Raise the Bar: Santorini Estiatorio is a welcome addition to Greektown

Santorini Estiatorio

501 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-962-9366; santorinidetroit.com

Open: 11 a.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Sunday

Despite having an entire district named Greektown, Detroit's Greek options are surprisingly limited. Yes, you can get flaming cheese just about anywhere (including plenty of Coney Islands), but finding a place that serves upscale Greek cuisine paired with traditional wines is hard. Do you also want to enjoy said food and drink in a contemporary atmosphere with a Mediterranean feel? Well, you can pretty much forget about it.

OK, there is this one place. Santorini Estiatorio is owned and operated by the same family that runs Pegasus on the same strip. Santorini is just a couple years old now, but it's quickly proven that it's a much-needed addition to Monroe Avenue's offerings.

So, what makes this place unique? For starters, you won't be getting the normal, "Opa!" with your saganaki here. Their version of the dish is pan-fried feta cheese wrapped in phyllo dough and topped with Greek honey and sesame seeds. It might sound strange, but the saltiness of the feta mixes with the sweetness of the Greek honey for a fantastic, slightly unexpected flavor and texture. They also serve Greek pizza, which comes topped with Gouda, mozzarella, beef Bolognese, and a fried egg. See what we mean about this not being your typical Greektown restaurant?

Santorini also carries a plethora of Greek wines, and their staff is well-trained in pairing. Their Greek reds and whites are available by the glass or the bottle and plenty are in a reasonable price range.

If you're not a fan of Greek wine (don't worry, you're not alone), Santorini has a full list of world wines including champagnes, chardonnays, rieslings, merlot, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, and more. We spotted Cakebread on their list along with Duckhorn, and an impressively expensive bottle of Joseph Phelps' Insignia. With some wines available for as little as $6 by the glass, that's part of the appeal of this place. You can dine conservatively or go all out — either way you're getting a classy experience, great food, and access to a fantastic wine list.

Speaking of wine, the folks behind Santorini are hosting a special spring wine tasting on Thursday, April 23. The event will allow guests to sample wines from around the world along with complementary appetizers. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $29 per person.

About The Author

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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