By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
It’s Greek to Me is an authentic Greek restaurant chain in New Jersey with nine locations. This review focuses specifically on the East Ridgewood Ave location in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
It’s Greek to Me offers a wide variety of Greek dishes, from classic to unexpected. You can find the basics here: It’s Greek to Me does the gyro just as well as the next guy, serves up hearty and fresh Greek salads, and offers deliciously salty and warm pita baskets instead of bread baskets.
During my last trip to IGTM, I ordered the shrimp special: grilled shrimp served atop orzo with sauteed spinach, garlic, lemon, and grilled tomato. I had only two small qualms with this dish. The first is that it was listed as the shrimp special, but only contained six medium-sized shrimp. Thankfully, there was enough orzo and plenty of spinach, but this did irk me a bit. My second qualm is that the shrimp was virtually tasteless. The sauce in the dish was delicious, but the shrimp weren’t seasoned at all before being grilled.
IGTM has a liquor license, unlike so many restaurants in New Jersey, and offers wines by the bottle as well as by the half-bottle. The restaurant also serves soft drinks, bottled sparkling water, and coffee.
The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable, but perhaps a little overworked. Most recently, I dined here on a warm Thursday evening, so the place was fairly busy. It seemed like there were enough people working, but somehow our waiter was stressed and slightly forgetful. He had to be asked three times for salad dressing.
It’s Greek to Me captures the essence of Greek dining without being too mainstream and predictable. The restaurant is spacious and decorated with a “bright Greek island” touch, but is also broken up into sections. In the summer, the room closest to the street has French windows that are kept open adjacent to the pleasant al fresco seating area on the sidewalk.
If I had a rating system, IGTM would probably receive three out of five stars. My few complaints from my most recent trip may seem like more than I usually offer, but the good at this place outweighs the bad. A special entree at It’s Greek to Me, no matter how mediocre, won’t leave you bankrupt. In fact, the affordable prices make IGTM a diamond in the rough in Ridgewood. I’ve been dining here on occasion for several years, so one off night won’t deter me from returning.