The restaurant where we'd planned to dine was closed for the Memorial weekend but we'd passed Estia and thought we'd give it a try. We got there at 6, were greeted coolly and immediately seated at a small table (chair on one side, bench on the other) between two other sets of diners. Why this table was positioned to seat a diner on the break between two bench cushions is beyond me. I immediately requested another table and we were seated at a lovely 4-top booth. As we limited ourselves to appetizers, we were very happy we had the space.
Collin brought menus and asked about our water preferences. It wasn't until about 5 minutes later when he stopped back and asked about drinks. I do love going over a menu with a nice glass of wine and the bottle we selected (with his help) was speedily delivered and opened. He seemed a little confused at our seeming inability to choose something and stopped back frequently with suggestions. I guess this was because the restaurant was barely half-filled and he had time. We took his suggestions of the octopodi along with our desire to try the grilled sardines. Within a few minutes, the dishes arrived.
The sardines were wonderful with a perfect combination of creamy flavorful fish and crispy skin. There were 4 large (for sardines!) fillets and I was surprised that some of the bones were a bit big . But who cared with this yummy dish! The octopodi was a warm salad with tender (uber-tender!) chunks of octopus with the perfect balance of veggie to meat. A great recommendation. Collin also recommended the horiatiki salad. He pointed out which dishes on the menu were "share-able" which was very helpful. This was a HUGE and super-fresh salad with tomatoes that tasted fresh-picked but literally came out before we'd finished half the mezedes.
We hadn't done our homework though and had had whole fish the night before. I'm sure it was wonderful here but we decided to try a couple more appetizers. We went for the spanakopita which was just lovely - crispy with a tangy filling with large chunks of cheese. Delightful. The dolmades were disappointing with a weird mouth-feel (kind of slimy). I love stuffed grape leaves but between us we only ate one of the 4 served. When we ordered, I specified "take your time" on these but, as with the rest, they were on the table within minutes.
We shared a baklava, a Greek coffee (quite delicious) and a few minutes of conversation with Collin. I know there have been comments about unfriendly service but this was certainly not the case with this charming young man. He never once questioned our decision to eschew an entree and continued up to the end to make this meal work for us.
My biggest problem was how quickly food was delivered without any sense of pacing the meal. Although we didn't feel rushed (and there didn't appear to be a second seating in the offing) there was never time to savor the last dish before another appeared on the table. This was too bad as, with one exception, this was definitely food to savor!!