Eastern Mediterranean fare is hot and few are doing it better, or more creatively, than Santorini’s. At this airy new restaurant, everyday ingredients mingle with the more worldly: Meyer lemons jazz up a Tunisian carrot purée, while goat cheese greets sumac, onions, and tzatziki. I’m sure these would all be great dishes if dairy, root vegetables, and citrus were not allergens to me. The kitchen is both eclectic and innovative, so if you’re seeking the usual suspects of hummus and spanakopita, you may be disappointed. You may also be disappointed if eating “food,” as most people define it, causes a violent reaction of sweating, hives, and blurry vision.
Judging by the satisfied looks of the other patrons, everything was delicious or “to die for”—or “sooooo good,” as my dining companion said over and over. The group at the table next to ours delighted in encountering unusual appetizers, like arnipita, crispy dough stuffed with lamb, feta, and mint. The glass of water (no ice; I’m allergic) I used to wash down a steady stream of Claritin seemed to pale in comparison.
Santorini’s pleases loyal locals and out-of-towners alike, going out of their way to accommodate special requests. A pomegranate-and-lime sorbet that’s not on the menu for the couple on their anniversary dinner? No problem! But Santorini’s was less successful accommodating patrons seeking to substitute food items on the menu with nonfood items.
You won’t break the budget—especially if you order nothing—and moderate prices leave room for a bottle of 1994 Château Musar, one of several unusual wines that I’m told pair well with this cuisine.
Because reds, unlike whites, only cause uncontrollable facial tics and my eyes to swell shut, I went for it. The good news is that this charming find is four blocks from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, where the emergency-room nurses and physicians were as charming and attentive as Stefano, Irene, and the entire wait staff at Santorini’s.