Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dmitri's in Queen Village

795 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA - (215) 625-0556

Dmitri's is like an institution of the freshest seafood prepared in the most simple way. I'll never forget my first visit. I remember reading the review that raved about the grilled octopus. When it arrived in front of me, it smelled so unappetizing that I couldn't fathom it tasting good. But it did. It was so good in fact, that in the dozen or so times we've eaten there or ordered take out (weekdays only), the grilled octopus was a must-have item. We refused to waste an opportunity to order it.

Except I think I've finally had octopus burn-out. I just couldn't eat it again. My dining partner vehemently disagreed and dove right in. Freshly grilled octopus bits, drizzled with olive oil and served with lemon wedges and hot peppers. Not chewy. Just right. It's best eaten hot right off the grill.

Dmitri's is teeny. Cramped, in fact. Two high top tables placed next to the front door offer window seating as well as a clear view into the open galley kitchen where bar seating is also available for about six. Past that and up a step (Don't trip!) are about seven other tables. Get there early or wait in line...or at the bar across the street at New Wave Cafe.

Hot grilled pita wedges and fresh bread arrives first with olive oil for dipping. If I just ate the pita and the Avocado Citrus Salad I would be perfectly content. The Avocado Citrus Salad is the only salad I order when we dine there. It's not available for take out. My one complaint is that the bowl is way too small. Lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, orange and almond slices are jam-packed in this bowl. It's a struggle to keep the food from falling over the edges.

This last visit I decided to order a special - the scallops. As with all entrees at Dmitri's, the sides were rice and steamed spinach which, I hate to admit, is utterly boring. The scallops were simply grilled in olive oil but were gritty and instantly derailed my appetite. This is why it's best to stick with the basics, I suppose.

For a fresh, simple take on seafood in an intimate atmosphere, give it a shot. Don't expect romantic closeness though. People are in your personal space.

P.S. It's also cash only.


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