They have finally opened after teasing us for much of the spring. Monday, June 23, the day we first tried their food, we ran into two other groups of people that we knew. It is not going to be hard for me to like this latest restaurant to occupy the waterfront spot near Clyde Phillip's Seafood.
First off I love Greek food and second I like eating where you can see the water. Both bases are covered at Santorinis.
While it was a little more chaotic on our recent Friday night visit, the food was still very good and the prices are reasonable. On our first visit I got a Greek combination plate for $8.95
For our Friday visit, I ordered the Poikilia with the option of calamari. It came with chicken and pork Souvlaki skewers, Saganiki cheese, stuffed grape leaves, Greek salad and tzatizki sauce.
It was supposed to have Spanakopita instead of grape leaves but there was some confusion in the kitchen. They were also out of Falafel on my wife's Greek vegetarian platter so we ended up with a couple of take out orders of Spanikopita. It was a delicious meal which might lead me just to get an order of calamari and a Greek salad. The calamari was exceptional as was the pork skewer.
The restaurant was packed and while we waited a little, it was not a bad wait like we have seen in some new restaurants.
We did get to see a lot of dishes go by and I suspect that one of us will be trying a pasta dish soon. They look very good. On our visit earlier in the week, I got to peak in the kitchen and saw the owner-chef, Georgio, cooking a pasta dish.
The challenge in any small restaurant here is to pick up enough enthusiastic customers to carry you through the winter. With only two visits under our belts, it is still early but certainly this looks very promising.
The menu contains a wide variety of items including everything from burgers and cheese steaks to your standard Greek lunch specialties. They also have steaks, chicken and some seafood entries.
However, the menu's focus is Greek. The menu also has Lamb Steak and Lamb Stew which is not standard fare along the Crystal Coast. There is only one menu item that is over $20 and that is the Filet Mignon for $22.95. That is also not normal for our area which is more used to seeing evening entrees more expensive than that.
The menu also seems to be the same for lunch and dinner. You can get a cheese steak with fries for $7.95 or a six ounce cheeseburger with fries for $9.75. Appetizers range in price from $3.95 for homemade Hummus with Pita bread to $7.95 for calamari. Salads go from $3.50 for a small garden one to $8.95 for a large grilled chicken salad. They also have a children's menu with items as popular with kids as grilled cheese and fries to Spaghetti with meat sauce. They have some Greek specialities on the children's menu. All the children's items are $4.95 and include a drink.
If good Greek food is not enough to excite you, the desserts are also very good. We managed to split a very nice piece of cheesecake on our lunch visit. From what we could tell on our Friday excursion, the dessert tray was getting a workout.
On top of all that, Santorini's is also open for breakfast. I did see all the standard breakfast fare plus pecan pancakes.
I am looking forward to enjoying a meal on the deck overlooking the water. I think it will be a popular place to eat especially in the fall. You will have to wait to have a drink, beer, or wine since Santorini's does not appear to have an ABC licence yet. I suspect it is in the works.
Parking is not the greatest but I did notice a steam roller in the adjoining uppaved lot so perhaps they have plans to solve that. While we have only been to Santorini's twice, I think it will be a survivor. We hope so since they seem to be nice folks. They also have a hard working crew of waitresses who always have a smile.
If you are not familiar with the area, you still cannot miss Santorini Grille. The are on the soundside between the Highway 24 bridges in Swansboro, NC.
While I am sorry that we missed getting a review of Santorini Grille in our guide, writing a travel guide is a challenge. You always want your guide to have the latest and greatest information, but if it is a guide to the beach like ours, you want it out before summer gets started.
Sometimes hurrying into publication is a mistake. Last August we managed to really enjoy a restaurant in the same place as Santorini's several times. We got them in the print version of our guide, and they were gone by September. Our the new 2014 version corrects that error.
Fortunately we knew Santorini's was coming. There was even an article in the local Jacksonville paper. Unfortunately they opened a day or two after our 2014 Emerald Ise Travel Guide was published. Our guide mentions that they are going open but that is it.
Do not let that scare you off from giving Santorini's a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and this review is already on the update page for our guide.
Santorini's Grille is open Monday through Saturday from 6AM until 10PM. They are closed on Sundays. For questions give them a call at (910) 708-1213.