SFReview

Kokkari Estiatorio image
7.7

Kokkari Estiatorio

Greek

Financial District

$$$$Perfect For:Classic EstablishmentCorporate CardsDinner with the Parents
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At this Financial District institution, you’ll smell meat roasting over the fireplace while buttoned-up waiters pour ice water into goblets and brag that former mayor Willie Brown regularly sits at your exact table. Are you here for the best Greek food in the city? No. You’re here to sit in an armchair straight out of the library from Clue and embrace an old-school SF spirit—particularly around dinnertime. 

While this is undoubtedly the area’s top pick for business lunches among the embroidered backpack crowd, Kokkari is at its most charming at night. It’s when the fireplace sets the ski lodge-esque dining room in a pleasant glow, and couples stay for hours eating chili-crusted feta atop their cushy upholstered thrones. Even if you aren’t a certain famous mayor, you’re treated like one—you’ll never see the bottom of your free sliced bread basket, and every rogue crumb gets swept off your white tablecloth with laser focus.

The fancy Greek dishes here range from fine to good. Portions are small and prices are high, as you might expect from a FiDi power meal player. But you can still have a great time by sticking with basics like the nicely grilled lamb chops or the well-executed pita and dips. Like we said, the food isn’t the main attraction at Kokkari, and that’s OK. Whether you’ve got a client dinner on a corporate card or have parents in town who need their own entrée and good lumbar support, everyone should pay a visit at least once.

Food Rundown

Free Bread

It’s free, and it’s bread. You’ll have a blast. Moving on.

Tzatziki

This is thicker than most tzatzikis around town, closer to the consistency of gelato. It’s a great way to start things off, as are the pickles and pita slices that ride shotgun.

Arnisia Paidakia

Each lamb chop in the trio is charred into a deep brown crust on the outsides, and served with hunks of potatoes that soak up all the meat juices on the plate. It’s a respectable dish, though not necessarily one you’ll be pining after in a month.

Feta Tou Fournou

We wouldn’t call this block of chili flake-crusted feta spicy—it’s got more of a mild kick, just enough to classify as Fun Cheese. It’s best sopped up with fluffy pita, but shoveling back the warm tomatoes and cheese by the spoonful is never a bad idea.

Moussaka

We had high hopes for this baked lamb and beef casserole (the cheapest entrée on the menu at $34), but it's overwhelmingly creamy with few other qualities. You will have to make good use of the provided salt bowl, so feel free to skip.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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