Wednesday, October 10, 2007
My roommate, who is a going out to eat afficianado, first took me to Dimitri's for my birthday a few years ago. It is, hands down, the best Mediterranean seafood restaurant in the city. Dimitri's recently opened up a second restaurant location at 23rd and Pine. The newer Dimitri's is larger, has a bar, and accepts credit cards, while the originial location on 3rd and Catherine in Queen's Village is a tiny, cash-only BYOB. My mother was in town recently, and in the whirlwind of showing off my favorite places in the city, we headed to the original Dimitri's location in Queen's Village.
I simply can't eat a meal at Dimitri's without ordering their hummus. It's super creamy, with lots of garlic and garnished with olives, paprika, and parsely. Scooping the hummus onto char-grilled pita bread triangles and washing it down with a glass of red wine is a heavenly experience.
We also ordered a small plate of feta cheese and an assortment of olives. My mother swears she doesn't like olives, but I convinced her to try at least one of each we were served. The feta is plated in 2-inch cubes alongside the olives, which I love, as some of the olive brine gets soaked up by the feta, turning it's already salty character a even more complex.
Grilled scallops were perfectly cooked and served in a very generous portion along with rice, sauteed escarole and lemon wedges.
Squid was cut into fun triangle shapes and charred to perfection in Dimitri's open kitchen. This squid held no resemblance to the often chewy and batter-laden calamari served on menus around the city.
The grilled lamb was a first for me on this visit, and the only non-seafood item on Dimitri's menu. The lamb was sliced and grilled quickly as to remain medium rare and juicy and served with grilled vegetables and cucumber dill sauce.
Since you can bring your own wine or beer to the location in Queen's Village, Dimitri's is an affordable way to sample some expertly cook fresh seafood. Two appetizer plates and three large entrees came to $60 before tip. Large plates are also very large. I'd been on a small fast all day to save room for the dinner I knew I was going to love, but I still had to ask for half a dozen of my scallops to be wrapped up for lunch the next day.
795 South 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Cash Only, BYOB, No Reservations