms, spinach, and feta. There were two large triangles, of which I could only eat 1. A hint of dill was also in the sauce. There was a side Greek salad that I had no room for. (We had lots of leftovers to take home!)
Now, for the pinnacle of our bacchanal - the most heavenly "Galactoboureko" I have ever tasted. If you don't know this dessert - TRY IT! The rendition here is amazing and enough for 2 persons. It is a semolina custard rolled in phyllo floating on a pool of orange marmalade sauce served with a fabulous home-made pistachio ice cream. What an incredible presentation! I would return to this restaurant just for this dessert - as it is that wonderful!!!!

We sat in a booth that was very quiet because only 4 other tables were occupied at that time of day. Others have stated that it can become noisy at night - possibly so - as there are wooden floors and an open seating arrangement. If you want a romantic meal - go at the end of lunch time. Service was flawless and food divine!!!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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