Portland >Food & Dining > Elenis Philoxenia
112 NW Ninth Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.524041 -122.679977
Neighborhoods: Neighbors West - Northwest, Pearl
Elenis Philoxenia has an unusually long menu for appetizers, including ktipiti (feta, olive oil, tomatoes, olives) and saganaki (flaming cheese doused with lemon juice) inviting guests to embrace eating like they did in the old country. Enjoy an extended evening of food, friends, culture and conversation, as they do on the island of Crete.
Sitting up at the bar was as if we were sitting across the table from the Greek Aunt of a friend. She gave us the low down on everything on the menu, including her favorites. She mixed up our cocktails then checked back in with us after we dug into our meals; and she was content with our beaming smiles when asked "If every thing tasted good."
incredible food – My girlfriend and I went to Eleni's last week. They were not open yet for dinner, so we visited the boutique next door. The gal who owned the store said nothing but great things about the restaurant. Well, she was right! From the moment we sat down, we had great service. The food was some of the best in Portland, and we dine out alot. I know good food when I taste it. This was of the best quality and freshest produce. The grilled fish was excellent, the lima bean dish very unusual in a good way. We could'nt have been happier. Five plates and sparkling water for under $50.00, what a bargain. So I don't know what people are talking about when they say the service is bad, we were very pleased. Can't wait to go back. P.S. The boutique next door is wonderful and the owner is very personable.
Beautiful place~Aweful Service – My husband and I took 7 members of our family to dinner to celebrate a birthday. Half of the dinners we ordered were salads and appetizers as entrees. Everyone was in such a good mood that no one noticed that 1/2 an hour went by and most of us had run out of water long before that. We had also run out of the small basket of bread and olive paste (the paste was delicious, but the bread was plain). After having to ASK the waitress to bring us water we noticed the bread and had to ask for more as well. 45 minutes later the waitress came and told us that the food would soon be "plated" and we were surprised since there were perhaps 2 or threee tables that were occupied with small groups in the whole place (which is small since it was empty~but could be too small if it were full). After AN HOUR one of the party members had to GO ASK the waitress, which was no where to be seen for the most part, still we were running out of water and bread. The waitress started showing our family member the order, no apologies, and said that the appetizers usually take longer to make..UM...really?!?! The APPETIZERS take LONGER to make?!?! We were likewise puzzled. Another waitress, or manager, came over to tell us that she didn't know WE WERE IN A RUSH~ at the end, after seeing she messed up in saying that, she apologized for the wait, but not without adding the whole "appetizers take longer" routine. So we waited a few more minutes, at this time everyone was irritated...and finally randomly our plates came out. In the next 5 minutes everyone had their entree, EXCEPT the birthday girl. Which should've been a consideration, since we told them it was her birthday at the beginning! The food was well done and the flavors were savory. I didn't think the food was worth all the irritation and WASTE OF TIME. Dining is about an experience to us, and although I enjoyed my choices, they are easily found in other Greek Restaurants. It was definitely not worth the $33 gratuity that was added.
Poor service, but good food. – Although the food was good (we ordered a bunch of appetizers & shared with the table), the service was terrible. We sat for more than 10 minutes while waitstaff walked by & looked at us, but no one stopped to get our order. The service thereafter continued to be poor, in addition to a general atmosphere of unfriendliness by the staff. In addiiton, it was too loud to carry a conversation with our group (only 4 people) and the tables are jam-packed - people had trouble getting by our table & the one packed next to us - we were continually interrupted by passer-bys. Disappointing - will not go again.
Incredible overall – Before I went to Eleni's, I read every single review on the restaurant, noting the positives and negatives. I went here on Valentine's Day, February, 2007. And I can honestly say there was nothing bad to say about the place.
I arrived expecting a packed place, slow service, a long waiting list, and a long waiting time for dinner. I got my reservations for a specific time (6:30-8:00); the end time was new to me. Expecting a long wait for dinner, I also expected not getting my full dinner. No such thing happened.
First off, the ambiance is incredible. Dual side mirrors give the impression of a giant restaurant, though the tunnel-car look reflects reality. The candles on the table coupled with the light from the back kitchen complemented the beautiful, but subtle, central chandelier. Expensive wines await drinking at your leisure at each and every table. The menus are arts, authentic, cardboard faux-stone tablet: very artsy.
