Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ikaros

I can't tell you the last time I ate at Ikaros. I grew up in Fells Point, not that far from Greektown; Mr Minx was approximately the same distance away, in Dundalk. Yet it wasn't a restaurant in our parents' regular rotation. Perhaps because Greek restaurants tend to serve a lot of lamb, and that's not my Dad's thing. At all. In any case, we went recently, and we liked it.

I think we enjoyed it more than our trip to the Black Olive.

Ikaros is a rather old-fashioned sort of place. There are so many paintings, photos, and maps of Greece on the walls, it's almost like a Greek version of Haussner's. The menu is nowhere near as extensive, thankfully, but it was still difficult to choose from all the tempting dishes available. Mr Minx's brother went with us, so that gave us the opportunity to try an extra entree.

Spanakopita
Saganaki, sans flames
We started off with the spanakopita and the saganaki. The spinach pie was hot, crispy, and filled with spinach seasoned with feta and mint. It was delicious, as was the flaming kefalograviera cheese, set alight with brandy by our waitress, then doused with lemon juice to put out the flame. It was gooey and salty and slightly herbal, and really cried out for bread better than the squishy Italian-style bread on the table.

Moussaka
Shrimp Guvetsaki
For our entrees, we sampled the moussaka, which was dense and rich and meaty. We also had the baby lamb with string beans, and the shrimp Guvetsaki, but with rice instead of guvetzi (a Greek pasta). The shrimp was terrific - briny, tomatoey - and I loved the slab of feta cheese that almost melted on top. The lamb was very tender, somewhat bland, but very homey.

Lamb with green beans
Homey is actually a good word to describe the entire meal, including the service. I wanted to order some galaktobureko (semolina-thickened custard in pastry) for dessert, but before I got a chance, our waitress brought us a plate with all three of the house desserts on it, compliments of the kitchen.

Galaktoboureko, baklava, kataifi
The portion of galaktobureko was the largest of the three, almost as if our waitress had read my mind. It was also the best (although splitting the other two tiny pieces three ways didn't really give any of us a proper sample).

Ikaros has been around forever, and it's obvious some of the customers have been coming around almost that long. The food is good, no wonder.

Ikaros
4805 Eastern Ave
Baltimore, MD 21224
(410) 633-3750
ikarosrestaurant.com

Ikaros on Urbanspoon
Posted on Minxeats.com.
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