Santorini
1502 Centre St. N.
Calgary, (403) 276-8363
www.santorinirestaurant.com

Rating: ***

Dinner for two with drinks: $55
Signature Dish: Arni kleftiko
Signature Drink: Ouzo

The white and blue exterior of Santorini, which has stood on Centre Street since 1986, is soothing — especially on a snowy almost-summer evening.

It beckons with a promise of warm hospitality and straight-forward Greek food — and doesn’t disappoint.

Delicious, reliable favourites are Cypriot family-run Santorini’s secret to success.

Saganaki ($12) is not set alight as other tavernas might do, but it doesn’t need the drama. The pan-fried cheese has a flawless salty, lemony, not-too-oily balance against soft, fresh pita ($3).

Bland calamari ($12) is a bit of a disappointment. The fried squid have a great texture but both the tzatiki and batter seem to be missing spicing.

Mains come on enormous oval plates. Roast lamb ($25) is the best in the city. Arni kleftiko — its name comes from lamb stolen from a herd and furtively cooked in a hole in the ground for hours — is imbued with garlic, lemon and rosemary, and comes off the bone in tender chunks.

Beef souvlaki ($26) is a skewer of tender filet mignon. All entrees come with why-can’t-I-make-these-at-home lemony potatoes (crisp outside, soft inside), rice pilaf and green and yellow beans.

Try the bougatsa ($5.50), a cream pastry for a sweet change from baklava.

In brief

PATIO PARTY Bonterra’s (1016 Eighth St. S.W.) annual patio party is Tuesday at 5 p.m. For $35, you get wine and hors d’oeuvres on one of Calgary’s best patios. Go to www.bonterra.ca for more information on the event and how to get tickets.

FARMER’S MARKET
A revitalized Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market is now open for the season at the community centre (1320 Fifth Ave. N.W.) every Wednesday 3:30-7:30 p.m. Visit armersmarket.hillhurstsunnyside.org to get more details.

COCHRANE BAKERY Gluten-free, all-natural baked goods are the focus of GF Patisserie (122 Third Ave. W., Cochrane). Try their raisin bread, cream puffs and cupcakes, all made without gluten. Check out www.gfpatisserie.com.