If you've been waiting for a new Restaurant on Las Olas that isn't Italian, French or a steakhouse, your wait is over. The best Greek food on the beach has opened a chic new restaurant in the space previously occupied by Teal Bistro Americana. Teal's demise is owner-chef Jimmy `The Greek'' Tsiakanikas' gain. Teals somewhat gaudy decor mostly remains, with a few pictures of greece replacing the previous artwork the only obvious change. Tsiakanikas is no stranger to running a full scale restaurant, as he's a former partner in Taverna Opa and also owns the highly acclaimed Mythos Greek Taverna in Coral Springs. While Mythos refers to the word "Myth", Trata is a greek dance. So we expect Trata to be a lot of fun.
Their lunch menu is similar to the offerings at their old Greek Express location on Fort Lauderdale Beach (which they've since sold), with salads, Gyros and Pitas dominating the menu. Sandwiches are served with fries, so you'll pay a bit more here ($9.50). I sampled a lamb mini kabob pita which was stuffed with ripe tomatoes, lettuce, just the right amount of onions and delicious charbroiled lamb chunks. Served with Tzatziki, it just couldn't be better. If you could get it without the fries it would be perfect.
Their extensive dinner menu sports 18 appetizers, half cold and half hot, which can serve as tapas that can be ordered late afternoon, happy hour or late night. Mussels, greek-style chicken wings, Olives, Shrimp, and fresh and breaded calimari are among the choices. The menu includes Saganaki (shrimp, scallops, mussels or feta cheese prepared in a small pan), and 9 seafood entrees and 9 meat entries. The menu is so different from anything else on Las Olas, this place is sure to do well as a nice change of pace from Steak and Italian. Craving baby quails with a drizzle of olive oil vinegrette? This is the place.
One Saganaki item, the Garides Saganaki, is billed as "colossus shrimp baked with fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, fresh herbs and olive oil".
First of all, there is no such thing as "colossus" shrimp; it can only be assumed that they mean Colossal Shrimp, which are larger than the shrimp here. My feeling is that $14. is way too much for 3 jumbo shrimp in tomato sauce. I also tried the chicken wings, one of the available "bar items" which you can order after hours. For $6.95 you get 5 grilled wings with a lemony sauce.
The wings are fall off the bone tender and very good; its unfortunate that the portion is so small. I would have rather paid $9.95 for a dozen of them. The wings are served with their version of tirokafteri, which, if authentic, is made with Anthotiro or Ricotta cheese and chili peppers; Trata's version, I suspect, is cottage cheese and Srirachi sauce and is wholly uninspiring.
We don't give low ratings for high prices here, but for 3 shrimp and 5 chicken wings and a club soda the bill came to $30 with tip. It seems like a lot for what I got. As good as the food is; I'm not coming in here for appetizers. Its just too expensive.
They have a late night "bar" menu, but if you're looking for a late night souvlaki or Gyro you can forget it. I understand that they don't want to be viewed as a fast food place. But we could really use a little of the Greek Express on Las Olas as well. Also, if there was ever a place that needed a cute chica either as a hostess or bartender; this is the place. They're just not going to get the businessman from the hotels coming in here with Jimmy (an older gentleman) as hostess, a pretty boy bartender and an all-male wait staff.