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taverna opa and other miami thoughts

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hey there. just visited your beautiful blue skies in miami from nyc and had some thoughts.
we ate at the ice box (thanks 'hounds) and had a lovely enormous brunch. i was sad to discover it too late to sample their incredible looking cakes.
but taverna opa. hmph. i loved their eggplant appetizer with its subtle spicing (and not so subtle onion). i really actually enjoyed their food overall (though my partner didn't). but it took almost an hour for them to bring out all of our appetizers, though my entree (oh! blanking on the name-- the layered eggplant/potato/ground meat classic greek food) came out in about five minutes. it tasted like it had been microwaved, with some hot spots, most lukewarm, and some fridge cold.
what are people's experiences there? i am curious to hear more.

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    s.m. koppelman

    I don't like making excuses for Taverna Opa, but in fairness:

    (1) It's a a party place where people generally spend a couple of hours drinking a lot of wine and ouzo and grazing on apps. Hurrying is not the order of the day; maybe they were bringing out the apps one or two at a time so things wouldn't get cold. Those usually get shared. Beats me, though. Entrees should come out all at once regardless.

    (2) Moussaka and pastitso *are* microwaved. They're baked in advance and then a piece is sliced off and reheated, like lasagna. It's a bummer yours came out cold; you should have sent it back for more reheating and they should have heated it up better in the first place. It's hard to win with a dish like that. If they kept the whole thing hot on a steam table or under a heat lamp it would fall apart or dry out. Reheating in an oven might work better, but that might dry it out too. Moussaka and pastistso are less forgiving than lasagna, since they start out less wet in the first place, what with no tomato sauce and no cheese. If you want a Greek entree that doesn't risk going near a microwave, don't get one of the two dishes that get fully cooked in advance ;) May I suggest something grilled, broiled, fried or stewed? Or better yet, just order meze all night. Who needs entrees?

    2 Replies
    1. re: s.m. koppelman

      I find the food at Opa to be okay, but agree that the service is usually pretty bad. Actually, haphazard might be a better description. My husband refuses to even eat there and the one in Hollywood is practically around the corner. There are much better options for Greek food around.

      1. re: adele

        We had very good service at the Taverna Opa in Ft Lauderdale a few months ago. It was fairly early..7 ish and they werent terribly busy..but our waiter was personable and professional. Maybe we got lucky; I've only been the 1 time. We're going to be in FLL next week and are looking forward to going back. I'll post a report after.

    2. the opa in Hollywood Beach is a little more organized although just as load

      1. Just went for a bday weekend. This place is a party place and not a gourmand's paradise. The mezes were average...the "freshly made" bread has an odd taste. The calamari (something I never get but a friend ordered) were so tender I could not stop eating them. They made a totally played out dish interesting again by quality alone. The grilled shrimp were great. They were served with a salty grilled cheese (salty in a good way).The grilled meats platter was pretty good. Lemon and herbs. Served over some potatoes. The pork chops were not great but the lamb and chicken were moist and fall apart tender. Would go back but not for a fine-dining experience.