My father opted to go out for dinner on my birthday and of course I had to choose a restaurant for this occasion. I figured I wanted to eat at a Greek restaurant at a nice location, so the first one that popped into my mind was Elleniko in the Markthal. I walked by a couple of times before and it looked so nice that I really wanted to try the food here. So off we went to the Markthal. If you make a reservation for dinner at Elleniko, you are being seated in the upstairs area, as they offer the restaurant menu there. In the downstairs area they serve a streetfood menu, which is more suited for a quick lunch or a break.
What was striking immediately was that most of the waiters barely speak Dutch as they really came from Green to work here. For me this added to the idea that the food was authentic Greek food that was not adapted to what the Dutch like. They do speak and understand English quite well though, so there is a way to communicate although we did have some misunderstandings (which were very funny by the way). From the restaurant you can see the Hoogstraat on one side and into the Markthal on the other side, which is where we were seated The interior is just a traditional as you would expect from a Greek restaurant: white walls with blue accents and wooden tables and chairs.
The same goes for the menu, it all fits in to Greek traditional food. My mom and I chose the Elleniko Deluxe: a menu with a set starter, main course and dessert. My brother and father chose separate dishes from the menu. For the Elleniko Deluxe, we got a variety of warm and cold mezedes, like dolmades, calamaris, zucchini burgers and multiple vegetables dips like tzatziki. Every single item from the starter was delicious! My personal favorites being the calamaris and the zucchini burgers. The warm components truely warm as well.
For the main course we got a variety of meat and fish from the grill, which turned out to be a piece of pork tenderloin, a steak, salmon filet and flounder filet. The pieces were quite large! Every single item was cooked perfectly: the salmon and flounder were still a bit soft, but definetely not underdone. They could have used some more pepper and salt i my opinion. Both of the pieces of meat were very tender and juicy. Especially the pork tenderloin was seasoned with a very nice herb mixture. Again, I loved it all and I ate as much of it as I could because it was so nice! I didn’t eat too much of the side dishes: fries and a salad with balsamic vinegar, but they were both full of flavor as well.
While the waiter was serving our plates with the main course, he accidentally tipped over my fathers’ plate, so all of his food flew over the table. The waiter handled it very well by cleaning it up quickly and making sure my father got a new plate within minutes. And we had quite a laugh about the situation, as it is an old Greek tradition to break plates after dinner (not before though) so we joked about this being part of the real Greek experience.
Our dessert was just what I had hoped for: Baklava with icecream and fresh fruit. Baklava was on my Food Bucket list, so this was another thing I could check off (I must say I am doing well, with 10 out of 53 items completed). The baklava was super sweet because of the honey but as I am not afraid of anything sweet I really liked. The icecream and fruit were just fine.
After dinner we had some tea and some Ouzo from the house. I don’t drink alcohol usually, but I figured I needed to try this. Man! The 40% alcohol in it nearly burned away my intestines! I did taste the anice a little bit though.
Elleniko with great food, great service and a great view into the Markthal. I definetely recommend this restaurant if you want to go out for a Greek dinner in Rotterdam!