The large portions, low prices, attentive, unhurried service and BYO all added to our fun and delicious experience at Apella in Eatontown. Traditional Greek foods are featured with many ingredients—even the salt on the table—imported from Greece.
Italian-style bread, butter with garlic and dill, olive tapenade, a bottle of water and Greek olive oil are placed on the table when seated. We bypassed appetizers, as we saw humongous portions coming out of the kitchen and wanted to leave room for dessert.
We could taste a hint of cinnamon in the orzo and tomato sauce that came with the slow-cooked, fork-tender lamb shank. It was so good that Lowell was not shy about picking up the bone to gnaw on the areas that were difficult to cut with a knife. We can also praise the creamy and rich eggplant stuffed with sautéed vegetables, onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes topped with béchamel sauce. It came with a fresh-tasting tomato, lettuce, red onion, olives and feta cheese salad. Vegetarians have many options here, as many hot and cold appetizers, salads, soups, spinach and cheese pie, moussaka without meat, and stuffed tomatoes and peppers are on the menu.
Captain’s Mike’s Mixed Grill (Piklia Kapetaniou) is listed as serving two people. We would disagree and say four people could easily share this dish. It contained a beef and lamb gyro, chicken gyro, pork and chicken souvlaki (small pieces of grilled skewered meat), bifteki (a Greek hamburger with herbs and spices), lamb chops and loukaniko (Greek sausage). However, while the meats were perfectly spiced, they were overcooked.
All desserts are made in house except for the ice cream. Our favorites of baklava and Greek yogurt topped with walnuts and Greek honey were on the dessert menu, but we wanted to try something different. We opted for the walnut cake with honey syrup (lighter and less sweet than we expected) and a velvety rice pudding that contained more cream than rice.
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 10 PM. On Wednesdays there is live music starting at 5:30 PM.
Apella Greek Taverna
78 Rt 35
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Lamb shank with orzo.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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