Calypso's Taverna
2101 Centre Street N.W., Calgary
(403) 250-5533

Rating: ****
Dinner & drinks for 2: $50

It would take all of the temptress powers of Calypso, a sea nymph in Greek mythology, to make Calypso’s Tavern stand out amid the dull strip malls on Centre Street.

But enchantment awaits you inside. Sweep aside memories of dusty fake ivy and gaudy wall murals, this is a modern taverna.

Falling into the “eyes bigger than stomach” category, we tackle the appetizer platter for two ($28).

Trying to finish this epic tray of fried calamari, prawns dripping in butter, oversized squares of spanakopita (phyllo pastry baked with spinach and feta), and soutzoukakia (meatballs in spicy tomato sauce) is akin to Sisyphus and his never-ending boulder pushing, although our task is much more enjoyable. My benchmark for Greek restaurants is the kleftiko ($18), and the roast lamb here is superb. The juicy, tender meat falls off the bone. The side of roasted potatoes is perfect: crisp on the outside, and softly infused with lemon on the inside.

The Greek salad that’s a choice with each entree has no lettuce filler, just refreshing hunks of lightly dressed vegetables and creamy chunks of feta.

Calypso’s Taverna finally proves that delicious and generous Greek food can be had for a great value in our city.

Dining out

Enjoy a three-course $45 prix fixe at the scenic Siraia Restaurant (Sirocco Golf Club). Your many choices include calamari steak or half a dozen oysters, followed by B.C. halibut or Australian lamb chops, and two desserts.

Bring the gourmet Italian of Capo (1420-9th Ave SE) home with takeout orders Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Wow your fam ily with ricotta gnocchi and lobster Americaine sauce.

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