BITE-SIZED

IT'S GREEK TO ME

Taverna Yamas’ authentic Greek fare is a treat every night

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Last Wednesday, Taverna Yamas hosted Folio Weekly Magazine’s April Bite Club and all Biters agree — it’s a great place to gather with a large group of people!

Taverna Yamas took us on a tour of the menu with a family-style meal, which includes enough courses to feed a small army, and satisfy your Ya-Ya. I mean it. These meals at Taverna are serious business, and not to be taken lightly! They feature minimum of four courses, ranging from appetizer platters to the famous Greek flaming cheese dish, saganaki. Pricing starts at $30 per person, and you need a minimum party of four to order even the smallest family-style meals.

If this option seems a little much for your table, there’s a similar sampling effect for lunch or dinner; order the cold mezze and the hot mezze sampler.

The cold mezze sampler ($16) is what I’d happily eat any day. With a heaping portion of tabbouleh, and just the right amount of housemade hummus, baba ghanoush, tzatsiki dotted with kalamata olives, and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) along with a plate of warm pita, it’s a satisfying and complete meal.

The hot mezze sampler ($22) includes a ridiculous amount of tender, flavorful meat like lamb ribs, fried calamari, keftes (lamb meatballs), traditional yamas lemon pepper chicken wings and two spanakopita (spinach pies).

All week long, there are drink and hookah specials, which you can experience in a separate Hookah Lounge. Our Bite Club was on Wednesday, which is Martini Night, aka $4 martinis from open to close. The attentive staff does quite a good job with the drink specials every day, featuring happy hour pricing on certain drinks and menu items 3-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3-6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Fridays and Saturdays are two of the most exciting nights at Taverna Yamas — when a DJ spins and belly dancers … well … also spin. Lucky for Bite Clubbers, they pulled out all the stops for our weeknight event by having one of the talented belly dancers entertain the crowd. When it comes to the dancing, diner participation is practically required. It’s also the perfect way to make room for some more food. Don’t worry, we were assured that the tables are strong enough to withstand dancing patrons — and you can bet we tested them.

For dessert, we loved traditional Greek desserts like housemade baklava ($6) drenched in cinnamon, cloves and honey, and creamy custard ekmek ($6). If you prefer more standard dessert fare like chocolate cake ($6) or crème brûlée ($8), they’ve got you covered, but we highly recommend you chose one of their Greek specialties.

The menu creators at Taverna Yamas try to be as authentic as possible. Based on guests’ interests, they’ve introduced a few general Mediterranean items like tabbouleh — and after tasting that and much more, though, we’re sure Ya-Ya would approve.

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