Gyros From Heaven

Posted: December 9th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Greek, Ipswich, Ithaki | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

We never know how to pronounce gyro, but that doesn’t stop us from ordering it at every opportunity. Warm bread, spiced lamb, and tzatziki are a remarkable combo, so we were delighted to find it taken to a new level on a recent visit to the much-touted Ithaki.

Yes, Ipswich seems an odd place for an upscale Greek restaurant, and like us, you may have wondered if it’s worth the trip. We’re happy to report it is.

At a recent weekend lunch, we started out with a half portion of Greek salad for three people ($6). A large stack of thick tomato slices was perched on a bed of micro greens. Supporting players included cucumber slices, yellow pepper, green and black olives, and a chunk of what we’ll call “real” feta (to distinguish from the kind in our local supermarket). We didn’t see a nearby greenhouse, but the chefs have got some trick up their sleeves, as the tomatoes tasted more like August than December. The dressing was gossamer light and delicious, just olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs.

The gyro ($11) consisted of a large piece of fried flatbread slathered with tangy sauce and topped with tomato and perfectly cooked lamb chunks, with roasted potatoes alongside. It was impossible to eat like a sandwich, but we’re not complaining; it’s certainly one of the best lunch entrees on the North Shore.

Which is not to say the moussaka and the pastitsio don’t pass muster; they do. Both feature an ultra creamy bechamel and flavorful meat sauce. The moussaka ($11) adds tender slices of potatoes; the pastitsio ($9) has thin pasta tubes.

One block north of Ipswich’s main drag, Ithaki has parking in front, a large dining room, and a good sized bar and café area. We’ve heard the main dining room is packed and pretty noisy on weekends, so you may want to try a weeknight for a more relaxed meal. Dinner starters run about $12, and entrees range from $20 to $37 (for rib eye). There is also Sunday brunch with an interesting sounding asparagus and kasseri cheese omelette.

The service at our lunch was impeccable, and there were plenty of tables—but you may want to request one away from the windows on a cold day. Also, the Web site features some funky animation involving food—check it out!

Ithaki
25 Hammatt St, Ipswich
(978) 356-0099
www.ithakicuisine.com

Ithaki Mediterranean Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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4 Comments on “Gyros From Heaven”

  1. #1 Mary said at 7:47 am on February 13th, 2009:

    I’m pretty particular when it comes to Greek food (my credentials on this subject are capped off by my maiden name: 12 letters long, ending in “opoulos”). Ithaki is one of the only restaurants that has made me happy consistently.

    The food is authentically Greek, but they’ve done a good job of making it accessible to non-Greeks too. There’s something for everyone on their menu.

    Those with more adventurous palates should try the grilled octopus (it’s not rubbery, I swear!) or the while grilled fish (for two, served on the bone).

    Glad you enjoyed your visit.

  2. #2 JR said at 9:30 am on February 13th, 2009:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks so much for the recommendations. I’m not much for octopus, but I am a huge fan of whole grilled fish, so I will I have to return to Ithaki to try it.

  3. #3 Mary said at 10:36 am on February 16th, 2009:

    Let me know if and when you do: I’d be happy to provide some “ethnic insight” :-)

  4. #4 JR said at 4:55 pm on February 16th, 2009:

    Will do!


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