One step inside Helen, the new Greek restaurant in Rice Village, and you know you’re in for a special experience. Chic and cozy–casual and inviting–Helen is perfect for a relaxing lunch or romantic night out.
Helen occupies a small, narrow space fronted by a cool, intimate dining area with a very inviting bar towards the rear. Its tall brick walls, charming patio and comfy feel remind me of something you’d see in an artsy village in NYC. An attractive combination of old and new world styles.
My recent visit to Helen was for a leisurely lunch on a Friday afternoon. The menu choices were ample and absolutely delicious. For starters, the orange and fennel salad was one of the most surprising dishes I’ve had in a long time—surprisingly good when you see how simple it is!
The dish is beautiful – very colorful with ruby red pomegranate seeds and lots of sweet, blood orange slices. There’s a generous helping of Kalamata olives and razor thin slivers of fennel, all dressed with a tangy vinaigrette and plenty of crumbled feta cheese. So bright and refreshing! Garnished with tiny mint leaves this dish will have you dreaming of the Mediterranean.
The popular gyro sandwich at Helen’s is made with pork instead of lamb, true to its Hellenistic roots. It’s a big sandwich—in size and taste—and I’m told it’s one of the most popular items on the menu:
The Grilled Feta-Brined Chicken is my favorite dish, so far– perhaps a Greek take on our beloved Texas wings. The dish is made up of wings and drumsticks that spend some time in a tasty brine made from the feta cheese and various spices. The chicken is then grilled and served over some crispy lemon confit potatoes with a tasty, creamy lemon sauce, an avgolemono for Greeks in the know…
Oenophiles and wine novices alike, open your mind and let the servers introduce you to the pleasures of Greek wine. Helen boasts the second largest Greek wine list in the country! The Santorini white we enjoyed was fantastic!
For more fun restaurant finds and recipes from chefs, head to Goodtaste.tv. While you’re there, sign up for a chance to win a weekend at The William, a luxury boutique hotel in the charming hill country town of Boerne. Also, watch for details on our new TV show that will launch this spring.