Food of the Gods in San Francisco
The ancient Greeks (Hellenes) made countless contributions to the modern world culture. From philosophy to architecture to mathematics to Hellenic cuisine, their achievements are legendary.
Now, a San Francisco restaurant, Kokkari Estiatorio, celebrates another accomplishment - cuisine fit for the gods. Named after a small fishing village on the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea, Kokkari is the sister restaurant to acclaimed Evvia Estiatorio in Palo Alto, California.
Legend tells us that Kokkari is the site where Orion, son of the Greek god Poseidon, fell in love with the daughter of the King of Chios. For the love of her, Orion foraged the island for wild game and seafood to prepare elaborate banquets. On entering Kokkari, guests experience the old-world charm of a rustic Mediterranean country inn on the shores of the Aegean. An inviting fireplace, extensive woodwork, hand-made pottery and freshly picked flowers all reflect the warmth and tradition of ages-old hospitality.
Designed by the award-winning architect Howard Backen of Backen & Gillam Architects, the decor captures the feel of the European old-world. The commitment to excellence embodied in the restaurant places it instantly at the forefront of Hellenic Mediterranean venues nationally. "Food of the gods" Kokkari’s menu, showcasing seafood and game, features many of the most sought-after traditional Aegean dishes, as well as selections which have been modernized through the innovative blending of cultures and techniques.
Kokkari's menu starters include Horiatiki, the classic Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, red onions, olives and feta cheese; Marithes Tiganites, crispy smelt served with lemon and chopped parsley; and Octapodi Salata, mesquite-grilled octopus, roasted red bell peppers, frisee and red wine vinegar.
In addition to the traditional Hellenic signature dishes such as Moussaka, a decadent baked casserole of eggplant, lamb ragout and creamy béchamel sauce, Kokkari's menu includes Garides stin Schara, Kotopoulo Souvlas, lemon & oregano chicken, grilled asparagus, Greek peppers, fingerling potatoes; Mosharisia Brizola, mesquite-grilled, dry-aged rib eye with wilted greens and Greek potatoes; and Arnisia Paidakia, grilled lamb chops with a lemon-oregano vinaigrette.