In Greek, the word estia means “home.” Well, in these days of “alternate facts,” I have a different definition since Estia opened on Main Street in Falmouth — delicious.
We were already familiar with Estia because of its intimate location in Mashpee Commons, but when we heard the Greek restaurant was opening on Main Street in Falmouth, just a couple of blocks from our house, our mouths started to water in anticipation.
Like any wait for a good thing, this was a long and grueling one. We could see the progress of the restaurant construction on our frequent walks and drives downtown for more than a year. The owners of Estia renovated a former bank building across from the U.S. Post Office, gutting the inside and adding a coal-fired oven for its pizza.
Setting aside a generous portion of the dining area for a well-appointed bar, there is also a separate lounge area with comfy seating should you have an extended wait for a table. (A real possibility once word spreads that Estia is open for business.)
Estia is beautiful on the outside, too. Its brick façade was painted gray, and teakwood accents provide a nautical feel for the restaurant. The lighting is soft and inviting, and we’re already anticipating another place for outdoor dining.
But enough about the aesthetics, let’s talk food.
When our children were very young, my wife and I established a tradition of going out for a “dress-up dinner” to celebrate Christmas as a family. Estia, which opened just after Thanksgiving, was an easy choice for this year’s venue. My sister and her husband were in town for the holidays, so we invited them to join us, which gave us a chance to sample quite a bit of Estia’s extensive menu.
We started out with Olives and Feta ($9) for the table. The feta was creamy and rich in flavor, and the olives added just enough salty goodness. With the complimentary bread and olive oil served, we were tempted to order more appetizers, but knew better. From previous visits to the Mashpee location, we can recommend the Spanakopita ($15) and the Dolmades ($15), which are stuffed grape leaves that are close to, but not as good as what Nana used to make. (My wife is of Armenian heritage, and her grandmother’s cooking was top-notch and missed, so Estia takes us back.) There’s also an Estia Sampler ($18), which features spanakopita, dolmades, olives, and feta. Our only objection is that it also includes loukaniko, a Greek sausage that’s not a favorite of ours.
For my entrée, I ordered a Lamb Gyro (pro tip, it’s pronounced yee-roh) with tzatziki sauce ($16) — hold the wrap. (I had already had plenty of bread with olive oil, and wanted to limit the additional carbs. If it’s there, I’ll eat it.) The lamb was flavorful and tender, though the rice pilaf was a tad bland. Not to worry, my son, sitting close by, ordered the Basic Burger ($14) with sweet potato fries. I may or may not have stolen several handfuls of the delectable fries, which were cooked to a crispy perfection on the outside. My son enjoyed his burger, and it was so big, he needed to take some of it home. He reported that it was just as good heated up the next day.
My wife ordered the Chicken Kabob ($18 for a single skewer). The chicken was flavorful, as were the grilled peppers, onions, zucchini, and tomatoes. This entrée also comes with a Greek salad that’s overflowing with feta and olives, as well as Estia’s tangy housemade dressing.
Our daughter ordered a Grecian Echoes Pizza ($17), which is essentially a Greek salad on top of a pizza. And because she has an appetite that matches her petite frame, I managed to sneak a slice or two out of the box the next day.
This is what makes Estia a great addition to Main Street, and a reason to stop while you’re off the rock. You can go for a meal — lamb, steak, chicken, or a full array of seafood dishes. My sister enjoyed the Salmon ($27), for example. Or you can go for one of the nearly two dozen pizza offerings from the restaurant’s coal-fired oven, which, by the way, adds to the ambiance of the restaurant.
The thing about anticipation is sometimes what you’re waiting for can’t live up to expectations. Estia is a tasty exception to that rule.
Estia has two locations, one at 117 Main St., Falmouth, and the other in Mashpee Commons. Check out their menu at estiacapecod.com.