Downtown San Jose has many quality restaurants, and Nemea Greek Tavern is certainly one of them. The welcoming Mediterranean feel at the bar and the decor transports you to the islands. The open galley allows you to witness the Chef team devising the dishes, but more importantly let's you smell and witness the flames of the mesquite flame grill!
The smart modest menu offers a great choice of meza (Greek tapas), Kiria Piata (entrees), deserts and dips/sides, a great mix of classic and modern twists.
Starting with Mapakia, a Greek take on Brussels sprouts, sauté with dates, scallions and parmesan in a meaty jus. This was addictive mix of a warm salad, with a fruity contrast.
The highlight of the dinner was our other Appetizer, Octapodi. Perfectly cooked charcoal broiled sushi grade octopus, sliced and served with citrus, oregano & olive oil. The addition of arugula complements the citrus with a peppery texture that lifts the octopus flesh to a fantastic level.
Our chef recommended entrees came straight from the Mesquite Grill. Paidakia made up of three mesquite grilled rib cut lamb chops, mounted on braised greens, with double cooked Nemea potatoes & a well balanced lemon vinaigrette.
The lamb was cooked perfectly and the potatoes were excellent (I would have liked more they were so good!).
The selection of wines was well established and the Greek options worked well with the lamb!
Desert had to baklava! This traditional Greek pastry was given gourmet make over with a thicker filling, a mix of clover and Greek attilki honey, and a scoop of delicious fig ice cream. So good.
Taking the downtown location, decor ambience, menu options and the quality of the cooking, I would recommend this place to everyone. Especially if you have a thirst for Greek or Mediterranean flavor!