House of Skip

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Taverna Ouzo, Monroe NJ

In looking for a new place not too far from home, I stumbled upon Taverna Ouzo in Monroe Township. Surprisingly close to HOS's home base and something out of the norm. We've been to other Greek restaurant's, most of them BYOB, so we were surprised to learn that Taverna Ouzo had a full bar!

Now, my companion and I had been out at one of our other favorite local stops, Working Dog Winery (previously Silver Decoy) enjoying a couple of glasses of wine outside. Once we hit the road for Taverna Ouzo, it was an interesting ride. This place seems like it is in middle of no where. You are driving along these roads where there is very little around and then all of the sudden, bam! Taverna Ouzo is right there.

We walked in and were immediately greeted by a very friendly host (who may have been an owner/manager). We were seated at a lovely table near the bar, there was a family behind us with small children, they were a delight. The whole place has a family feel to it, like you are at a large gathering in someones home. It is a good spot for a family dinner or a couple's night out without either feeling out of place. We were soon greeted by our waitress who was just as nice as the man who seated us. She spoke to us about the menu, helped us select a wine, she was just terrific. In fact, all of the staff at Taverna Ouzo was very friendly.

The decor is typical Greek, blue and white everywhere and just a real nice feeling. It was also very busy, the place was full of people coming and going.

As I said, our waitress helped us select a wine. We wanted a Greek wine, but were not super familiar with their varietals. We were both having seafood as a main course so she recommended a nice white wine. I do not recall the name and I knew I wouldn't so I took a picture of the label so I could tell you and also for my own reference. Where is that picture? On my iPhone which I exchanged for a Galaxy S4 last week. Duh. Sorry guys, but I can tell you it was a nice, clean, crisp white wine that was perfect with our food.

We started with two appetizers, I'll tell you about the most obvious one first- grilled octopus! You know by now (and if you don't I suggest you go back and read previous HOS reviews) that my companion and I (especially my companion) love octopus. It is always nice to see it on a menu as grilled, it was wonderful. Fresh, tasty, with lovely little char marks on it, I wish I could show you the picture and how wonderful it looked, but you know where that is... Anyway, our second appetizer (we were really hungry!) was Greek meatballs- Keftedakia. They were delish! So much flavor, seasoned with all the usual Mediterranean herbs and accompanied by the famous Greek yogurt, which provided a nice tang and a textural difference from the meatballs. We devoured them while singing their praises- if you go there you must get them!

We continued to munch on the pita bread provided to us as we waited on our main course. The pita was good too, so soft and arrived to the table warm. Yum. O. As I said, we both ordered seafood entrees, they were both specials for the evening. My companion got a whole fish, this was his first experience with a whole fish and he loved it. It was served on a lovely platter with veggies and potatoes. Perfectly baked and seasoned, he really enjoyed it and thanked the waitress for recommending it. I went with a red snapper dish that was presented like a lasagna, layers of potato, vegetables and fish baked and served by the square. It was a lovely presentation and really very tasty.

We were so hungry when we arrived at Taverna Ouzo and so stuffed when we left! No dessert for us that night, although I heard the people seated behind us rave about the baklava! Oh well, next time!

I hope you venture out into Monroe Township and stumble upon Taverna Ouzo as we did. You won't regret it!

http://www.tavernaouzo.com/index.html

Taverna Ouzo
146 Applegarth Rd.
Monroe Township, NJ
609 426 9700

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