Dining at the lively, casual Etsi – meaning “this way” or “comme ça” in Greek – makes you feel as though you are attending a big Greek family event. The owner enthusiastically announces the menu to assembled diners, explaining each item on the dining room’s blackboard. Diners respond loudly, drinks and wine are poured happily, and the small plates turned out of the tiny kitchen by chef Mikaela Liaroutsos just keep coming and coming. The 35€ evening menu is a veritable bargain, and, depending on the day, may include their homemade tarama; tiny, crispy spinach-filled spanakopitakia puff pastry pies; giant kolokithokeftedes, or fried zucchini balls served with tzatziki: and grilled octopus on a bed of fava beans and capers. The chef could have been bolder with her seasoning, but we had a wonderful time nonetheless. I was not expecting to fall in love with their desserts, but we literally devoured their giant, bright-flavored lemon tart, as well as the fudgy chocolate creation, adorned with a mix of berries. The wine list offers some Greek treasures, including the fresh, smooth and tannic red, Xinomavro Nature from Domaine Thymiopolous. And for those who prefer something a bit stronger, do try the Athens 42, a peppy, delicious marriage of the pine-like liqueur masticha, gin, and green Chartreuse, topped with vibrant, freshly zested lime.
Etsi | 23-25 Rue Eugène-Carrière | Paris 18 | Tel: +33 1 71 50 00 80 | Métro: Lamarck-Caulaincourt | Open Tuesday to Friday dinner only 7.30pm-midnight, Saturday 12.30-2.30pm & 7.30pm-midnight, Sunday noon-3pm. Closed Sunday dinner, all day Monday, and lunch Tuesday-Friday | Lunch + dinner: shared mezzes 6-9€, evening menu 35€ | Reservations recommended | Atmosphere casual.
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