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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Food Review: Elia: Modern Greek Cuisine in Downtown Pleasanton

A+beautiful+array+of+flowers+and+leaves+greets+you+at+Elia.+
Jerry Liu
A beautiful array of flowers and leaves greets you at Elia.

At the edge of downtown, a classy Greek restaurant stands out from the rest of the shops. Just from the outside, the beautiful flower garden is enough to make you want to take a photoshoot. And on the inside, something special–an experience at Elia–awaits you.

Ambiance

The ambiance and decor of Elia are to behold. Upon entering, you are greeted by a beautiful collection of leaves and flowers. Inside the restaurant, it is warm and cozy, and conversation fills the room. A Christmas tree stands in the corner, providing a festive mood.

Along with the ambiance, the service is impeccable – a coat rack, lamp, and complimentary bread make the experience all the more spectacular.

Food

Elia’s dinner menu offers 18 mezethes (appetizers), 5 soups and salads, and 10 kirio platos (entrees), showcasing a wide array of traditional Greek cuisine.

From the appetizers, the Saganaki ($18) offers a lively and tasty start to the meal. The waiters light the creamy kefalotiri cheese on fire in front of customers, drawing eyes from around the restaurant. The taste is just as incredible as the presentation: the inside is rich and creamy while the golden outside is crunchy and slightly bitter.

The Moussaka ($29) is a great choice from the entrees. A subtle eggplant layer complements and adds complexity to the perfectly seasoned layer of lamb and beef. The top layer of potatoes is incredibly light and creamy, like biting into a cloud. The sweetness of the tomato béchamel sauce balances everything out. The Moussaka is one of the cheaper entree options, but it certainly did not disappoint and will satisfy any hungry stomach.

On the more expensive side, another entree option is the Filet Mignon Souvlaki ($43). The steak comes on a skewer, and it is juicy, tender, and well-seasoned. The sides, however, are slightly underwhelming: the grilled polenta has a rustic flavor but is a bit bland, and the green beans are plain. The steak unquestionably delivered for the price; however, the overall dish could benefit from additional unique and flavorful sides.

Finally, you can’t leave Elia without getting a dessert. The Sokolatina ($14) is a fantastic option! The chocolate lava cake is perfectly cooked, with a hardened exterior and a gooey, fudgy interior. The vanilla ice cream is cold and creamy, contrasting the warm cake. Even the small details, like the sprinkled pistachios, add depth and texture to the dish.

Overall Review

Elia is certainly worth returning for, especially for special occasions with friends and family. With its decor and ambiance, from an outdoor flower garden to a cozy modern interior, just coming to Elia is a treat of its own. In addition, its modern Greek Mediterranean flare is deliciously unique.

With all of this, it is understandable that Elia is on the pricier side. So if the high prices ever turn you away, just remember: you aren’t just paying for the food, you’re paying for an experience. From flaming cheese to celebrating over a lava cake, an experience at Elia is priceless.

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  • The Saganaki appetizer comes with a lively and fiery presentation.

  • With its unique, nostalgic taste, the Saganaki is the perfect appetizer.

  • With a delicious layer of eggplant, lamb, and beef–topped with creamy potatoes–the Moussaka is a delicious and fulfilling entree option.

  • Although on the pricier side, the Filet Mignon Souvlaki is delicious and keeps in touch with the Mediterranean flare of the restaurant.

  • The Sokolatina–with its melty lava cake and creamy ice cream–is a delicious dessert and a must-have at Elia.

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