Plaka Estiatorio restaurant opens

Ballard’s newest restaurant, Plaka Estiatorio held its grand opening to a packed house on Wednesday night.

As you may surmise from the name, this is a Greek restaurant (“Plaka” is an Athens neighborhood and “Estiatorio” means restaurant). It’s located next to Uma on 20th Ave. near 54th St.

Plaka Estiatorio’s menu features third-generation family specialties like Papousakia, roasted eggplants stuffed with seasoned lamb and beef topped with saffron-infused béchamel for $14. And Mariedes, a small plate of fried wild smelts with skordalia for $6. Authentic stuff.

Plaka is open for lunch seven days a week and dinner on Wednesday through Sunday. Check out the menu here. (Plaka is a My Ballard advertiser.)

13 comments on “Plaka Estiatorio restaurant opens”

  1. Looking forward to testing out their tzatziki! Nice to have a new type of cuisine nearby.

  2. Ok, we were going to wait a week to let them get their feet. But what the heck, my wife and I wandered by and couldn't stop ourselves.

    First impressions of the space, it's a nice place. You have to love real family photos on the wall. And yes, the mature Greek woman in that picture on the wall is the same woman clearing plates from tables for the kids. It's warm and inviting, and has a small bar where you can watch the cooking. Good selection of 2 and 4 top tables, with one big “Family” table that I can imagine being filled with lots of loud (and I mean that in the good Greek way) patrons. I foresee many hugs and kisses as friends arrive, and many small cheeks pinched by Aunties who haven't seen him since he was “this” high.

    Service, well it was slow last night. But it was opening night, and this means nothing. Or more to the point…why are you in such a damn hurry? You should be talking to the person across the table more, finding out what they think, and why they think something as silly as that, and if maybe you are the one being silly. Greek foods is meant to be served slowly. I mean really, have you ever eaten at Panos? I swear they are killing the lamb out back it can take so long.

    Oh right, the food. Mostly, very good.

    Now when I go Greek I usually just order all the appetizers, a big plate of pita, lots of Feta and Olives and whatever lamb and/or chicken souvlaki they have around. mmmm. Seems someone’s been watching. Plaka has the appetizers individually. But they also have rounded groups of them up for you in three groups, seafood, meat, and non-meat. We ordered the meat Tou Hasapi (grilled lamb chops, chicken souvlaki, gyro pork & loukaniko,- a pork sausage ) and the vegetable based dishes, Hortophagas ( spanakopita, beets with garlic and fenel , braised vegetables, and yigantes – a giant bean dish). Loved the lamb, chicken, and pork sausage. Gyro meat was ok, but not memorable. Of the vegetables; spanakopita was interesting in its circular construction, but not as light as I like. I'll try again…just to see if it was an off night. The beets were awesome, as was the giant bean dish. The braised vegetables where mushy.

    Of course any Greek place will live or die by its dips. We ordered the Tzatziki, Melitzanosalata, and Roasted Red Peppers & Feta. All are killers and we will return if for no other reason than these dips. They were not over processed to the point of cream. I hate that. These were made for you by someone who knows how to make them…well.

    Now here’s a tip, when you order them…also immediately order two extra pita. The dips come on a plate in nice generous portions….with one thick pita cut up on the plate. Not nearly enough. And the first bread that comes is some kind of thick “raised” pita. Weird. If you order extra they bring you normal pita that’s been brushed with olive oil and flopped on the grill…just the way you want it to be. So order the two extra pita right away, toss off the big fat thick bread that comes with the plate of dips…and tuck in. As I said….mmmm.

    A nice start, and as they get their rhythm I see more visits in my future.

  3. Good for you for disclosing their advertiser status! Very ethical of you!

    I intend to check it out. Unfortunately my favorite dinner date and I chose Mondays for our date night. I know, not the best choice for dinner dates, but with babysitters and so on, it was the best we could do.

  4. Perhaps ethical, but have you also noticed how MyBallard is very selective about their restaurant reviews? Any mention of The Sloop or Kiss Cafe? I've emailed them twice about this, with no response either time.

  5. Yeah, well I lobbied pretty heavily for them to check out Honore french bakery, and it took them a while to get there, too!

    It might simply be a case of what they like to eat! ;-)

  6. @bmvaughn: We just took photos of KISS Cafe and the Sloop a few days ago, and we will be adding them to the restaurant list this weekend. Thanks for reminding us!

  7. Walking in either of the two entrances to Plaka Estiatorio – classic Greek “neighborhood restaurant” right off Market Street in Ballard – removes you to the family's neighborhood in Athens. (The Athens Plaka is a close to the Acropolis and has lots of restaurants around this ancient neighborhood.)

    With coffee in hand we toured the traditional wines, recipes, interior, fresh ingredients, and family feeling. Our lunch on consisted of cups of avgolemeno soupa kissed with lemon, gyros hugged with roasted tomatoes and white onions, and baklava dancing with style. Opening day was a celebration!

  8. @ mymble. Oh I wish I had Greek genes and could cook like this. But alas no, my heritage is Scottish. Talking about the tastes and culinary customs of my fathers and mothers is considered impolite in most countries I don't think you'd all like haggis. Hell, the Scots didn't like haggis. But sheep stomach, innards and oatmeal was all their English overlords left them. You can cover it with all the neeps and tatties you want…but it's still garbage. You'd learn the art of distilling uisge beatha (the water of life) as well as we did if haggis was on the menue night after night. ;-)

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