Thursday, October 4, 2012


OK, here are a couple of words you don't often hear together. Greek Cuisine!

Yeah, maybe you know a few places in your area that serve some gyros, or Greek salads.  Maybe, some spanokapita.

But Greek cuisine?

Well, a few weeks back, Dick and I decided to check out some real Greek cuisine.  Albeit with a Disney twist.

The impetus of all this was an email from the Buena Vista Palace resort in Downtown Disney promoting a $79 dollar a night special fall discount rate.  Considering I had stayed at that same resort previously for several trade shows at twice that amount, it really sounded like a bargain.  So Dick and I jumped at the chance for a change in scenery,

The next decision was, where to eat?

Both Dick and I and had on several occasions discussed dining at Cat Cora's Orlando restaurant in the past.  For those of you who may not be familiar, Cat Cora is a celebrity chef who has not only competed (and won) in Iron Chef competitions on the Food Network, but who has also gained a reputation for successfully combining the flavors of her Louisiana upbringing with her Greek heritage.  No small feat.  

Add to that the fact that she is not only a renowned female chef, but also a renowned lesbian chef.  And darn attractive and telegenic to boot.  A combination that is both formidable and laudable in what is still, for the most part, a male dominated field.

Needless to say, both Dick and I arrived with a great deal of anticipation for her Kouzinna restaurant.

Kouzinna means "kitchen" in Greek (think cocina or cucina in Spanish or Italian, respectively.)  The restaurant is nicely ensconced in the Boardwalk area next to the Epcot resort area.  The decor is very casual, and evokes the atmosphere of  a Greek or Turkish taverna.

The menu is heavy on the Greek influences, with only a smattering of the LA bayous.  And all is done with flair.

Dick decided to order the fish stew (a Greek version of bouillabaise.)  For my part, I ordered the sampler (pastitsio, lamb sliders, and a chicken stew.)  The fish stew was excellent, redolent with the aromas of well prepared fish stock and perfectly cooked seafood.  No rubbery shrimp or overcooked scallops, here.  All was expertly prepared in what was, to be honest, a simple recipe that all too often many restaurants screw up.

My sampler was great.  The pastitsio may have been a bit heavy on the bechamel (not so much a crime in my book), and the sliders may have been a tad too spicy (a bit of Cajun exuberance, perhaps?), but all was forgiven with the chicken stew.  Who knew that cinnamon, with a judicious hand, could have provided such a sublime result?  

A bit of Greek wine, a shared baklava, and a final douse of chilled ouzo capped off the evening.

All in all, it was a great evening in a comfortable, welcoming environment.  Disney has a LOT of great dining options (and a lot of crappy ones, let's be real here), but anyone who happens to be at the resort and is looking for something not too expensive, casual, and above all, different (i.e. Greek cuisine), give Kouzinna a chance.  

As Dick would say, "That's all I'm saying..."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good job Frank. You maka me hungry!!! Maybe here is yet another career opportunity...Food Critic. Or Frank and Summer could go into writing together.
Hope all is well. If we don't talk have a good weekend.