by Steven Doyle
Since 1994 Ziziki’s located on Travis has been a suitor for romantic evenings, fine wines and delicious Mediterranean food. It has been cause for affection on first dates then and continues its tradition with cozy tables set in dim lights and subtle service.
Plates filled with Greek favorites entice couples in a space carved out with soft, breezy music languidly filling the crisp Spring air on the patio. Lovely plates of artichoke hummus and a spicy hipiti entice. Panko crusted goat cheese disks lay smiles on faces seen from across its room. Keftedes, Greek lamb meatballs served with a plum tomato sauce, raise a symphony of tidings, and guests are pleased.
Ziziki’s has served me well over the years. It is my original wing man. Few restaurants have that distinction for romance.
For a first date I have always gone with the Greek salad topped with Australian leg of lamb. It is light enough to allow for a playful evening, but filling enough to give strength.
Delicate yet hearty skewers are also an excellent choice for an amorous evening. They give the impression of exotic, and are easily maneuvered on the plate with a large variety to please any palate including lamb, salmon, shrimp, ahi tuna and vegetable. These also play nicely as a shared plate.
For larger evenings and celebrations I suggest the perfectly roasted and sauced rack of lamb, the eggplant and lamb mousaka, delicate sea bass or even the beautifully layered Pistichio, a Greek lasagna if you will with layers of lamb, pasta, bechemel and tomato sauces.
The wine list has familiar choices and a good amount of Greek juice to choose from, and the staff is handy with suggestions that are spot on. Cocktails are not an after thought, either.
Go to Ziziki’s for the romance, but stay for some incredible dining that has been waiting for almost a quarter century.