Monday, December 24, 2007

ITHAKI: An Island of Culinary Delight in a Sea of Fried Haddock on Boston’s North Shore

Next time you are north of Boston, treat yourself to a fantastic Greek meal at Ithaki in Ipswich, Mass. We feel very lucky to live in an area with so much great seafood, and yes, fried haddock, but we feel most fortunate to have an authentic Greek restaurant in our area. Dining there really is almost like a mini-vacation to the Greek Isles. Ithaki prides itself on using the freshest organic and local ingredients. To paraphrase my grandmother: Good ingredients make good food.

I’ve never been a lamb fan but Ithaki does it so well that I’ve changed my tune. Its never gamey (mutton) and always fresh and well prepared. I’m not positive but, I think they may make their own yogurt as well. I’ve had good Greek yogurt but, the yogurt they use in their tzatziki and other sauces is a cut above.

We’ve had a few good Greek wines at Ithaki. Most recently a dry red: Katogi Averoff Agiorgitiko which comes from the Nemea growing area where they cultivate Agiorgitiko grapes on an altitude of 250-800m to the southeast of Corinth.

I didn’t take any tasting notes but, found it somewhat similar to a merlot with a mellow almost brandy-like nose. It went very well with the lamb gyro we ordered for lunch.

We’ve never been disappointed at Ithaki: Even when it is not perfect, it’s still fantastic.