Today I celebrated a friend's birthday by taking her to lunch at Dio Deka, a fairly new Greek restaurant, in the Hotel Los Gatos. It was the first time I returned there since the restaurant had changed hands and gone Hellenic.
What a nice improvement! The service, food, and ambiance were all top notch.
A nicer setting would be hard to find. The Hotel Los Gatos is one of the most beautiful buildings in Los Gatos, a town already much loved for its scenic beauty. If you haven't seen it, it's almost directly across the street from Los Gatos High School so is in the heart of downtown. The architectural style is Spanish, but it reminds me of the elegant and inviting Santa Barbara Spanish style in particular. Inside, the hotel and restaurant are well appointed, comfortable, classy, and relaxing. Great ambiance.
At Dio Deka, each employee we encountered was warm, pleasant and gracious. Service was never wanting. Their manners and protocol were impeccable. That may sound stuffy, but let me explain by giving an example: in many eateries, even in "fine dining" establishments, patrons are given one knife and one fork. If the utensils are soiled by eating a salad or appetizer before the main course arrives, the used utensils are often given back to the customer if they're left on the plate as it's being removed.The idea, of course, is that the patron is expecting too much to get a clean knife and fork for the next dish. Usually the "old" utensils are put back on the table. But not here. At Dio Deka it's not too much trouble to get it right and provide clean cutlery for each course. It's a small thing but it's representative of the quality of the dining experience here. No detail is too small to get right.
So let's talk about food. My girlfriend and I split a Greek salad for starters. It was artistically presented and offered a wonderful mix of greens, olives, celery slices, split cherry tomatoes and dressing together with a small brick of warm goat cheese. It was delicious. The moussaka appealed to both of us, so that is what we each ordered. Set as a stack of circular layers in the middle of a deep dish, this too offered a very pleasing appearance. And again, the flavors were sumptuous. The sauce was too good not to enjoy too; luckily the table had a basket of bread - just right for sopping up the flavors.
Coffee was enough for me to top off the meal, but we had a birthday to celebrate and my friend ordered baklava. She assured me it was every bit as good as the rest of the meal. And, as with every other course, it, too, was simply very pretty.
We enjoyed every aspect of our meal today at Dio Deka. If you enjoy fine dining and appreciate being pampered, stop in for lunch or dinner. I'll be back!
Dio Deka is located at the Hotel Los Gatos, 210 E Main Street, Los Gatos CA 95030
Tel 408 354-7700. Open for lunch and dinner.
By the way...This is not a paid endorsment, but is simply the response to a great dining experience today. Writing a blog post about the meal was not on my mind when I arrived there at all.
Updated March 7, 2008: Dio Deka Will "Hold the Ketchup"
A couple of my friends, Wendy Tomaro and Debi Merchain, took me to lunch today at Dio Deka (a belated birthday celebration for me). As before, the food was great and so was the service. One small surprise, though, came when I was told that I could not have ketchup with my fries. They don't serve condiments, such as mustard and ketchup, because they wouldn't be served in Greece.
What do you think about that? On the one hand, I can appreciate wanting purist food and not having the good Greek food tampered with (or ruined). On the other hand, I really like catsup or ketchup with my fries - whether I'm in Greece, Los Gatos, or anywhere else.
I have travelled a fair amount (been to Europe, Israel, Greece, Japan, Polynesia and a few other foreign places) and often the restaurants present variations of their normal cuisine to match the locale where they're operating. A McDonald's in Germany will offer beer, for instance, and one in Israel won't have cheeeseburgers.
The food at Dio Deka is really good, no matter what. The fries I got were garlic and I think rosemary and they were tasty - but still I'd have liked them better...well, you know. It's their restaurant and of course they can do whatever they want, and apparently they feel strongly about this point.
Of course I will go back. But next time I won't order anything that comes with fries - too much of a tease to me!
fan of Greek food...and American