Hitting the Spot

L ocated in a beachside residential neighborhood next to Milford’s Silver Sands State Park, The Greek Spot (map) is easy to spot with its palm trees, string lights and bright blue awnings shading beachy white-and-woodgrain tables. Also notable is the menu, which goes Greek, of course, but also gets creative and health-conscious. “We want to take care of the meat and potato guy” as well as the people who want salads or gluten-free options, says Leo Koutikas, who co-owns the place with his wife Stephanie.

“In the diner business for 25 years,” Koutikas had dreamed of opening “a little cafe” and thought about menu items for years, including traditional Greek dishes. His parents were born in Greece, while Koutikas “grew up in a Greek community” in Bridgeport. In 2011, the couple moved to Milford and fell in love with living on the beach. Two years later, they launched his dream in the space of a former deli that closed after Hurricane Sandy.

Inside, a coastal Greek vibe continues, with faux blue-shuttered windows, shells, a seahorse sculpture, souvenirs, signs to Greek cities and more hanging lights. The hand-lettered menus are divided into categories—Gyros, Fries, Specials, Greek Specialties, Sandwiches, Burgers, Greek Salad and Veggie Noodles. A large glass-fronted refrigerator holding ingredients like cucumber, zucchini and sweet potato noodles, Eggplant salad, crab cakes, zucchini burgers, eggplant salad, beets, shrimp and pork skewers and more made it even harder for me to make up my mind. My companion and I ordered at the counter and, after a brief wait, dug into our food.

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He ordered one of the Greek specialties, Stuffed Cabbage, ($11.99) filled with pork and rice and served in a lemon dill broth. It didn’t look very appetizing, but it was absolutely delicious. “Usually the grandmas and grandpas order that” Koutikas says, “but some younger people do too.” I chose the Cold Cucumber Noodles with Baby Shrimp and Avocado (13.99). Served with a side of whole wheat pita, the spiraled “noodles,” in a light vinaigrette, were fun to eat and supported the fresh flavors of the shrimp and avocado. To complement our healthy choices, we ordered Lemon Fries ($7.99). Crispy and citrusy but a bit too salty for my taste, I stuck to the more lightly seasoned fries on the edges.

On another visit, my daughter ordered the Pastitsio ($10.99), a.k.a. “Greek Style Lasagna,” featuring seasoned beef layered between noodles, with Béchamel sauce creating a thick, creamy top. It was her idea of heaven. When I asked Koutikas about its distinct flavor that I couldn’t quite put into words, he said it probably came from the tomato paste imported from Greece and combined with the beef. Traditional long, tubular Greek noodles were crucial as well. “The little things add up,” Koutikas says. “You put them together, and it’s right.”

There were lots of little things adding up to “right” in my Octopus Souvlaki Salad ($18.99), with grilled octopus, peppers, onions and tomatoes over romaine with feta, pita and a blushing vinaigrette. Leaving behind the dessert possibilities—including Baklava, Greek White Cookies and Loukoumades, a traditional Greek fried dough—we packed up our leftovers and headed over to the beach.

A lot of people do that, Koutikas says. (Delivery through Doordash, GrubHub and Uber Eats is also available.) “People tend to associate my place with the beach,” Koutikas says, “but we’re open all year round.” And while you might check out the Greek Spot first because of its location, if you’re like me, you’ll come back for the food.

The Greek Spot Café & Grill
726 E. Broadway, Milford (map)
Mon-Fri 11:30am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-8pm
(203) 693-3970
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Written by Heather Jessen.

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Heather Jessen is a poet and writer who likes asking questions. She’s in awe of the educators, artists and social workers who’ve helped New Haven kids and families during the pandemic.

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