The service was prompt, friendly, and incredibly responsive. As soon as I found myself running out of water or beverage, the server was immediately there to refill. When I needed a few more minutes to order, they literally came back in a few minutes. We had the hummus type appetizer as well as the honey drizzled mozzarella cheese roll ups. They were both incredible.
Main dishes: my risotto with chicken was perfect as was my date's main dish (whose name escapes me now).
Weird point: all the servers dressed very well and matched, though the hostess looked like a fashion victim fresh out of the Red Light. Poor form.
Otherwise, this place is immaculate.
Oh! Prices! The meals are in the 12-22 range. The food, ambiance, wait-staff all belong at a place with 2 or 3 times that price. This place is a true gem. Don't miss it before the prices go up!
Authentic and adventurous Greek fare creates an exciting dining alternative in the Pearl. – In Short
Sleek and theatrical, neighborhood locals sit amid dim, dramatic lights against dark wood high-backed booths or belly up to the bar. The appetizer menu features a filo dough pillow filled with feta cheese and drizzled with honey as well as pan-fried or grilled calamari. For the main course, tiger prawns come in one of two seasoned tomato sauces over zita or orzo pasta. There's also ground beef simmered with seasonings over spaghettini.
slow slow slow – We made a reservation for 6:30 on a Thursday evening for 3. When we arrived
we were the third table of people. When we left there were only four tables of
customers. Nonetheless, it took over 20 minutes for our 3 drinks to arrive-and
then with a lemon rather than the lime requested. My vodka martini was watery.
We had ordered the appetizer plate which arrived way before our drinks. We
had asked for the meatballs to be replaced with a vegetarian choice.
It arrived with the meatballs. The rest of the meal was uneventful. The food
was good, not great. We will not return.
The worst service in Portland – I was w/ a group of 4, we called and made reservations the day before for 7:00. We arrived at 6:50 on Sat night left at 10:30. Not because we were having a great time enjoying food and wine, but because it took until 9:45 to get bowls of pasta to us. We ordered 2 bottles of wine, and appetizers...waited, and waited. No one came to check on us, and after 2 hours, the waiter brought us a small bowl of olives, free, for waiting so long...geez thanks, it's the cheapest thing on the menu. Our pasta came at all different times over the course of 15 minutes, and it was cold. Then as we were leaving, we saw our waiter outside the door smoking. Maybe that is why it took so long for the food to arrive. (Not to mention, gross! he could atleast have hid behind the building)
Nice, but overpriced – In brief, I felt that Eleni's was overpriced. The fish in the evening's special was dry, and the phyllo-wrapped cheese was good but at $9 for a small plate seemed spendy. We had wines by the glass and relied on the advice of the bar server -- his description of the wines was pretty far off once we tasted them. Also we were given a wine list that was out of date. Our waitress was pleasant, enthusiastic and accommodating which added to the experience. With a dinner, 3 small plates and 3 glasses of wine, we emerged with a tab of $74 plus tip -- for that money I simply expected more.
Stunning - best Greek restaurant on west coast – I and a close friend have combed the west coast for great Greek restaurants, including multiple visits to both Kokkari (San Francisco) and Evvia (Palo Alto). NOTHING compares to the amazing Crete food of Eleni's Philoxenia and its companion spot, Eleni's Estiatorio. This chic, high-style restaurant with reasonable prices redefines many basic dishes, starting with their to-die-for tzadziki. Start with the appetizer sampler (amazing variety & amount for the price) and then add other appetizers or entrees to your liking. For the best dining experience, make reservations, bring fabulous friends, order a couple of bottles of Megas Oenos and a ton of appetizers for sharing, and enjoy!
Very good – Just like it's sister restaurant in Sellwood, Philoxenia offers great wine and food. We love this spot as well and like the little bar they have set up. I also send all my single buddies here as they do have their fair share of good looking ladies working there.
I'm a big fan of ordering a couple appetizers and a main meal rather than the tapas route. I find the meatballs and the shrimp are always a wize choice and always enjoy talking to the staff about what wines to pair with the food. One of the few places in town I feel they are good at pairing rather than pushing something they have too much stock on.
Great date spot.
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