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Penelope Restaurant

My favourite dish at Penelope's: the roast lamb, no question. The one time I dined at this Greek restaurant and they were out of the lamb, it took several tries before I could actually focus on the menu for other options because my brain (the part of my brain directly connected to my stomach, that is) kept screaming in protest.

I ended up ordering the Dolmadakia (seasoned ground beef and rice rolled in grape leaves and topped with a savory egg and lemon sauce, $7.95) and Moussaka (layers of eggplant, ground meat and potatoes, topped with bechamel sauce and baked, $14.95) instead. I've also ordered the souvlaki, which has been rated as the Best In The City by Toronto Life ($14.95 chicken, $17.95 beef, $16.95 pork, $17.95 combination). All excellent, but I inevitably gravitate back to the lamb.

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The Roast Lamb entree at Penelope's is a tender shoulder cut, lightly seasoned with spices and rosemary. All grilled main dishes come with steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes and rice. I'm not usually a huge fan of roasted potatoes, but I love the potatoes at Penelope's. I suspect a lot of butter is involved, but I don't care.

Order the Saganaki and you'll get the traditional "Opa!" when it's served. I didn't know what this meant, so I looked it up. According to Urban Dictionary , it can mean "Wanna dance?", "Hurray!", "Hell, yeah!", "Yeehaw!"

Unless the waiter was Dutch instead of Greek, in which case he was calling me Grandpa.

My friend ordered two appetizers (see photo at top): the Grilled Calamari ($19.95) and a small Greek salad. Because of dietary restrictions, she asked for no feta on her salad; Penelope seems to be fine with special requests like this.

In fact, the Penelope staff in general is great. I've been going to the King St. location for years, and usually see the same staff each visit; I suspect some of them have been working there for many years. Service is fast and efficient. Not surprising since they get a lot of pre-theatre dinner types; the Princess of Wales Theatre and Royal Alexander Theatre are very close by.

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Lots more info (including lunch and dinner menus) on the Penelope Web site , plus a coupon for 25% off your next food order (after 7:30 pm, food order must be $25 or more).

In addition to the King St. location, there is also a Penelope at 33 Yonge St., Toronto (416) 947-1159. Hours of both locations: Mon-Wed 11:30a-10p, Thu-Fri 11:30a-11:30p, Sat 4:30-11:30, closed Sunday. Reservations recommended. Patio seating available.

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Penelope Restaurant

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