Retsina has moved from Regent’s Park Road to the former site of Halepi. Everything about the new operation is spot on: the cream-walled and candlelit decor is relaxed and stylish; service is jovial; prices are great; and the cooking is effortlessly authentic. No wonder the restaurant gets packed to the rafters at night. The food exhibits the enthusiastic attention to ingredient-quality that some of London’s established Greek restaurants have abandoned. Tzatzíki contained the creamiest yoghurt; taramosaláta was rich and punchy; and the Greek salad (simply fresh rocket, salty feta chunks and ripened tomatoes) was faultless. Mixed hot starters included crisp whitebait with a slice of lemon for extra zing, spicy loukánika, plump dolmádes, fresh mint gígantes and springy kaskavalli (a saltier alternative to grilled halloumi). There were interesting additions to the list of mains, such as stuffed kalamári, though the traditional version was lusciously light, fresh and moreish. The lamb soúvla really impressed, served with an ample side of honey-centred Cyprus potatoes, well-seasoned and cooked to perfection. Two Greek coffees and complimentary loukoúmi rounded off a meal that cost £56 for two; we’d happily have paid more.
Time Out Eating & Drinking Guide 2008
My first visit to Retsina was 2 weeks ago with friends, I have since recommend close friends to this great family restaurant where they had a great meal and gave Retsina 10 out of 10 for service, value for money and the best food they have ever tasted. I'm also going back this week as I cant get enough of this friendly family Greek restaurant. I can see myself and my family and friends coming back for more on a regular basis as I've not only found a new restaurant but gained new friends within the Retsina restaurant. Keep up the fine work and I hope that you have many more years of satisfied customers like myself. keep up the impressive service and food. I give it 10 / 10
It’s hard not to feel right at home at this Belsize Village Greek, where the charmingly avuncular staff call you ‘darlink’ as they serve up huge portions at honest prices. The well-lit neutral surroundings are decidedly more contemporary than the menu, which sticks to a tried-&-tested formula of Hellenic favourites. Mezze come as they should: earthy homous & refreshing tzatziki scooped up with fresh flat bread, plus filo pastry parcels stuffed with a creamy spinach & feta filling. Mains encompass grilled meats on skewers, whole grilled fish & kleftiko – hearty lamb shanks cooked in tomato sauce. Wash it down with something from the decent Greek wine list.
LONDON'S BEST GREEK RESTAURANTS
Hilary Armstrong, London Lite 27.02.08
The antithesis of a plate-smashing taverna cliché, Retsina (named after the Greek wine) is the smart and slightly pricier end of Greek dining, as befits Belsize village.
Muted colours and suede chairs spell chichi urban chic; white linen-clad staff, plastic water bottles and garlicloaded kalamari evoke your last Greek holiday.
What sets Retsina apart is the range of specials and fish dishes. Call ahead to order hare stifado (a slow-cooked stew), suckling pig or milk-fed lamb. Whole fish like sea bass or John Dory are another strong suit.
Owner Minas Mina, left, with his mother Zeta Mina and head waiter Vassos Koutri
The Review - FOOD & DRINK with TATIANA VON SAXE
Can'"t go wrong with this Greek
Read more about Retsina at these websites
On the day of its official opening I visited Retsina. This picturesquearea of NW3 with its triangle Piazza is already known for a variety of restaurants and shops and this new Greek restaurant promises to contribute to those going to the area seeking a good meal. If you look from the outside through the newly refurbished large windows you see two long rooms with the exhibition kitchen at the end of one and a bar on the side of the other. Once inside, the beige walls and floors give it a sense of space and tranquillity. It is modern and therefore you could be in any type of restaurant except for the music and the friendliness of the Greek
personnel. Alcoves make the sitting cosy and break the positioning of the tables into smaller areas. The original quarry tiles took hours of cleaning to restore them to their original beige colour. The basement has its own bar and sits 50. It is ideal for private parties. Minos, one of the owners, heads a large staff team whose faces I recognised as having been in the industry for many years. A good omen as both the food and service were of the highest quality. A good wine list with a selection from around the world as well as Greece and Cyprus. Their fine selection is fine indeed: A Puligny-Montrachet ler Cru at £60 and my favourite Chateauneuf-de-Pape Jacques Mestre 2000 at £38. We had their house white (French) which was excellent at £3.50 per glass. And I must mention the black olives brought on arrival together with carrots and pickled chillies. One of the best olives I have had: tasty and juicy. Everything is fresh and made at the premises. In fact, seeing the veal chop in the brightly lit exhibition fridge prompted me to choose it for my main course. It came perfectly charcoal-grilled with mushrooms, a grilled tomato and sautéed potatoes. At their recommendation, Bill had the roasted chunks of lamb and we shared some beans with green vegetables (£26, main courses). From the large selection of starters we ordered the king prawns in garlic sauce (£7.50). Delicious. For dessert we shared a portion of Baklava and Kataifi – the typical Greek sweets made with filo pastry and honey. (£5.40 for both). It is worth knowing if you wish to have it on your first visit, that Retsina offer some house specialities such as suckling pig, roast or casserole pheasant, roast rib-eye steak, hare stefado, grilled or baked lobster and baked whole sea bass. Prices are on application and 24-hours notice is required. Two gentlemen were celebrating a special occasion with Retsina’s food to compliment the bottle of Scotch they had brought with them. I wonder what the corkage may have been on this special £350, 1960 bottle of Scotch.
Gordon Ramsay's New Year F Word
Retsina were quarter finalist’s in the F Word, Gordon Ramsey’s local restaurant shoot-out aired on Channel 4. The celebrity chef described the food as “authentic and delicious, tasted fantastic”, and the restaurant as "exceptional". Watch Gordon Ramsey at Retsina on Channel4.com...