The airy vaulted dining room at the new Estia Taverna in Marlton, with elaborate stonework and Aegean-themed whitewashed wood, will be familiar to regulars of the original Greek seafood palace in Center City.
But the Taverna, the first of two suburban siblings (the next is soon to open in Radnor,) is deliberately more casual, with slightly less expensive whole fish and a few signature items.
My recent favorite was chef Oscar Chavez' clever lunch-only rendition of the ever-popular gyro - with fish.
The veteran Estia chef panfries thick rails of fresh halibut, then wraps them inside a pita with creamy Greek yogurt, crunchy slaw, feta, and a Mediterranean relish of cucumbers, tomatoes and olives. With oregano-dusted fries on the side, the effect is hearty, but surprisingly juicy and delicate.
So I ended up eating mine open-faced, imagining the sea with every bite.
- Craig LaBan
Fish gyro, $14, Estia Taverna, 140 W. Route 70, Marlton, 856-596-5500.