Name: Timothy Moffat
Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Lives In: Delray Beach
Restaurant Pick: Death or Glory Bar
Reviewed: Death or Glory Bar
The food was expertly cooked; the atmosphere was what I expected and the vibe is European in that the experience shouldn’t be rushed. This place wouldn’t be great for grandparents or old people, but if you have ever enjoyed a stay in the Greek Islands, this place will take you back to your ouzo sipping days in Santorini. Parking is valet, which was fine. The restaurant is located on Hollywood beach; a place I consider an anomaly in general for its old Florida locals only feel that bumps up against the tourism of the region. Taverna Opa is no exception, Hollywood beach might be the most appropriate place for this restaurant as the vibe lends itself to this place that feels a bit out of time. We were promptly seated and I noticed that the restaurant is 360 degrees windows, which adds to the ambiance of the Mediterranean feel. There was a belly dancer in the mostly empty restaurant doing her best to entice the sparsely filled place to join her. Our server was a nice gentleman from Brazil who made some very good suggestions. He promptly brought over waters and Hummus and bread for the table. The Hummus comes in a mortar with a pestle and properly seasoned chick peas for the diners to grind into their perfect subsistence of Hummus; it was delicious! We ordered a bottle of the Kretikos red table wine with no expectations to take our taste buds on an adventure; the wine did not disappoint! The Spanakopita was hot, fresh and flaky when it came out, not a huge portion, but perfect for two as an appetizer. We then ordered the octopus appetizer and the roasted lamb with vegetables and roasted potatoes. By this point a group of older women came in and the atmosphere began to shift to more of a party vibe, as the restaurant had been a little quieter beforehand. The ladies proceeded to drink ouzo and dance on the table with the belly dancer, it was very entertaining. When our food showed up the portion of roasted lamb was huge and very shareable! The vegetables consisted of green beans, peppers and squash and were seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme; they were roasted to the point of having a snap, while not being overdone. The potatoes were cut long ways and roasted with salt and pepper, again cooked to a perfect golden brown, but not mushy…the lamb was perfect! It had thyme, lemon and a gravy I’m assuming was rendered from its own juices; tender, flaky and delicious. It was my intention to stop eating before I over indulged and subsequently hated myself while rolling towards the exits; I failed, it was that good. The octopus was grilled, which is generally very nice, however the portion was sliced into such tiny slivers it was hard to tell if it was octopus at all, which is a shame because I adore octopus. The service is friendly, but it falls into the category of very laid back, which is appropriate for the European feel of the restaurant. I can see how that might be annoying for many people who aren’t used to this sort of service, it didn’t bother me at all. The décor inside the restaurant is a convincing take on the Greek islands. White and blue tinged bricks with a beach swept, worn away feel are very convincing with the back drop of Mediterranean beach vistas that pepper the walls in the bar. Overall, my experience with Taverna Opa was pleasant and positive, I would recommend it to folks who like a nicely paced night out with friends where the purpose of the evening is to drink good wine, snack on fantastic food and have fun.
Name: Kathrine FitzGerald
Occupation: Social Media Consultant/ Food Blogger
Lives In: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Fresh Florida Fisheries
Reviewed: Death or Glory Bar
Taverna Opa has a superb location central to the beach area of Hollywood with great views and Greek decor that easily transport you to an enjoyable setting. Their widely varied menu makes it a notable restaurant for large groups or special occasions! I was looking forward to experiencing some delicious Greek fare when I arrived at Taverna Opa. My boyfriend and I promptly handed our keys to the valet which is required to dine here. I’m unsure if there is a parking lot easily accessible nearby which is a slight hassle that soon melted away once we entered the restaurant. We were instructed to choose a table of our liking so I made my way inside towards a table alone the windows featuring a view looking out on the water where sailboats were anchored and the sun setting. Immediately being handed menus, I glanced over them quickly as our waiter introduced himself and began to mash (mortar and pestle style) chickpeas before us. The fresh hummus was delicious served with mini loaves of bread that immediately kick started our meal and gave us something to chew on as we took our timing reviewing their large menu. My boyfriend immediately wanted to order his favorite, Spanakopita, which came out immediately. Definitely one of the more beautiful pieces I’ve ever eaten. their Spanakopita came with two large pieces (perfect for sharing) and had the crust was cooked well as it did not fall apart or have any cracks. I would have preferred more feta within it but I know that this is my personal preference---the flavor profile being all there. Next as an appetizer I chose their Eggplant dish wish included soft feta, onions, and pine nuts in a tomato based sauce all cooked and served in a hot skillet. I really enjoyed this vegetarian appetizer but did need to order pita to eat it with. I liked that they used long strips of eggplant that kept its form while cooking vs. it being mashed. I enjoyed a rum and coke with my meal which turned out to be two since during their happy hour it is 2x1. For an entree we decided to share the grilled calamari since we were already filling up on our appetizers that came in comparably large portions to other restaurants. The grilled calamari was most definitely the star of my meal. Overcooking calamari causes it to become chewy----this squid melted in my mouth and was cooked perfectly. Served over a bed of chopped romaine and tomato, the lemon marinade gave the dish a nice lift! I will most definitely be looking forward to returning for more seafood and was sorry that I was unable to try more of their seafood options that I now assume must be phenomenal since my calamari was cooked with suck integrity. We ended our meal with some baklava which was my least favorite item of the meal. It was layered over too much honey which made the bottom of the pastry soggy and much too sweet for my liking. I did appreciate the cinnamon on top but probably would skip on dessert the next time I was here. Our attentive server was very nice though and kept us entertained with friendly conversation. When leaving I did notice how empty the location was which was opposite to what I had heard of this restaurant so I was very glad that I came at a time in which I could enjoy looking over the sunset while sharing a wonderful meal with my other.
Name: Wendy Abdulmesih
Occupation: Food Blogger
Lives In: Hollywood
Restaurant Pick: Taverna Opa
Reviewed: Death or Glory Bar
This dinner was one of the best dining experience I had with my daughter. A place with great food, awesome decoration, and welcoming service, plus entertainment. Parking was easy and affordable in here, Valet for only $4.00. We were greeted by a nice lady at the entrance and she let me choose the table we wanted. Of course, I chose one next to the window so I can enjoy the beautiful view during my time there. The whole staff in here were very friendly and ready to help us. They brought chickpeas in a wooden container and our waiter crushed it in front of us and made the hummus dip. I got Mastikha Martini and it was sensational, it didn’t have ice but it was cold. I felt that I was drinking not one but two drinks. The flavor was so fresh and if it wasn't enough the bartender added orange in it. At 7:30 pm the belly dancer came out and started dancing in the tables with a couple of little girls by then my daughter and I had started with our entree that in this case was the dip platter. This plate had fish eggs, dip, the tzatziki dip, the eggplant dip, and the red peppers dip. OMG, this was so good. The flavors were outstanding and the texture was just right. I enjoyed it along with the Greek Pita Grilled bread they brought us with it. This plate also had stuffed grape leaves, and the Greeks make it with rice and some Greek seasoning. We finished our plate and loved it. Then we started dancing and we did this for a long time. My daughter and I had a blast and even danced on the tables!! To finish the night we had a Galaktoboureko, this Greek pastry it's a dessert that has a creamy cheese filling. The flavor was even better than the appealing and tempting look. We kept on dancing after this until we couldn’t do it anymore. The price, service, ambiance and food quality was perfect for a fun night!
Location: 410 N Ocean Dr. Hollywood, FL 33019
Type of Cuisine: Greek/ Mediterranean
Meals Served: Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations for Children: Yes