Last month I finally had the opportunity to check one of them out, the Trata Greek Taverna on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale.
Originally we hadn't gone because my husband wasn't thrilled with the prices. Their appetizers are decently priced, but the entrees for dinner average close to $20 a plate. When we saw them listed on Restaurant.com we decided to go for it since we could get a modest discount.
Here's the rundown of our experience...
The Atmosphere:The waiter brought us bread and hummus (which was quite good!) almost immediately. Our server was attentive the entire night, but that was quite likely due to the fact that the restaurant was almost empty.
Although there was a very romantic ambiance to the dining room, the empty chairs and tables surrounding us caused our conversations to seem awkwardly loud. We could hear the diners on the patio talking, as I'm sure they could hear us. It was hard to be romantic without the white noise of muted chatter in the background to muffle anything private we might have said.
Appetizers:We probably could have skipped buying an appetizer since we were given bread. However, my husband is a big fan of calamari and is always trying to find 'the best'.
Unfortunately, this calamari was far from the best that we've had, and I especially was disappointed in the thinness of the sauce. It had an excellent flavor - slightly sweet, and a bit different than the usual - but it wasn't enough to make up for the fact that it was too runny.
My husband was also disappointed, but for different reasons. Other than the fact that the calamari was average at best, he was quite annoyed that the price per ring came out to about 70 cents a piece, and there were no tentacles included.
On top of all this, calamari is traditionally a Mediterranean dish. If I'm eating at a Mediterranean restaurant, the calamari should be spectacular. This calamari was not.
Small Portions - Big PriceMy husband ordered the lamb kebob, which did not specify how many kebobs came with the meal, but for $22.00 we expected that there would be at least two. He was extremely irritated to find that there was only one kebob on a bed of rice, and there were only five or six chunks of meat on it, and the bulk of it was vegetables.
Generally we don't judge the price of a meal based off of quantity, however the food quality wasn't good enough to warrant such high prices. The lamb was chewy and the bed of rice was quite bland. This dish was definitely over-priced.
'Good Enough'.I ordered the gyro platter since I was craving something with tzatziki sauce on it and was thankful to see that (unlike my husband) I was given enough food to account for the $18 cost. (I would have been plenty upset if I'd only received one pita for that price!)
Unfortunately, I can only count the gyro as 'good enough'. Compared to my husband's meal, the gyro platter was a windfall, but it wasn't anything amazing. It was average, and to be honest I think the quality at Gyroville in Plantation (where I can get the same thing for about half the cost) is better.
Worst part?No, the worst part wasn't the food or the prices. At the end of our meal, our waiter took the check (we actually left him a rather nice tip since we didn't think he had much work that night) and he opened it to see what we'd left him (right in front of us) before he wished us a good evening and walked away!
I understand that times might be hard, and I know that plenty of servers worry about their tips - but please! - have the courtesy to at least tell us good night and leave our table first. That sort of rudeness is the kind of thing I expect from a teen on his first wait job - but not a grown man in a classy restaurant! The fact that he checked to see what kind of tippers we were (after a meal we felt we overpaid for) just added insult to injury.
Best part?The best part was the bread. It was good. The hummus was delicious, the bread was nice and crisp... as far as food quality goes, this was the tastiest item we sampled that night.
Bottom line?The menu needs a serious revamping. I think with higher food quality (and perhaps bigger portion size on a few of the items) the price points would be just fine. As things stand now though, we won't be going back.
Have you eaten at this restaurant? What did you think?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post and, as always, my opinions are purely my own.