Rumor has it that the best restaurant in Palo Alto is a Greek Restaurant in Downtown. It’s name is Evvia. I was in Palo Alto with my colleague last week attending a conference hosted by Stanford University. We were looking for a place to dine so I texted a friend of mine that lives in Palo Alto. As I waited for her to respond, I also went to yelp.com. It was clear we had to go to Evvia and when my friend returned my text, it reconfirmed that we had to try to get in. With the help of Open Table, I got a 8:30pm reservation. My colleague and I decided to attempt a walk-in around 6pm. The host offered us two seats at the bar if we wanted. We were happy with that option. John took care of several of us at the bar while still serving as bartender for the rest of the Evvia.
We started with a half bottle of Chianti. It was really cute as the bottle was like it had just gotten chopped in half, short and stumpy. It was actually quite good. John gave us some bread to start with an amazing olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. We shared an appetizer of Biselosalata which are English peas with feta cheese, cilantro, green onions, lemon, and olive oil. I was surprised by it because I didn’t expect something cold, but it was good.
I had noticed rotisserie chicken turning in their oven when I had walked in. The menu described Kotopoulo as lemon-oregano rotisserie chicken with roasted spring onions and Evvia potatoes and that was what I ordered. It was tender and flavorful. The white meat was very juicy, cooked to perfection. It reminded me a lot of the chicken from Zuni. Mmmmm….
My colleague ordered the Makaronia me Arni, which was braised lamb Ragu, roasted tomatoes, Greek olives, and tagliatelle pasta which she enjoyed very much. I had a small taste. The pasta was very light which made the lamb the featured part of the dish. I normally don’t like lamb, but thought the chunks of lamb were quite nice. Two gentlemen next to us both ordered the mesquite grilled lamb chops and I swear that when I go back to Evvia, that will be waiting for me. Just looking at it made my mouth water.
We were quite full, but John convinced us to order the Galaktoboureko which is a traditional phyllo wrapped vanilla bean semolina custard with pistachio ice cream. But before dessert came out, John gave us each a complimentary glass of dessert wine. It was a Tokaji which he described was similar to a Sauternes. He even instructed us on how to drink it. He wanted to make sure we didn’t drink it all before the dessert came out. After eating a bite of dessert, we should have a sip before the flavor of the dessert completely leaves you. My colleague and I used his technique and this last course was amazing and words cannot do it justice.
Evvia definitely scored high in my book and I would agree that it is the best restaurant in Palo Alto! Did I mention John is awesome?
For those that don’t know it, Evvia has a sister restaurant in San Francisco called Kokkari Estiatorio.