Amongst a few chefs in the open kitchen, I could see the owner, a Greek man, Vasili Karagiannopoulos, overseeing the operation and cooking like mad. I think the rest of the crew were his family. Check out the funky interior. Perfect, right?
I could not stop eating a thick, creamy, garlicky creation called Skorthalia, which was just one of several crazy delicious things on the appetizer platter. In Greek cuisine, Skorthalia is made primarily with garlic and potato (though there are many variations), and is a used as a dip, a sauce or spread — and it has made its way to the top of my favorite foods list (the savory favorite foods list, that is.)
I did my best to recreate here what I tasted at the Greek Authentic Cuisine — it’s pretty close, but I would love to chat with Vasili to hear exactly how he makes it. (Next visit.)
- ¾-pound Idaho Russet potatoes (about 1 small potato)
- About 8 garlic cloves, peeled with stems removed (about ⅓ cup)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt to taste (Here's How to Season to Taste)
- Peel the potato and cut it into large chunks.
- Add the potato chunks and garlic cloves to a pot with enough cold water to cover everything by about an inch. Bring to a boil, reduce to a strong simmer and cook until a fork can easily slide in out out of the potatoes, about 7 minutes.
- Pour the potatoes and garlic into a fine mesh strainer and drain the water over the sink. Then place the strainer over a deep bowl, and use the back of a large metal spoon to press the soft potatoes and garlic through the strainer. (If you have a ricer, that's perfect to use, too.) You'll have a mixture that looks as though it's on it's way to being mashed potatoes.
- Add the oil and vinegar and mix just to blend. Season to taste with sea salt. (Here's how.)
- Serve at room temperature with pita chips, bread, meat, or whatever you desire.
1st restaurant photo credit: John Kenney – 2nd restaurant photo credit: Urban Spoon