Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kellari Taverna

Grilled whole fish, lamb, steak and other specialty Greek entrees abound at the upscale Kellari Taverna. "The menu starts with dips like melitzana, smoked eggplant with black sesame, and skordalia, and is followed by a unique selection of raw and marinated fish like the signature Greek barbouni, a red mullet soaked in vinegar, rosemary and olive oil. Traditional whole fish is sold by the pound and grilled with lemon and olive oil and herbs. Kellari offers 350 Greek and international wines by the bottle and dozens by the glass – ample choice for pairing up with an extensive menu of contemporary Hellenic fare." Closest Metro is Farragut West.


August 2011: We chose Kellari for our second RW dinner to relive our Greek honeymoon, and while the atmosphere was elegant and featured Greek words across the wall with a lovely ice display with the fresh fish of the day, it was quite loud and the temperature was very warm making it a tad uncomfortable. Nevertheless, our server was very attentive, asking how we liked each course, and was sure to serve our wine - although Keith thought they asked to many times to do so, and rather should have just poured if they noticed our glasses were empty. The fish is the highlight of this restaurant - cooked very lightly, most items grilled, to highlight the fresh sea taste - very reminiscent of authentic Greek cuisine. The presentation was pretty. My only disappointment was my fish was broken in half, as if someone cut it to check its done-ness, and the thin, twig-like asparagus underneath were burnt and too hard to eat. The desserts were lovely and a perfect ending to our meal. The hostess was jovial and even gave us homemade Greek honey donuts as we left. We would definitely come back to Kellari again.

March 2013:  We returned to Kellari for brunch. They had a two-piece jazz band performing and featured an unlimited option that included a bread basket, choice of entree, plus unlimited champagne or mimosas for $25.95 per person.  However, we had a coupon for a free bottle of champagne, so decided to use that and order an extra mezze to share.  The bread basket was missing the advertised muffins, zucchini bread or banana cake. Kind of a bummer for the $10 price tag. But we had plenty of other bread from the complimentary toasted bread with feta dip and olives, as well as the toasted pita that came with the melitzanosalata, a super garlicky roasted eggplant dip. The dip was a large portion, enough for us to take some leftovers home.  My Horiatiki omeleta was more of an open faced frittata studded with plenty of salty feta cheese, spinach, and tomatoes.  It came with nicely seasoned fries and a small salad.  I really enjoyed this dish and devoured it all with my glass of champs.  Keith enjoyed their Greek spin on eggs benedict, the Eggs Ulysses that featured poached eggs on top of house-made pita, spiced lamb patties, and topped with tzatziki.  It was served with seasoned fingerling potatoes and a small salad.  Overall, service was just as great as I remembered - the food came out very fast and our server was very attentive to keep our drinks full.  In fact, I readjusted the score from the original 3.75 I gave back in 2011.  The hostess, though different from our first visit 2 years ago, was just as cheerful and also sent us home with some delicate Greek cookies.  A very nice touch, indeed!

Total Rating: 4.33 
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

What I ate:
Calamari
grilled with lemon olive oil and herbs 

Rock Fish
grilled asparagus, frisse and radish salad, with lemon aioli

Baklava
almonds, walnuts, and fillo pastry with honey syrup
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Bread Basket
plain and chocolate croissant,
(missing: cornmeal blueberry muffins, zucchini bread, chocolate banana cake)

Melitzanosalata
Fire-roasted eggplant spread

Horiatiki Omeleta
Greek style frittata with spinach, tomato, feta and oregano fries

Plus Keith ate:
Dolmades
rice and herb stuffed grape leaves with Greek yogurt and lemon

Tsipoura
pan roasted with Horta and potatoes

Creamy Rice Pudding
vanilla roasted peaches
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Eggs Ulysses
House-made pita, spiced lamb patties, poached eggs,
tzatziki and fingerling potatoes

Kellari Taverna on Urbanspoon

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