Restaurant review: Spitaki Taverna

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New business ventures and Greece are perhaps not two words which would inspire anyone with confidence at the moment.

But don’t let the troubles in Athens put you off checking out one of the city’s newest culinary additions.

Greek Taverna Spitaki has opened in the former Elbow bar on East Claremont Street, serving up traditional food simply in a comfortable atmosphere, and it is already making a name for itself.

Split over two levels, the restaurant is now unrecognisable from its former life, the pastel colouring and rustic furnishing transporting you to the Mediterranean as soon as you step through the front door.

Wide smiles from the staff is a good sign, as is the fact they are very accommodating to the two over-excited pre-school kids we have brought in tow.

The menu is packed full of traditional dishes to be enjoyed tapas-style.

Our feast included servings of chicken souvlaki (skewers of chargrilled chicken), horiatiki, a classic Greek salad and roasted peppers and tomatoes stuffed with rice and herbs. Add in a couple of orange juices and a half-carafe of red wine and the whole lot came in for around £40, which is pretty reasonable.

The one disappointment, perhaps, was that early-evening on a Saturday and there were hardly any other customers. That and the fact that, apparently, you are not allowed to smash the plates after your meal.

A new venture will take time to build but Spitaki deserves a chance. Tucked away at the corner of East Claremont Street and Broughton Road, it may have to rely on word of mouth rather than passing trade. Definitely worth shouting about.

Spitaki, 133 East Claremont Street

ALAN YOUNG