We noticed that a Dr. Ruth documentary was being showcased by the AJFF. Being the middle aged hipsters that we are, a solute of respect and gratitude was in order as Dr. Ruth was our generation’s sex educator, our sex approver, she told us it was okay and completely normal to have thoughts and desires without judgement, she fought for women’s rights to make choices when it comes to our own bodies, and through these sensitive topics she managed to make us laugh with her spunk and energy. Not only that… Dr. Ruth was a holocaust survivor, and a sniper in the Israeli military at less than 5’ tall. This woman deserved our time and we were excited to learn more about her.
A succulent meal was in order to kick off our night and where better than Taverna Plaka on Cheshire Bridge, which offers fresh Mediterranean options and who pride themselves on offering “kosher style” entrees by request to their guests. “Taverna” is Greek for Tavern and Pláka is an antient neighborhood in Athens, Greece. Owner and chef, Scott Duke greeted us with open arms and Dimitri our waiter was sure to shower us with napkins full of love accompanied by “OPA!” a Greek expression of cheer. Our feast began with several appetizers, one of which was hummus, but not just any hummus… the ingredients were in a mortar and we crushed them with the pestle, just like they did in ancient times. Dimitri then brought us their famous flaming Saganki, a Kefalgraviera cheese in rum, um yum! We savored these treats along with a beautifully assembled fresh salad with feta and melt in your mouth spanakopita. To quench our thirst, Dimitri recommended a light and refreshing bottle of Greek white wine that really complimented all the food we imbibed. Next came our entrees, a tender whole grilled Branzino, a European sea bass, that was bursting with flavor and Chicken Santorini, baked chicken breast stuffed with tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini and herbs, served with rice pilaf. Everything was cooked to perfection. We were STUFFED, but when Dimitri asked if we wanted desert… we couldn’t be rude – haha!! A light and fluffy Tiramisu and sweet and crispy Baklava arrived, quickly consumed, and rounded out our meal.
The atmosphere at Taverna Plaka is fun and whimsical, and often includes a beautiful belly dancer to liven up the experience. “Opa” is repeated by the staff as they throw napkins in the air in celebration of pretty much everything. The food was fantastic and worth going back for, and the staff was fun and very attentive to their guests’ dietary needs.
Hugging our hosts goodbye, we headed to UA Tara Cinema for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s (AJFF) Selects screening, “Ask Dr. Ruth” which we thoroughly enjoyed, highly recommend, and should be available on HULU June 1.
The AJFF Selects screenings are in addition to the annual film festival. As Kenny Blank, Executive Director explains, “AJFF Selects is part our year-round mix of program offerings, featuring more of what you love about our annual festival: new international releases, direct from the film festival circuit. This is a wonderful opportunity to not only stay engaged with our regular festival goers, but to introduce AJFF programming to new audiences.” Be on the lookout for their film next month on the Atlanta Jewish Connector: www.bit.ly/2HbfwGc.
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