10310 Gateway Blvd.
Signature Dish: Yianni’s Meze ($38 per person)
Signature Drink: Retsina ($25 per half-litre)
Dinner & Drinks for 2: Up to $120
Interwoven vines formed a canopy over our heads as we entered the warm restaurant. The lights were dim, the bouzouki music was boisterous, and the Greek décor was everywhere.
After January’s leaden chill, it was like stepping on to Santorini itself.
I know better than to try to order off the menu when I’m at Koutouki.
I simply count the number of people at the table, subtract one, and order Yianni’s Mezé ($38 per person).
Over the next two hours, a host of Greek dishes were ours to share.
Paired with the complex, oaken, white wine weight of our cold retsina ($25), we started with a deep bowl of Greek salad bursting with feta and a stack of pita with four luscious dips.
My favourite course — the spanakopita in their crisp phyllo pockets, the olive leaf-wrapped dolmades and savoury keftedes meatballs — vanished in a heartbeat, and we didn’t slow down until the roast chicken arrived. By that time, the constant stream of conversation and cuisine was starting to exhaust us.
I ended up boxing the roast lamb, Greek potatoes and roast chicken for another full meal the following day.
We did, however, manage to find a teeny bit of room for Koutouki’s sweet, crisp, honey-laden baklava ($7).
I wonder if “Opa!” means “Hallelujah” in Greek.