Moussaka is one of those dishes I start to crave when the snow begins to fly. The hearty Greek casserole, typically with layers of sautéed eggplant and ground lamb topped with béchamel sauce, is warm and filling and perfect for mid-winter evenings.
For years, my go-to place for moussaka has been Yanni's Greek Restaurant in Greenwood Village. But recently, I discovered Axios Estiatorio, a four-month-old Greek restaurant in Berkeley (in the space formerly occupied by Brasserie Felix). I've been utterly won over by its take on moussaka. In Axios' version, thin slices of potato have been added to the layer of eggplant, the béchamel topping—a good inch thick—is extraordinarily creamy, but not too rich, and the dish exudes the irresistible aroma of cinnamon and allspice. Plus, with a portion this generous, you're guaranteed to take half home with you.
Also try: The dolmades—grape leaves stuffed with pine nuts, onions, and rice that, in an unusual twist, have been cooked with red wine. The creamy lemony topping finishes the dish nicely.
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