This Thanksgiving we ventured to Tarpon Springs. It is the Grecian capitol of Florida and the Sponge Capital of the World.
As most people know, the restaurant world virtually closes to the public on Thanksgiving day. That’s when the bulk of the American public gathers for family time and football.
This year, the owners of Dimitri’s on the Water decided they would stay open on Thanksgiving day for those of us who travel and did not want to heat up some deli turkey in the hotel microwave.
Dimitri’s bills itself as “A New Greek Experience.” To that end, the menu offers appetizers such as Melitzanosalta – which is an eggplant salad with garlic and olive oil – or Tyrokaferi – a spicy whipped feta cheese, ricotta and jalapenos spread with pita and traditional Greek fare such as Spanakopita, Moussaka and of course Saganaki.
But this was Thanksgiving, and the mágeiras at Dimitri’s switched gears to offer American fare such as roast turkey, ham, chicken and even Cornish game hen.
They did a wonderful job.
We would be the first to admit that the atmospheric conditions enhanced the quality of the meal. We sat outside the restaurant along the canal where a variety of vessels were docked along and across from our table. A number of boats of varying sizes even cruised by as we dined.
Our server, Ditjoni (“I’m not Greek, I’m Albanian”), also added to the great dining experience – both courteous and helpful, he brought out each course in due time – just as we finished the last.
We started with an Avolmono soup – which is chicken/lemon with orzo. Very tasty and went well with a variety of Greek breads that were accompanied by a spiced dipping oil.
Then came the Greek salad – a small bowl packed with lettuce, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, red onion, olives, Greek peppers, and feta cheese. Of course at the bottom was a dollop of potato salad!
The main course was both huge and delicious. I had the turkey, she had the Cornish game hen – both were moist and perfectly cooked. That came with large portions of sweet potato, mashed potato and lima beans mixed with onion and spices.
They also served a very interesting dressing and cranberry sauce that was infused with raisins and walnuts.
We had to get a to-go box.
The dessert was the traditional pumpkin pie with flowers of cool whip. We really tried hard, but we needed another to go box for the pie.
This was Dimitri’s first year to serve a Thanksgiving dinner. It was great because it was not so crowded – which gave us the luxury of relaxed dining as well as a group of dedicated servers.
We hope this will not be the last time they do Thanksgiving dinner. We give them high marks across the board for good food, a wonderful wait staff and tremendous ambience. By the way, when you are on the Sponge Docks strolling down Dodecanese Boulevard and are looking for some good local fare served with absolute ambience, Dimitri’s is a choice that is as good as any and better than most.
You can find out more on there website here.