Wednesday Report: part 2 – Dinner
Dinner (decided upon by my company) was had in a section of town mostly to the west of the Sear’s Tower called Greektown. While I don’t know too much about the area in general, I can attest that I saw a number of different Greek restaurants (or at the very least, restaurants with greek-sounding names) while on the way to the restaurant selected by my hosts, Robitys. I was told this was pronounced row-bee-teas. Several in the group had been to this place before, and were excited about being there.
I was struck early on at the way they served wine – in little glasses that I’d have called juice glasses in any other setting. I don’t drink, but most other people in attendance had some dry red wine as a starter. Our waiter (I saw only male wait staff during my entire time there) also brough out baskets of thickly sliced sesame-seeded bread, which I though was quite good. On the other hand, given that this was a greek place, I was expecting some sort of olive oil based accompaniment but we were served your basic butter and margarine instead. Odd.
Most of those who had been there before were clamoring for something called ‘saganaki’, which sounded japanese to me, but of course wasn’t (found some references to it later on the net, such as http://graphics.stanford.edu/~tolis/recipes/saganaki.html). This was more or less presented exactly as shown in the referenced picture, plain and unadorned, with the big ‘sell’ being that the waiter pours some kind of liquor on top of it and then lights (flames) it at tableside. It tasted a lot like an asiago with a mozzerrela texture albeit a lot saltier. I have to admit it was pretty good, but kinda of expensive for the small amount of cheese provided for the price.
The dozen and a half or so employees of my company ordered a variety of dishes, and some sharing around the table, but since I’m a new employee I stuck to my chicken kebab and rice, which was unfortunate because both were overcooked and dry. I saw a lot of lamb being ordered, and wished I had been a bit more adventurous and ordered some of that.
Deserts were great. Several people ordered baklava, and since I don’t like nuts I ordered a custard and honey concoction served on filo that was excellent. Almost everyone at the table had a small serving of ouzo, served in cognac-style glasses, which everyone toasted with. Being a non drinker mostly, I toasted with my water glass. Later, mine was the only credit card that didn’t work, and this was blamed by all assembled on my not partaking in the ouzo :-).