Local restaurants offer fresh international cuisine

Evvia

If you are feeling a little tired of the same old restaurants, you’re probably looking for a fresh new bite to eat, so treat yourself to a nice meal at Evvia Estiatorio, located on 420 Emerson St. But remember, Evvia requires a reservation, which may take weeks or months of waiting. Also, be prepared to spend a lot of money as entées range from $15 to $25. In general, Evvia is a place suited for special occasions and not meant for a casual meal.

Evvia is a Greek restaurant that prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients from California and the Mediterranean. In addition, Evvia does not look like the typical fine dining restaurant; it’s small and has a cozy atmosphere. The service is also excellent; in fact almost every question I had about each dish was answered. I started off with the Spanakotiropita, one of the most
popular appetizers. Spanakotiropita is phyllo dough (super thin sheets of flour dough) stuffed with braised greens, feta cheese and herbs. To my surprise it was perfectly balanced, neither too cheesy nor doughy, and every bite was delicate and extremely tasty.

For the main dish, I had the Kolokithokeftethes, which are zucchini cakes with cucumber and mint yogurt. Although I was slightly daunted by the name, I was thoroughly impressed with the dish. It was perfectly crispy and not overdone, and after I finished, I did not feel overfull. The portion sizes are relatively decent, but they ended up being slightly smaller than I expected. Overall, Evvia definitely surpassed my expectations as there were no major flaws with the food, service and ambience.

—Compiled by Zoe Weisner

Bistro

Tucked on a small street off of University Ave., Bistro Maxine transports patrons to the streets of Paris as they enjoy a delicious crepe replete with a bowl of hot chocolate. Unlike its much larger, flashier cousin, Crepevine, Bistro Maxine offers a much cozier environment, using batter mix from France and featuring bistro type tables and chairs imported from France as well.

Stepping into the small shop, patrons are immediately struck by the tiny size of the café, as well as the open kitchen, which allows diners to watch the chef makes their crepes. Of course, patrons are also welcome to sit outside, which evokes the feeling of outdoor cafés in Europe. The servers are friendly and attentive, giving it a warm atmosphere. Signs with the words “Please no laptops” located on each table kindly remind patrons that cafés are for conversation and food—not work and electronics, as is commonly the case in other cafes along University Ave.

Of course, this quaint atmosphere is perfectly complemented by the delicious food and refreshments that the shop offers. The café gives patrons a chance to brush up on their French, as all the items, from crepes to alcoholic beverages, on the menu are written in French with English descriptions of the items on the side.

Unable to decide upon which of the many options I would try, I opted to split both a sweet and a savory crepe with my friend. The savory crepe, Forestière, nicely balanced the ham, mushroom, cheese and egg with the perfectly thin and golden-brown crepe. On the other hand, the banana nutella crepe we got provided a delicious blast of sweetness to round out the meal. Served with a side of homemade whipped cream that was light and fluffy, the sweet crepe turned out to be my favorite part of the meal.
With its cozy atmosphere and delicious crepes, Bistro Maxine is the perfect place to stop by and grab a morning brunch, or to catch up with an old friend. And really—is there ever a bad time for Nutella and crepes?

—Compiled by Jean Wang

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