2.5 stars for modern Greek classics at Fort Lauderdale's Thasos

 

2.5 stars for modern Greek classics at Fort Lauderdale's Thasos

thasos

Rochelle Koff

No one’s dancing on the tables or yelling “Opa!” at the new Thasos Greek Taverna. Don’t expect belly dancers or plate-smashing, either. The setting, a few steps from Fort Lauderdale beach, blends South Beach chic with the rustic charms of the Greek islands.

Open since early August, the 150-seat space (with room for another 75 on the patio) serves modern takes on Greek classics. Dishes tend to be lighter, with ingredients including honey, oregano and olive oil imported from Thasos. The design may outshine the cuisine, but there are bright spots on the menu, along with an intriguing list of spirits. Thasos offers plenty of grazing fare, dividing the menu into spreads, “from the garden” (salads and vegetables), shared plates and “from the fire.”

Ambience: Thasos, named for the birthplace of Gus Leontarakis, the co-owner with Sophia Mylona, is gleaming white, from the sleek furniture to the 2,500 ribbons of fabric suspended over the long white bar, all meant to echo the whitewashed buildings of the Aegean coast. Blue glass plates, lighted ceiling tiles and pictures of Greek islands projected onto the walls provide splashes of color, and four large toy lambs at the entrance add a bit of whimsy.

What Worked

  • Sophisticated ouzo cocktails with watermelon and rosemary
  • A Greek side car made with Metaxa Seven Star (a brandy-based Greek liqueur), Cointreau and lemon
  • An extensive wine list with nearly 20 by the glass
  • Friendly servers
  • Warm, crusty bread and Kalamata olives
  • Toasty pita points that arrive with cooling yogurt-cucumber dip tzatziki and whipped feta with cured tomatoes and a hint of hot chiles
  • A clean Thasos summer salad of watermelon cubes topped with fat squares of feta
  • Brussels sprouts with honey
  • House-cured pork belly
  • Baked eggplant
  • A bowl of paper-thin zucchini chips paired with tzatziki
  • Nicely charred, fire-grilled octopus with a lemon and olive oil dressing served with roasted fennel
  • Mussels steamed with leeks, smoked pimento and a lovely, ouzo-spiked broth
  • Moussaka layered with chopped lamb, eggplant slices, a crust of sliced potatoes and a souffle-like topping of lightly browned kefalotyri cheese and béchamel
  • Tender, juicy lamb chops seasoned with fresh thyme, rosemary and garlic and served with fingerling potatoes
  • Plump, tender and pricey $29 scallops served with flavorful orzo, sliced artichokes and leeks
  • House-made baklava with almonds
  • Yogurt and honey panna cotta with blueberry preserves and
  • Cinnamon-scented galaktoboureko, a creamy custard wrapped in phyllo

 

What Didn't Work

  • Bland green chickpea spread
  • Unimpressive fried calamari

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