Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's Greek to me

Today I finally have the time to share Nea Genia with you. It is a Greek restaurant in Ixelles, and I thought I knew how to pronounce the name until I called to make a reservation (that G disappears somewhere in the back of your throat). Pronouncable or not, they offer up a ton of tasty vegetarian options in a cozy setting.

I first went to Nea Genia several years ago. As much as I enjoyed it, Gidon contended it was overpriced and I haven't been able to drag him back since. But while he was out of town, I snuck out for a girls night. Not only could we enjoy these Greek delicacies, but we got to try out my friend's new RestoPass. This was a tremendous discovery that I may need to invest in - a "passport" giving you a 30% discount (drinks excluded, we discovered) at 30 survey-selected restaurants. Fantabulous.Link

As was the food. Melty, spicy feta... huge beans in a tomato stew... greek salad... aubergines with garlic... tzatziki to die for. Sadly their vine leaves were stuffed with meat, so instead we splashed out with the two biggest sardines I have ever seen. The meal is tapas-style, served with lots of bread, and they suggested three dishes per person. We probably could have gone with five dishes between the two of us, but you won't hear me complaining. And there's plenty more to choose from so I look forward to a totally different meal the next time I'm there.

The candlelit interior is comfortable and chic - and the servers are helpful. Our waiter realized we were eating vegetarian and volunteered the information about the vine leaves (1 point!), and no one kicked us out when we lingered over the meal for three hours, past their closing time (another point!). Also they were just plain friendly.

Now, as to the overpriced question: this is not the cheapest meal in town. But we did leave full and happy, so although it may be a bit on the pricey side, it's not enough keep me away (now I just need to convince Gidon...).

Nea Genia
Chaussée de Waterloo 437
1050 Ixelles
Tel. 02.344.58.76

Closed Sundays, and lunchtime


Marina said...

Hi, glad you liked it, I've heard it was good as well, but never been there so far.

Actually the word "genia" is pronounced "yenia" (y sounding like in "yes").

As for the stuffed vine leaves, normally you can find them stuffed with meat and rice (more a tradition in the north of Greece) or just with rice (in the south).

If you like greek food, I would suggest the "Ellinikon" in rue des Celtes, close to Merode metro station. Food very close to what you would find in Greece tastewise and reasonable prices.

Sharon said...

Thanks for the tips, Marina - both on the pronounciation, and for another Greek restaurant to try! I've added Ellinikon to my list and you'll see it posted here one of these days.

N said...

Thanks for this review - we've been undecided about trying this restaurant out or not, but we now sure will (with a restopass of course :-)

Sharon said...

Cool - if you think of it, let us know whether you like it!