Greece Is the Word

Together, the four appetizers are available as a platter for two to four people at $14.95 -- a bargain considering the pile of food you receive. Complementary bruschetta, made with Greek country bread (slightly stale, we thought), vine-ripe tomatoes, oregano, and olive oil, was a hearty starter in its own right.

Desserts were definitely not Greek, but they should be. The choice of cheesecake or German chocolate cake may speak to Vogiatzis' Continental experiences, but we longed for a soothing galacto bouriko (pastry with custard and honey) to counter the garlic. If he ever does revise his dessert list, Vogiatzis might want someone to correct the many spelling errors on his menu. I don't expect the Greek-born owner to have perfect command of the English language, but a good consultant would ax mistakes like "the hole half" of a fish or the "bigest Greek salad." Even "chef Georgio's" name is spelled incorrectly.

As it stands, however, the fare at Culinaros doesn't need that much fiddling. Nor does the 140-seat, dimly-lit dining room, where the rose-hued, textured walls are hung with cream-colored frescoes. The 80-seat deck, overlooking the nearby lake, doesn't have as much atmosphere, but a good pretender can make it fit the Mediterranean bill. Another patron certainly thought it would do. "If I do a Greek dance for you, will you throw money at me?" he asked us as he passed by our table on the way to his own.

"No," we replied, "but we just might hit you over the head with a plate." In Greece, plate-smashing is a ritual, usually accompanied by a healthy amount of ouzo-drinking and heel-kicking. At Culinaros, plate-cleaning is much more appropriate.

Culinaros. 6897 SW 18th St., Boca Raton, 561-338-3646. Open nightly from 4 to 11 p.m.

Spinach pie
$6.95
Roasted red peppers
$7.95
Greek salad
$9.95
Snapper al Provence
$18.95
Lamb chops
$19.95

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