For years I’ve been coming to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to visit my Grandfather. Growing up in the Boston area, my parents and I would escape the cold wintery weather each year to enjoy some fun in the sun and spend time with my Grandfather. Today, I live in Texas with my wife and son, my parents are still living in the Boston area. Once again we all find ourselves in Fort Lauderdale spending time together and enjoying great food.
In 1997 The Greek Islands Tarverna opened it’s doors. Each time we come to visit we have to stop in at least once to eat. I love Greek food, and The Greek Islands serves some of the best I have ever had. Their baked shrimp dish is so good, I’ve ordered it every time I’ve visited for more than 10 years. Now, I’ve tried other items on the menu, but the shrimp can’t be forgotten. Luckily for me it can be ordered as a side dish or a dinner. The dinner portion includes 6 shrimp and rice. The appetizer is just 3 shrimp with no rice. So what makes these shrimp so good? It is defiantly the secret sauce! I suspect the sauce includes some garlic, olive oil, maybe a little butter, a little chive and who knows what else?? Which is too bad… I won’t be making the dish at home, but that’s why I order it every time I come into town. The shrimp are butterflied, seasoned and baked to perfection, drizzled with the secret sauce and served hot. It’s a pretty simple dish, that is done just right.
Their Greek salad skips the lettuce and is big on fresh vegetables, feta cheese and dressing. The dressing is light with a nice vinegary twinge and lots of oregano. We had to order a second, since the first seemed to disappear too quickly.
The Gyro (Yee-Row not Ji-Row!) is ground lamb and spices roasted on a spit. Upon order, the crispy outside is shaved off in strips. Served with a little red onion, tomato, a pita and tzatziki sauce. A greek yogurt based sauce which includes cucumber, garlic and dill. (devoured by Kate and my son Greg… did I mention he is only 19 months old? It’s that good).
The Lamp Chops – drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Grilled to perfection.
What I love about The Greek Islands is that they serve simple food, that’s bursting with flavor. Some restaurants just try too hard, in doing so, they can lose sight of the main ingredients or the authenticity of a their dishes. For the first stop on our food adventure, the bar has been set pretty high. All of this writing is making me hungry… Time to go attack the next restaurant on our list – Stay tuned.
Greek Islands Tarverna
3300 North Ocean Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
5 Comments Add yours
Hi Erik, I read your post and though my comment is untimely, I just had to comment. I’m of Greek Ancestry and grew up eating my mother’s and grandparents cooking. My wife is also of Greek Ancestry and we both agree this is the best Greek dining in the USA. We live in Marco Island in the winter months and we make the drive over to Greek Island Taverna at least once every 2 weeks. The shrimp is to die for and I recently asked Soutiri for the recipe. He asked me how much money I had. I’ve tried to recreate it and I can come close but I’m not quite there yet, One of the waiters told me it has Dijon Mustard and chives in it in additon to olive oil, garlic, oregano, lemon, salt and pepper. I’ve added Panko bread crumbs which seems to work as a coating. If you ever discover the recipe, I’ll pay big money for it, in drachmas of course.
Hi Jim and Erik, My greek husband and I also have had the shrimp and it is to die for. We have tried to work out ingredients and we are betting
there is either a touch of brandy or maybe ouzo in there as well….
I love this place and have been coming here for years. I’ve been looking for the recipe for the shrimp for a long time and the owner won’t give it up. This is what I’ve come up with. It’s pretty close but not perfect.
Sotiri’s Secret Sauce
1 stick salted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried snipped chives
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tablesspoons Tahini
1 Tablespoon Ouzo
1/2 teaspoon MSG (acent)
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
Melt the butter over low heat. Wisk in the rest of the ingredients. Don’t heat the sauce to high or it will break.
Let me know what you think.
Very Nice! Thanks for sharing.
I tell my husband I am going for a walk and then I sneak to the restaurant for their prawns….over and over. Amazing. There is definitely tarragon in them.