Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ithaki Mediterranean Cuisine

25 Hammatt St

Ipswich, Ma

Owner Petros Markopoulos has created a truly delicious and relaxing dining destination in the quaint New England town of Ipswich, Ma with his Greek & Mediterranean restaurant Ithaki. The decor and ambiance of the newly renovated Ithaki restaurant is calming with its soft, cool colors and warm lighting. The dining area is spacious yet gives you a feeling of an intimate dining experience and Ithaki also has a wonderful lounge side with a large bar wrapping around the room and tables scattered within. I happened to dine last at Ithaki on a Thursday evening when there was a jazz performer and it really set a relaxing tone as I dined with friends.

Finding an authentic Greek & Mediterranean restaurant north of Boston, MA is not easy, but I have to say, I no longer have to look elsewhere as Ithaki has it covered.

The Marinated Olives ($7) are delicious, The Bread Spreads ($7 each or a taste of 4 spreads for $15) of Tzatziki, Taramosalata, Tirokafteri & Hummus served with warm pita chips are a wonderful start to a meal here at Ithaki. The Spreads are fresh and full of flavors. I have sampled the weekly special Appetizer offering of Hortopita ($12) which was a light phyllo pocket stuffed with greens and served with sliced grilled Loukaniko and a Feta cream sauce. It was the first time I have had Loukaniko (sausage) and it was porky goodness! I hope to catch it again on Ithaki's weekly specials menu. The Bar Menu at Ithaki has the Short Rib Appetizer ($11) is cooked so perfectly, the rib meat almost melts in your mouth. The Mousakas ($19) served in a large crock boasts the expected rich Mediteranean flavors of cinnamon and herbs blended in with beef, potato, eggplant, zucchini and topped with a Bechamel. Mousakas to me when dining at a Greek restaurant is often a must, but don't let that sway you from trying what clearly is a Ithaki customer favorite, the Clams ($22)-House made Fettuccine piled high in a large bowl with native clams, white wine, garlic and chili flakes. I cannot wait for a cold winter night where I will happily indulge myself with this dish! I finish my meal at Ithaki with Pistachio Baklava ($8)-small, light, delicate rolls of baklava laced with pistachios and served with a side of Pistachio ice cream. A wonderful dessert to finish with any meal offered at Ithaki.

The serving staff at Ithaki upon my visits have been knowledgeable, friendly and prompt and always willing to make recommendations to you of favorite dishes or a wine from the rather extensive and well rounded wine list. I definitely feel that Ithaki is THE BEST Greek & Mediterranean restaurant I have found in a long while and fit for a Foodie. I look forward to bringing more friends to dine with me at Ithaki that haven't tried a truly great Mediterranean meal. I just love it when you find a restaurant that whether you desire to dress up or go casual to you know you are going to have a great time, great food and leave happy and full. It's always exciting!