September 2003: Athenian Plaka

By: Cynthia Hacinli

Athenian Plaka (moderate). Jaunty new umbrellas and flower-filled planters give the sidewalk cafe more Euro style, and the three brothers who took over last year have expanded the menu of specials at this Greek taverna to include whole fresh fish. The regular menu still has its draws: falling-off-the-bone oven-baked lamb Louvesti and shrimp with white wine, tomatoes, and feta.

If you're mad for mezze (appetizers), orange-flavored Greek sausages known as Loukanico, favas in olive oil and tomatoes, and kefalograveira (fried kasseri cheese) are the way to go. Sides are as good as the rest--don't miss roasted potato wedges or string beans with tomatoes and onions.

For dessert, try the house-made yogurt with honey and walnuts or the galactoburako, custard-filled phyllo pastry. Inside, whitewashed walls and arches and Greek folk tunes make you want to get out the white handkerchief and dance.