547 Congress St., Portland | 207-221-0245 | emilitsa.com | $$$$
Check your expectations of Greek food at the door. Demos and John Regas, and Demos’ son, Niko Regas have created a rustic, special-occasion dining experience for Portland food lovers. Mediterranean flavors appear in hyper-color at this small eatery, and if you close your eyes, you can almost feel the Greek sun on your face. Niko has recently taken over the kitchen from his father, bringing a fresh perspective to the menu while honoring family traditions.
Monument Square, Portland | 207-699-5577 | spartangrill.wordpress.com | $$
Centrally located downtown, Spartan Grill offers Greek street food, burgers (including a Greek burger with olive feta tapanade, tzatziki, spinach and tomato) and a few breakfast items. It’s only open Monday – Friday, making it a popular lunch spot for people who work around Monument Square. The gryos — roast lamb, beef, chicken, or veggie — are the real deal, as is the Greek salad, and it’s one of the few places in town you can find falafel (which is not Greek, but still delicious!)
525 Ocean House Rd., Cape Elizabeth | 207-799-4663 | thegoodtablerestaurant.net | $$$
There’s more on the menu here than Greek food, but considering that the grandparents of owner Lisa Kostopolous emigrated from Greece, the Greek dishes here are simple, hearty and good. Greek-style baked fish is a standout, as is the spanikopita. If you’re craving souvlaki or a gyro, and your dinner companion wants an excellent burger, mussels or fish and chips, you’ll both be happy; all the food here is comforting – and filling — and the vibe is warm and friendly.
97 Maine St., Brunswick | 207-721-0100 | enotecaathena.com | $$$
Enoteca Athena has embraced a winning formula of these times with intriguing cocktails and interesting, flavor-deep Greek and Italian food in a variety of portion sizes in a stylish, casual atmosphere. Liquor aficionados will warm to its build-your-own Negroni menu as well as a wine list featuring family vineyards in the mother countries. Apres theater folks will welcome the lounge seating and hours.
100 Commercial St., Portland | 207-780-0227 | ebbandflowme.com | $$$$
Veteran chef William D’Auvray and his partner, seafood wholesaler Angelo Ciocca, have transformed a formerly confusing, revolving-door space into a warm, inviting restaurant offering a Mediterranean menu with a heavy focus on the food of Greece. Everything from breads to desserts is made in-house, with options for adventurous eaters as well as those with more pedestrian palates. Be sure to start with one or two of the excellent mezze (dips) or the lamb keftedakia (meatballs).
The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up