Corfu, a charming Greek island of bougainvillea, scarlet roses, wisteria and the siren of crickets, it’s a movie set come alive with influence from Venetian, French and British rule set against the lush mountains. It’s a place where meandering streets have myth and fable all there own. And lore has it, Corfu is home to wonderful food. The Monster is ready to tackle it.
Despite an Italian sounding name, Bellissimo is a thoroughly Greek Taverna. Sit outside in the nondescript square under an umbrella and watch the world stroll by while you check out the large menu of Greek specialties.
Tomato and cucumber salad, chicken souvlaki with fries and rice, bourdeto (local fish cooked in tomato sauce) and fried cheese (for Mrs. Monster) along with homemade white wine (that is a mistake, oh well) is the order.
The souvlaki is a highlight. Juicy pieces of chicken with delectable seasoning. Now the fries, they suck donkey balls. Soggy, limp tasteless donkey balls. If that’s your thing then head Corfu’s way. You’ll be tremendously satisfied.
The fish sauce is great, the fish however is filled with tiny bones making eating it a labor intensive engagement. The Monster gives up. It’s just not worth the effort when there are sure to be three or four other meals today.
For dessert The Monster samples the baklava and apple pie a la mode. The baklava is the standout. Nutty, smoky, a bit sweet, sticky and hard yet flaky and moist.
Apple pie is an American treat and we do better.
As lunch ends The Monster receives a not so subtle reminder of why so many have a distaste for Americans. The couple in question proudly declares they are from Oklahoma! (as if in the musical) as they shout about “Guy-ro’s” and “Corfo.” That they do it boisterously is bad. That they snap their fingers to get the waiter’s attention is worse.
But what really get The Monster is how genuine they actually are in their pleasure at the food. Even as he wants to hate them he kind of loves them as they dole out praise for every dish they receive as if it is an orgasmic gift from the gods. “Oh nelly, that is damn fine sue-vlak-eeee!” he shrieks. “That is the best meatball ever!” she proclaims so loudely her ancestors tell her to shut up. Apparently the four Greek people in Oklahoma don’t own restaurants. But they seem immeasurably happy about the food which is always good to see.
Why go? You played Curly McLain at the Jewish Center production of Oklahoma! in New Brunswick. It was a hit.
Monster rating: 3/5 τέρας
Plateia Lemonia, Corfu Town, Greece