Months ago, driving along Kirkman Rd. I saw a roadside “stick in the ground” sign for this restaurant and made a mental note to visit. Recently, I remembered another restaurant in the vicinity that I wanted to try, Kim Wu. Upon arrival, Kim Wu was closed. Driving away I ran into Zorbas, literally. No time better than the present.
Which restaurant greeter welcomes you with a big smile, friendly disposition, and asks “how was your day going”, before escorting you to a table? That brief moment already had me regretting why I took so long to visit here.
The restaurant interior is an artistry of sea sponge faux glazing with warm Mediterranean colors. Ornate art adorn the walls. Period lighting creates an ancient atmosphere that transpires to another continent. Seating and table placement allows for gracious room to get up and dance. Well, maybe not. But there is more elbow and knee room than most restaurants in Orlando. At least your neighbor can’t listen in on any top secret conversations.
A simple laminated menu cover present salads, appetizers, entrées, wraps, kabobs, hookah, and wines. Later on I found out there is belly dancing. Oh my, there is dancing, drinking, and merry making, that explains the laminated menu, easy to replace. Or not, either way, opa! The selections spare no Mediterranean items with heavy Greek influences. Greek wines dominate with a few domestic beers. After all, this is a Greek restaurant, why clutter the menu with items that can be had in any other restaurant. Great showcase of Greek culture.
Greek Salad – Original Greek Salad served with cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, red and green peppers, black olives, barrel feta cheese, and topped with Zorba’s Herbs. Served with potato salad and Zorba’s Greek dressing. Fresh, crisp and flavorful.
Grilled Octopus – Slowly boiled and grilled on open fire. Zorba’s octopus is marinated with vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Topped with green onions and diced tomatoes. The star of the dining experience. Tender, succulent, fresh, like it was plucked out of the Mediterranean Sea moments ago. A wonder of a dish. One more please.
Hummus – Fresh chickpea spread made with tahini sauce. Topped with extra virgin olive oil, decorated with chickpea and sumac seasoning. Chef’s Signature. Certainly, a signature. Never have I had a hummus so creamy and decadent. Sumac seasoning added a layer of flavor to take this dish into a realm all of it’s own. Marvelous.
Saganaki – Flaming Kefalogriaviera cheese lit on fire with Brandy tableside. Served with pita bread and fresh lemon. Anything with fire is a great showcase. This was no exception. Taste of sheep and goat milk with pita was amazing.
Pita and Greek Bread – If there really was a food for the Greek gods, this pita bread would suffice. Tender, slightly pliable, rustic, and flavorful. Can be eaten by itself!
Mediterranean White Fish – Marinated white fish (basa) grilled on open fire, topped with spinach, artichoke, onions, peppers, sundried tomatoes, Zorba’s lemon sauce and feta cheese. Served with sautéed vegetables and spinach orzo. Tender, moist, flaky fish, with crisp vegetables and a creamy heavenly sauce. Orzo was plumb and tender. A masterpiece dish, fit for the Greek Gods.
Baklava – Walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and honey. Perfect size after devouring all of that food. Crisp, sweet, bursting with flavors.
Kataifa – Shredded phyllo dough, walnuts, stuffed with custard cream and syrup. A little on the soggy side with all of the syrup but flavors were all there.
Santa Marina Semi Sweet White Wine – Great floral nose, sweet with hints of fruits, lingering finish.
Mavrodaphne Sweet Red Wine – Greek Sweet Red wine with a nose of chocolate and plums, long finish.
Moscato Dessert Wine – Rich, luscious, honey, melons, golden hue. A true beauty. Oh this was not on the menu. It was a stow away. Good luck with getting a sever who knows where is the good stuff.
Chateau Kefraya Rose Wine – Crisp, earthy, with minerals. Perfect sipping wine for Hookah smoking on an outdoor patio.
After dinner, or on it’s own the open patio invites. The entire patio is under the building so no open air to tangle with the elements. There are outdoor fans that aerate as the activity follows. Obviously, all food is served outdoor. However, this restaurant offers an enormous selection of Hookah flavors and Hookah smoking. What better way to polish off a meal than indulging in the age old pass time of puffing on a Hookah. Sit back relax and let the day drag.
Hospitality and service are surprisingly top notched in this restaurant. The staff is well versed in the menu, descriptions, explanations, particular nuances, and any other concerns. Although there is conventional wisdom in wine suggestions, going against the norm can enlighten even the most avid of wine drinkers. Who said red wine can’t go with seafood? There are tons of seafood in Greece and great red wine. Regional cuisine goes together. Throw caution to the wind and indulge in a sweet red Greek wine. Forget about what the fancy sommeliers in more swanky restaurants suggest, have a sweet dessert wine and smoke a hookah. I am going back to see the belly dancer, partake in ouzo rituals, drink more sweet wine, and smoke more Hookah. Go for the food, stay for the atmosphere and smoke a hookah! Opa!