Trapezaria: A Meal that Sizzles

I am not sure why the Fourth of July, a holiday about independence, also came to be about backyard barbecues. Many Americans spend the day consuming mass quantities of hot dogs, baked beans, barbecue chicken, and strawberry shortcake.  Since the theme is freedom, this year we decide to take the meaning in another direction and go out for Greek food.

Trapezaria, in the heart of Rockville Town Center, is a popular Montgomery County destination.  While there have been positive reviews in The Washington Post and Washingtonian Magazine, word of mouth among my friends is mixed. One friend tells me she has a decent meal at Trapezaria, but warm and attentive service fuels her enthusiasm for the restaurant.  Another friend tells me the opposite- great food and spotty service.  It’s time to form my own opinion.

I suspect the restaurant will be quiet on July 4, and this is indeed the case.  I breathe a sign of relief when food can be the focus, rather than decibel level distractions.

The sea blue interior of Trapezaria lulls me into vacation mode. I am not alone.  Todd Kliman in his Washingtonian review says: Trapezaria is nearly as transportive as a ticket to Athens. ” 

Our first taste is stuffed grape leaves with rice, herbs, pine nuts, olive oil and lemon, served with tzatziki.  The dish should be accompanied by a Mediterranean breeze.

Iman Baldi is a “House Specialty” of baked eggplant topped with caramelized onions, tomato, mint, parsley, golden raisins, and pine nuts.  It is sweet, luscious, and mandatory for a return visit.

Trapezaria eggplant 2

“Iman Baldi” eggplant

I am grateful when my friend agrees to share entrees of sauteed shrimp and slow-roasted lamb. I’m in holiday mode, and don’t want to engage in tough decisions.  

Garides Tourkolimano translates to sautéed shrimp in white wine, baked in tomato sauce and topped with feta cheese. The dish is far from fussy, but the ingredients speak for themselves.  The shrimp are expertly prepared, floating in a slightly tangy sauce, with a perfectly portioned dusting of feta.  The eggplant is not the only dish I imagine ordering on future visits.

trapezaria shrimp

Garides Tourkoliman shrimp

Lamb lovers like myself will rejoice in the plentiful portions and the tender, well-seasoned, slow-roasted lamb.  This special deserves a spot on the regular menu, although there are tempting lamb options if it takes a leave of absence as a special. Lemony potatoes, and cooked until not-quite mushy, green beans are irresistible.  
   
Trapezaria lamb

slow-roasted lamb

Whole branzino is another example of a plus-sized portion.  My husband manages to almost polish it off, but I snag a bite before he does.  The fresh fish is charred on the outside and super moist and flaky on the inside.  He lights up days later when asked about it.
trapezaria branzino

branzino

The downside of large portions?  No room for dessert.  We skip it on this visit, but now have something else to add to the list of musts for a return.

It’s hard to judge service on a slow night. Our waiter is attentive, but not overbearing. I stop to chat with Christos Vellios, the floor manager, on the way out.  When I compliment him on the food, he smiles broadly and exclaims how proud he is of the positive reviews from local critics.  I don’t let on that I have a blog, and am about to add to the public praise. 

We finish our meal just in time to catch a glimpse of fireworks.  They are fun to watch, but we prefer the sizzle that has been served up by the team at Trapezaria.

 

Washington Post review by Tom Sietsema: “Trapezaria brings real Greek food to the table”

Washingtonian  review by Todd Kliman:  “Greek Rush: Trapezaria”

 

Trapezaria, 11 North Washington Street, Rockville

 

Trapezaria on Urbanspoon

Comments

  1. Can’t wait to try it…
    Andrea

  2. Have to agree that the food is delicious and the portions were very generous. Slow cooked lamb was great and the grilled octopus was phenomenal – smoky and tender. Sounds as if it was a bit more crowded when we went, but service was still great.

    • Mim- good to know that it was crowded and you had good service. I am definitely heading back here soon!

  3. debbie pollack says:

    I’ll check it out.. Greek food is one of my very favorite cuisines. Thanks for searching out something in my neighborhood!

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