Feta Analysis

Taki's Greek Kitchen // For die-hard cheese aficionados like ourselves, it was difficult not to go overboard and order every dish with a description that included the words feta or kefalotyri. But given the upscale feel of this 7-month-old Avon Lake spot, we tried to act sophisticated as we excitedly looked over the progressive menu of Greek small plates, salads, soups, appetizers, entrees and desserts. We started off with the trio of dips ($11) that come with warm slices of pita. While the taramosalata (a fish-based mousse that's like eating whipped caviar) and the skordalia (a starchy mixture of pureed potato, garlic, lemon and extra-virgin olive oil) were good, our favorite was the tyrokafteri — a spicy dip with peppers and chunks of feta throughout. Of course, it wasn't long before we made our cheese selections. The saganaki ($7) reminded us of a huge mozzarella stick, while the kefalotyri (a salty yellow cheese made with sheep or goat's milk) was flambéed with a Greek brandy that made for a melty, gooey treat. Because one cannot live on cheese alone, we anchored the meal with the arni youvetsi ($16), a braised lamb shank. Baked in a casserole, the flavorful entree arrived with the bone in and with plenty of tomatoes, orzo and, to our delight, even more cheese.

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