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Oct 7, 2008 07:28 AM

Dio Deka in Los Gatos

I really enjoyed my meal at Dio Deka last week. We don't have much in terms of contemporary Greek food in Canada, so I was interested to see the approach Dio Deka took.

We started with dolmades (made with braised beef short ribs instead of the typical mince) and grilled Monterey calamari (the best grilled calamari I've had outside Greece), both of which were very good. My braised lamb shank with orzo was tender, and seasoned nicely. I also tried some branzino, which came with excellent roasted potatoes. The fish was cooked perfectly, but was maybe a little too delicately seasoned for my taste (but I tend to be heavy handed with lemon and herbs).

The most visually stunning part of my meal was the milopita- an apple pie crafted out of filo into the shape of an apple, with a mint leaf stem on top. The filling was delicious- similar to a good apple strudel filling with a light pastry cream as a top layer. It was the nicest dessert I've found in a Greek restaurant (either traditional or contemporary), and was the perfect way to end our meal.

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  1. Thanks for reporting back. Glad you enjoyed it.

      1. I love that dessert, too. So fanciful and delicious, and such a contrast to the boring creme brulees and gooey chocolate cakes that other restaurants fall back on.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Claudette

          I'm happy to see I'm not the only chowhound who finds creme brulee boring;)

        2. Thanks for the report. A friend of mine whose taste is pretty refined, and who lives on the peninsula, tells me that Manresa and Dio Deka are his two go-to special occasion restaurants and he puts them on par with a handful of the higher end places in SF proper.

          The only specific thing I can add is that the chef at Dio Deka is supposed to be Italian, but is cooking Greek , so perhaps some of the "contemporary" touches you noticed are his way of putting a personal touch on the Greek classics.

          3 Replies
          1. re: SteveG

            I agree with your friend. I'd gone down there from SF for a weekend specifically to eat at Manresa, but we also dined at Dio Deko because we were staying at the hotel. It more than held its own in comparison!

            I was especially fond of their yogurt, fruit and honey dessert.

            1. re: SteveG

              Could very well be the chef's personal touch that influences the dishes as you've suggested, but the meal also reminded of the food at some of the more contemporary restaurants I found when I visited Greece last October;)

              1. re: SteveG

                Salvatore is Italian (from NYC) and the owners hired him with the promise to give him free rein with the menu. He uses a lot of imported Greek ingredients, and has a very playful approach to food. He taught a sold-out class at Draegar's cooking school and was very generous, inventive, and casual.

              2. I've posted about this before, and I was at least relieved to discover that I'm not the only person who is underwhelmed by Dio Deka. It's definitely a very pleasant place, good service, nice ambience. And the lamb chops live up to their reputation. But it hardly makes the screen if you're interested in anything Greek. Other than the lamb, the main thing I remember is the taramasalata. We were served a tiny little scoop of some sticky mess hardly worthy of the name. I think it was supposed to have lobster in it, heaven knows why. I don't think it gets close to Evvia and Kokkari, and frankly I think the chefs should take off those fisherman's caps and head over to the Athena Grill to remember what Greek cooking really looks like!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Judith

                  Judith, I had wondered if I had made a mistake not ordering the taramasalata, but it sounds like I didn't miss out. If you ever find yourself in Malibu, try Taverna Tony's version of taramasalata with avocado. It's a twist on the classic version, but it's absolutely delicious. And the serving is very generous. It was my favourite part of the meal I had at Taverna Tony's.