An award winning Greek restaurant on Broadway near Granville.
I've been going to Kalamata since the early '90s and always enjoyed the food above all. The previous location was comfortable, had a sort of tacky ambiance, and was usually packed with people enjoying themselves. Alas, no more ambiance, no crowds, and very little to be happy about. I won't be going there again.
Went last Saturday night around 8:00 and the place was less than half full. Two larger parties but mostly couples made up the remaining tables. It was dark to the point of not being able to read the menu. There was one depressed waiter who didn't seem busy and a waitress who seemed to be doing all the work. Our appetizers arrived in reasonable time but our entrees didn't arrive for more than hour. People who came in after us ate and left before we were served. Needless to say, I complained of the delay and was told by the waitress that one of the staff had not shown up for work. Shortly afterward, the rather agitated owner came to our table and told us that good food takes time and perhaps we should find somewhere else to dine. He seemed to be having some kind of meltdown.
Well, reheating a kleftiko and deep frying calimari certainly doesn't take that long. At least it never did over the many years I'd been going to Kalamata.
I suspect that the owner has been feeling the pressure of his declining fortunes. In the many times I have eaten at the new location, it was never more than half full. Service has declined considerably. The food is perhaps a little less inspired than in the past but otherwise much the same. I think that the new location has lost the ambiance of the old place. It's no longer fun to dine at Kalamata. That, along with an increasingly desperate staff, is a pretty clear indication that this restaurant is on it's last legs.
Ended up at the Kalmata due to the other greek restaurant we usually go to being closed for a few days.
No problem getting a reservation for 6 people.
Food, the whole place smelt fantastic which helped the appitites for sure! I'll comment on what we ordered:
Fried cheese appy (not sure of the greek name) this was so good that the table ordered a 2nd plate of it.
The pitas were great, fresh, thick and whole wheat.
Eggpant dip - really good... not like a babba ganoush, chunkier but good for dipping.
Spanokopita was quite large. Flakey crust, good!
I had the chicken souvalki for my main and it was a generous portion. Greek salad came first, fresh, not oily.. lots of feta.
Service was good... easy to get a reservation. Wasn't too busy so we had lots of attention from the waitress. We had a birthday at the table and the server was great making sure we were all topped up, and was really friendly too.
I thought everything was good value for the money. Good size plates and really fresh ingrediants. This may not be fighting for top greek place in Vancouver in my mind... we were so full and satisfied!
Ambience, this was the first time I've been here since they moved locations. It's not as typically cheesey in decor as most other greek places. It's clean and has skylights for some nice natural lighting. When it got dark they brought oil candles out. Nothing fancy, but comfortable.
- Clean elegant cosy atmosphere
- Healthy, repeatable, home quality, gourmet cuisine
- Good service and the owners are great chefs
- Wines are priced lower than most restaurants
- Unusually good value for such a high end experience
- My wife and I have been going here for years, we love this place
To the person why said:
"I'm no Greek food connoisseur, but what is the hoopla with this place? Best Greek restaurant in Vancouver? Hardly...Twice the price of Stepho's for marginally better quality"
I agree you are no Greek food connoisseur!
Stepho's is good but it is all about huge portions and fair quality.
The Kalamata is all about great food with very generous portions and the prices are marginally more than Stepho's.
The restaurant is slightly lacking in decor, but the food tastes great. Our calamari starter was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside - none of that chewy squid business. The beef souvlaki was juicy and very tasty.