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Apr 21, 2013 01:11 AM

Very nice meal at Limani Taverna (former Papadakis Taverna venue)

We rarely visit San Pedro but Friday was one of those days. I recalled Papadakis Taverna from previous visits years ago, but also recalled reading that it had closed. Why not try Limani Taverna, which had replaced it? That turned out to be a great idea.

After she had a good strong Greek coffee, we started with Melitzanosalata, a roasted eggplant dip. It had the flavor of a Lebanese Babaghanouj but had not been processed to a uniform puree. You could just make out the vegetables that made it taste so fresh. Delicious and tangy, it spread nicely onto the hot pita triangles that came with it. We devoured every bit.

Our second appetizer was Spanakopita. It was simply the best version of this Greek standard that we have ever had! The three amply-sized triangular filo-dough pies of spinach and cheese were flawlessly and freshly made, layered, flaky, and crispy outside with mild melted cheese bound to freshly cooked spinach inside. We both like Spanakopita and invariably order it at a Greek restaurant; Limani's version just blew us away. It is now our reference point for this dish.

For entrees, I had Lamb and Potatoes and she had Mousaka. The lamb slices were tender, lean, flavorful, and plentiful. They were accompanied by fresh vegetables, cooked al dente, along with chunks of roasted potatoes. Her Mousaka was pleasant but was a little on the bland side. It had some of the same good fresh vegetables with it.

We were about to decline the baklava dessert which is usually offered at this point, but our waiter beat us to the punch with complimentary Greek cookies. They were delicious shortbread cookies with finely-ground nuts in the dough.

We could not review an aspect of the restaurant that appears to have carried over from the Papadakis era. On one side of the room a little away from us was a setup for musicians, with microphones and a sound system. We had arrived in the midafternoon for a quiet late lunch (the restaurant is open continuously from 11 am on). Later in the evening, our waiter said, there would be live music and dancing, just as we recalled from our dinner visit to Papadakis.

In response to my asking, our waiter told us that the restaurant had originally been reopened as Limani Taverna by a Bulgarian family, but around the beginning of 2013, they had exited. Both the kitchen and the front of the house are now staffed entirely by the same people who worked here when it was Papadakis Taverna. And I'd say it shows.

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  1. Oh, thanks for the update about the staff. I went last year, and thought it fine, but never returned. I'll try again now that the Papadakis staff is back in there.

    1. Hello! I am always reminiscing about Pappadakis. My sister and I grew up going to school with the sons of the owners. My parents and I still remember the first time they brought in the tap dancer off the street and how great he was. I was wondering if you had been back to the restaurant since then? Is the food similar to that of Pappadakis? When you say the front staff are the same, do you mean the brothers who danced are back?

      3 Replies
      1. re: lissylou24

        Old thread, but both Papadakis and Limani are long gone.
        Otto's Trattoria took over the space for about 2 months and closed down. That location is doomed. High rent and barely any traffic.

        I'm hoping once, the powers that be, renovate the DT San Pedro arts district and Ports O Call, that we'll get more people coming through and new, exciting shops and restaurants.

        1. re: Novelli

          When they did away with Beacon Street, they killed DT San Pedro, hence the lack of traffic. Papadakis was really too much fun to be duplicated.

          1. re: oldusedcop

            I was just mentioning last week how fun Papadakis was. I stated that they should have taken the chronically depressed there.