Plateia’s crepes are a gift from the Greek gods

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Ina Barashka

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Issue 5
May 19, 2019
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Plateia’s crepes are a gift from the Greek gods

This coconut crepe came straight from the Olympian gods themselves.

This coconut crepe came straight from the Olympian gods themselves.

Ina Barashka

This coconut crepe came straight from the Olympian gods themselves.

Ina Barashka

Ina Barashka

This coconut crepe came straight from the Olympian gods themselves.

The authentic Greek restaurant Plateia Mediterranean Kitchen is located at 9860 N Milwaukee Ave in Des Plaines, IL and has a modern take on the traditional Greek setting and cuisine which will leave you quite content with your visit.

Upon walking in I was immediately greeted by a smiling hostess who asked whether we’d like to sit outside or in. The waiting area was a bit dark, but the absence of light was well balanced with the windows letting in natural light. I think it was a smart choice to choose lighting elements that were not bright because it added to the stone-wooden theme that created the modern feel.

We only had to wait about five minutes to be seated even though the restaurant was fairly busy — I was very impressed. The patio was on two floors with a wooden structure all around that was wrapped in grape vines, this touch really brought out the authentic Greek feel that was a bit covered by the modernness of the inside. The waiter immediately — and when I say immediately, I mean immediately — came to our table to introduce himself and ask what we would like to drink.

He was very attentive and constantly checked up on us to make sure we were having the best experience possible. For an appetizer, we ordered saganaki, fried graviera cheese seasoned with lemon, salt and pepper, and kolokithokeftedes, zucchini fritters served with a garlic sauce. The food arrived fairly quickly.

The saganaki was the best I have ever had: the cheese was perfectly melted into a gooey bite of delightfulness and I immediately felt the zesty lemon which was in perfect balance with the cheese. Some restaurants make the saganaki chunky during the cooking process due to incorrect frying temperature, but this one was smoother than a sheet of silk. The salt and pepper complemented the lemon flavor beautifully, this appetizer was most definitely to die for.

To put this shortly, the kolokithokeftedes lacked a bit of flavor, but the texture was exactly how it was supposed to be — crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. The zucchini popped out as the main element (as it should have), complemented by carrots, dill and I’m sure many more ingredients. This savory dish, however, had a significant absence of salt which took away from the enjoyment of the fritter, but it was easily fixable.

The garlic sauce that came with the kolokithokeftedes was a bit odd, to say the least. Having tried numerous amounts of Greek food in my life, I was pretty disappointed when trying the flavoring that was short of its main flavor — garlic. You can’t call a sauce “garlic sauce” if you can’t even taste the garlic, although I assume this was done because garlic breath is a big no-no. I can see the idea behind taking some of this element away, but in doing so, the sauce was bland and dull.

For my main course I ordered moussaka, a dish I am very familiar with and know exactly how it should be prepared. The presentation was interesting because it was prepared in a bowl, and each ingredient was layered underneath the bechamel sauce, a technique I hadn’t seen before. The strangest part was that there was pumpkin inside — never seen that one before either.

Although I was reluctant to try the pumpkin moussaka, I was pleasantly surprised when I did. The odd ingredient actually added a very unique flavor to the dish and was not at all a big flop, as I assumed it would be. The moussaka was cooked to excellence: the bechamel sauce was creamy, frothy and sitting effortlessly on top — exactly how it should be, and the meat and potatoes were very well seasoned, it was like entering an herbal forest and being greeted by fairies.

My absolute favorite part of the dinner was, of course, dessert. I ordered a coconut crepe which was with strawberries, almonds, coconut and Nutella. The crepe itself was thick yet light which shows good craftsmanship.

The most impressive part of this sweet treat was the fact that it wasn’t too sweet. With the combination of so many sugary elements I was expecting to have to get a cavity filled the next day, but that was not the case at all. Biting into the crepe was like biting into heaven — I think I might make the 40 minute trip just for the dessert alone.

The bill was about $160, but there was three of us there that night. Overall, the food is very well-priced and the service was phenomenal. My only remark would be the absence of flavor in the kolokithokeftedes, however, that is debatable based on one’s preferred taste.

I would give Plateia Mediterranean Kitchen 5,997 Greek islands out of 6,000.

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