100 Favorite Dishes

23. Saganaki Cheese From Estia Greek Taverna and Bar

We're counting down to New Times' Best of Broward/Palm Beach 2012 issue in June by serving up our top hundred favorite dishes. Click here for a full archive. If you have any nominations of your own, please add them to the comments or visit our Facebook page.

23. Saganaki Cheese From Estia Greek Taverna and Bar
There are more complex and unexpected offerings on the impressive menu at this newish Boca Raton restaurant, but the crowd-pleasing burst of flame that accompanies this familiar appetizer is worth the venture down the path of familiarity. 


Salty, rich cheese is given a douse of brandy and set ablaze tableside, the outer layer acquiring a crispy edge that brings to mind the deliciously burned edges of a cheesy casserole. This is comfort food through and through, and the spectacle of it all is kept tastefully subdued to suit the environment. Estia has qualities to appeal to out-of-towners -- it's even got the weekend-night belly-dancing show to prove it -- but this isn't just another tourist trap serving Mediterranean fare; this place is actually good. And that saganaki? Why -- it's damned good.    

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Tricia Woolfenden