DINING IN, DINING OUT: New Greek restaurant cooks up impressive array of specialty items
August 2, 2014
AKROPOLIS GREEK RESTAURANT
ADDRESS: 4235 S. College Ave., Ft Collins
TELEPHONE: (970) 223-3112
HOURS: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday – Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
RATING (Out of 4 stars): Three Stars
Greek food is one of my favorite ethnic cuisines. So I was happy to see that, despite Taverna's closing in South Fort Collins, another Greek restaurant had replaced it in the same spot. On the inside, Akropolis looks pretty similar to its former tenant with its open, bustling kitchen and Old World feel, but its food comes from truly authentic recipes, courtesy of its native Greek owner, Bud Zahakis.
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While perusing the menu, my husband, Mike, and I were both impressed with the array of Greek specialty items. From Loukaniko to Moussaka to Spanikopita and beyond, the choices here clearly reflected traditional Mediterranean cooking.
We began with an "Opa!-tizer" from the "Spreads" section of the menu. Our friendly server let us combine two spreads in one plate since we couldn't agree on what to order. Mike wanted the spicier sounding Tyrokafteri while I was intrigued by the milder Scordalia.
Tyrokafteri ($7.99) is a creamy blend of feta, jalapeños and olive oil with green bell peppers and roasted red peppers. It's actually not too spicy and the flavors are well rounded. Its slightly chunky consistency was a little strange and gave it a bit of a cottage cheese mouth feel.
The Scordalia ($5.99) is quite the interesting spread. Chilled mashed potatoes are creamed together with fresh garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar and served with warm pita bread wedges. The potatoes were tasty and the bread outstanding, but combining the two starches proved to be pretty filling.
However, that did not stop us from ordering the King Daddy menu item of all — the Akropolis Big Greek Combo Platter ($39.99). Though it says this dish serves two guests, I might change that to "two linebackers." Though massive, it's exactly what I would expect from a big Greek platter.
It's also a great way to sample much of what Akropolis has to offer. This would include Lamb Shank Giouvetsi, Pork & Chicken Souvlaki, Gyro Meat, Moussaka, Pastitsio, Lemon Potatoes, Veggies, Tzatziki Sauce and warm pita bread.
The cave-man style lamb shank did not have quite the fall-off-the-bone tenderness that I expected, but it was very tasty. It came smothered with a tomato-sauced orzo that, for me, detracted a bit from the lamb's unique flavor.
The Souvlaki, simple skewers of grilled chicken and pork meat, were nicely seasoned and went especially well with the lemon potato wedges.
My favorite item was the Moussaka, a traditional Greek comfort food consisting of layered eggplant, potatoes and ground beef seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg, then topped with bechamel sauce and feta cheese. It was creamy, seasoned perfectly and simply delicious.
Similar in taste and ingredients was the Pastitsio. Ziti pasta and ground beef are again peppered with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, layered and topped with creamy bechamel sauce and feta cheese. Anyone who loves gooey casseroles will likely love this Greek style lasagna dish.
The gyro meat here is also good. I enjoyed its seasoning and not-too-greasy texture. The accompanying tzatziki sauce is excellent as are the wedges of warm, lightly grilled pita bread.
As for the Baklava dessert ($7.00), a must-have item on any worthy Greek menu, the version here is quite good. It was not as exceedingly sweet as some varieties I've had. Rather, it possessed just the right proportions of flaky filo dough, ground walnuts and honey.
Akropolis also has a festive cocktail menu and fairly extensive wine and beer selection. Greece and the Mediterranean, in general, is well represented in nearly every glass.
I believe plate throwing has been removed from the menu at Akropolis (a favorite activity of Taverna's), but authentic Greek food is a staple. Opa!
Shannon Teslow has lived in Windsor with her family since 1995. She has been the Windsor Now! restaurant reviewer since the newspaper's first issue in 2007.